San Juan – Puerto Rico's new governor is calling out the National Guard to help prevent drug and weapons smuggling.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla says soldiers will be stationed in ports and airports across the U.S. territory to help bolster security.
National Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen said Friday that he did not immediately know many soldiers will be involved or when they will be activated.
The executive order issued Thursday was Garcia's first as governor.
The National Guard was last activated in February 2010 for one year to help Puerto Rico fight rising crime on the island of 4 million people.
The new governor took office Wednesday, marking an ideological shift in the U.S. territory.
He was sworn in on a stage overlooking the Atlantic Ocean outside the Capitol building in San Juan amid the cheers of thousands of supporters from his party, which opposes statehood.
Garcia is a 41-year-old attorney and former local senator who narrowly defeated pro-statehood Gov. Luis Fortuno in November, thanks in part to support from labor unions angered when Fortuno laid off more than 20,000 government workers to help close a budget deficit.
Garcia said one of his priorities is to create jobs on an island where unemployment hovers above 13 percent, higher than in any U.S. state.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.