National Guard Deployment - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/30/06 - Texas

National Guard Deployment

Governor Rick Perry Friday announced the Texas Army National Guard is meeting the deployment schedule laid out to support Operation Jump Start, under which the troops will support federal border security officers.

"Texas has activated more than 700 Texas Army National Guard troops and more than 300 Texas Air Guard troops under Operation Jump Start orders, and they have already reported for duty along the border or are on their way," Perry said. "We are on schedule - actually a bit ahead of schedule - at this point, and will continue to ramp up to meet the requirements of the mission in our state."

Texas' goal was to have 500 troops deployed by the end of June. The Texas National Guard will continue to ramp up troops throughout the summer with a goal of reaching 1,500 by the end of July. Perry authorized up to 2,300 Texas troops to support the mission, and will continue to ramp up to meet the requirements of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in our state.

About 200 troops from other states are expected to provide specialized aviation support in Texas in the future. Details on the timeline for their arrival, and which states will provide the support, are still being determined.

"The Texas-Mexico border is becoming an increasingly dangerous and violent place for peace officers and the citizens they protect. I am pleased we are on schedule to provide more resources and personnel to address the border threat," Perry said. "The National Guard is also playing an important role in my state-led border security initiative, Operation Rio Grande, in which they provide logistical and analytical support."

National Guard troops operating in Texas as part of Operation Jump Start will remain under Perry's command, although the federal government will cover the cost of the mission. Troop activities may include detection and monitoring, engineering, transportation, logistics, vehicle dismantling, analysis, road building and language support.

The temporary deployment is expected to be phased out as new Border Patrol agents are hired.

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