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    Texas National Guard conducts a transfer of authority on border mission

    National Guard Soldiers Assist Federal Partners Along Texas Border

    Photo By Staff Sgt. DeJon Williams | U.S. Army Cpl. Christian Reney inventories firearms at the U.S. Border Patrol Fort...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Leyda Ocasio-Kanzler 

    Texas Military Department

    AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas National Guard has a history of securing the 1,885-mile-long border between Texas and Mexico, that dates back to the mid-1800’s and the Republic of Texas. Since the inception of the Texas National Guard, Guardsmen have supported law enforcement officials along the border whenever needed.

    Most recently, on April 2018, on the order of the President of the United States, the Texas National Guard mobilized to secure the southern border.

    Comprised of service members from across the Texas National Guard, Joint Task Force – Guardian Support has been the Department of Defense’s key force element in its support of the Department of Homeland Security’s border operations.

    In its current capacity, the Texas National Guard collaborates closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enhance its border security operations in Texas. The Guard accomplishes this mission by supporting Border Patrol agents with aviation, infrastructure, logistical, surveillance, and operational support.

    “The partnership has aided us greatly in several areas,” said Chianti Edwards, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Supervisory Border Patrol Agent for the Rio Grande Sector. “The surveillance support provided by the Texas Guard increased our overall situational awareness and amplified our ability to detect and mitigate illicit activity.”

    Edwards explained that the overall success of the Texas National Guard’s ground support assistance program significantly enhanced their fleet readiness. In just two years, National Guard mechanics repaired more than 91,000 Border Patrol vehicles.

    Edwards said that the most important benefit of their Texas Guard partnership was the Guard assistance in support functions which allowed

    Border Patrol agents to primarily focus on enforcement duties. This support directly resulted an increase of apprehensions, narcotics interdictions and vehicle seizures along the southwest border.

    “I cannot express enough just how important this contribution is to our agency and our operation,” said Edwards. “One of the greatest contributions is that Joint Task Force – Guardian Support allowed Border Patrol agents to deploy back to the field in the more traditional enforcement functions to mitigate illicit activity.”

    The partnership between the National Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is a long-standing relationship that has developed overtime.

    “One of the greatest lessons learned is the importance of the whole-of-government approach to securing our nation’s border,” said Edwards.

    Whole-of-government efforts bring together personnel and resources from across cabinet departments and agencies, working across traditional lines of effort to produce results on complex mission sets.

    Currently, the National Guard is undergoing redeployment, transitioning service members off the border and back to their organic units. As Texas National Guard members begin to return to their home units, Texas will conduct a change of responsibility with units from various state National Guard’s, who will take over this mission in a federally funded Title 10 status.

    “We have full confidence in the ability of our fellow states in ensuring America’s borders are secure,” said Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris, the Adjutant General of Texas. Norris added that “it has been an honor to support CBP and the border security mission for so many years.”

    As the Texas Guard prepares to return home, and a new set of service members comes in to replace them, the team at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says they have full faith and confidence in the ability of fellow states to support the border security effort.

    “We don’t have concerns,” said Edwards. “The National Guard elements that we have on ground here are great and we are coordinating each step of the transition together.”

    As service members begin this transition, Texas National Guard leadership is working to ensure that returning service members have access to resources that will secure a successful transition back to civilian life and their home units.

    “The goal is to set all service members up for success and to ensure their transition back to their organic units is as seamless as possible, with no discrepancies,” said Capt. Gonzalo Garcia, Joint Task Force Guardian Support J1 personnel officer.

    Garcia said the Guard will Soldiers will be eligible for certain education benefits that will assist them and their dependents enrolling in college level courses as they begin to exit the Guardian Support mission.

    Regardless of home state or occupational background, Guardsmen use their skills and capabilities gained from both military and civilian training to respond to threats to the United States both abroad and at home.

    When it comes to protecting the United States’ southern border, the Texas National Guard remains an agency comprised of Texans working to serve Texas – Texans who are always ready and always there to support their law enforcement partners.



    Date Taken: 10.26.2020
    Date Posted: 10.26.2020 16:20
    Story ID: 381771
    Location: AUSTIN, TX, US 

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