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    Preserving History: Texas Counterdrug presents its annual Bil Enney Award

    Preserving History: Texas Counterdrug presents its annual “Bil Enney” Award

    Photo By Sgt. Christina Clardy | AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force selected Army...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Christina Clardy 

    Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force

    Every year the Texas National Guard Joint Counterdrug Task Force selects a task force member of the year who is given the “Bil Enney” Award to signify their outstanding performance and significant contributions to their work and the Texas Counterdrug program.

    The award was created in 2010 in honor of Master Sgt. (Ret.) William R. “Bil” Enney who is considered the founder and leading proponent of today’s Texas Counterdrug program and a major influence for the National Guard Counterdrug Program as a whole since its inception in 1989.

    Bil Enney was instrumental in the implementation of the counterdrug efforts mandated by the Defense Appropriation Act of 1989 that established the program, and through his efforts the Texas aspect of the program was created. He served as the first Texas National Guard Counterdrug Interagency Coordinator from 1988 until 1995 and is recognized as one of the foremost leaders in “standing up” the Counterdrug program in Texas and nationally.

    His involvement and influence with the National Guard Bureau resulted in the development and establishment of Counterdrug missions and approved rules of engagement for executing counterdrug and counternarcotic operations. His direct involvement, and being recognized as a national leader, resulted in Texas having the largest budget in the country and being selected as the test state for many "experimental" taskings. He was also instrumental in the development of the National Interagency Counternarcotics Institute (NICI) in California which trained hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement agency personnel in the counterdrug military support mission.

    As stated in the official “Bil Enney” award citation, “the current Texas Counterdrug program is a direct result of his vision, insistence on professionalism and integrity. The Texas National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the task force continue the legacy he established as the best Counterdrug program in the country.”

    Master Sgt. (Ret.) Bil Enney’s Service:

    William R. “Bil” Enney served his country as a professional soldier from 1966 to 1987 including tours in Vietnam, Japan, Okinawa, Panama, Texas, and other military installations in the United States. During his tour in Vietnam, Enney served with the Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Special Operations Group as an elite Green Beret.

    He specialized in foreign languages and reconnaissance, and earned many honors during his career, including the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Master Parachutist Badge, Danish Parachutist Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Medical Badge, Special Forces Tab, Expert Qualification Badge (Rifle M-16A1) and the Vietnam Service Medal.

    After retiring from active duty in 1987, he was employed with the Texas Adjutant General’s Department Counterdrug program at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. It was during this time that Bil Enney began to champion the counterdrug state mandates from Congress around 1989 and today the Texas Counterdrug program heralds him as their founder.

    The History and Mission of the Texas Counterdrug program:

    The National Guard Counterdrug program was established by congressional legislation in 1989 with a mission to “leverage unique military capabilities, national resources and community focus in the nation's response to drug and associated transnational security threats.” Texas is one of the main smuggling routes and trans-shipment points for major drug trafficking organizations with 1,254 miles of common border, 28 international bridges and border crossings, and more than 350 miles of international coastline in the Gulf of Mexico.

    In 1983, shortly after President Ronald Regan declared a “War on Drugs”, Texas was one of four states conducting counter-narcotic support missions. In 1985, the Texas National Guard began aviation support operations for domestic marijuana eradication. By 1988, 32 states reported 4,052 Guardsmen supporting 456 counterdrug missions on state active duty orders in a Title 32 status. Beginning in 1988, the Joint Counterdrug Task Force saw many developments that forged the building of the program’s enduring history.

    Retired Col. Bennie Cottle, and Ret. Master Sgt. William “Bil” Enney, worked side-by-side, pushing the program forward. One of the first missions was Operation Guardian, where military police Guardsmen deployed to Texas-Mexico border ports of entry to search rail cars and tractor trailers for illegal drugs. In the fall of 1988, Texas Army National Guard’s long range surveillance company conducted the first inter-agency border reconnaissance operation with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    In 1990, JCDTF started using military analysts to support law enforcement in building criminal cases, and that remains a main effort to this day. Army aviation welcomed the Air Guard’s RC-26 in support of law enforcement in 1991. In the early 90’s, drug demand reduction began educating more than 200,000 children and community members annually on the danger of drugs and how to exercise positive lifestyles through national initiatives. Beginning in 1993, the JCDTF began Operation Crackdown. A mission pairing Texas National Guard with Texas municipalities resulted in the demolition of nearly 1,600 structures associated with illicit activities and drug trade in Texas neighborhoods.

    JCDTF began working with the state’s National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program in 1994, providing at-risk youth education, training, mentoring and service to community. The following year, JCDTF took on oversight of STARBASE, teaching 5th graders a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering Mathematics) curriculum until 2017.

    In 2004, the JCDTF stopped working at ports of entry and transitioned task force members to analysts and other authorized activities within the program. It was then that the program saw its largest annual dollar number of illicit revenue denial in 2007. When supporting the El Paso Intelligence Center, a task force member overheard radio chatter from four semi-submersible submarines in the Pacific Ocean coming from South America carrying roughly 38,000 pounds of cocaine, largely contributing to the 2007 illicit revenue denial total of $18 billion.

    In 2011, the Drug Demand Reduction program transitioned to Civil Operations to coach coalitions and community-based organizations, provide leadership support, and facilitate meetings to reduce illegal drug activity. In 2018, the Texas Counterdrug Army and Air Guardsmen assisted law enforcement partners in the seizure of more than $1 billion of drugs, weapons, and property, that led to the arrest of 4,690 suspects. Task force members contributed 12,690 man days of ground and aerial reconnaissance support, and 45,277 man days of analysis support to law enforcement throughout the State of Texas.

    Every year the Texas JCDTF continues to be the premier support to law enforcement for counter-narcotic operations in the state. For more than three decades, the JCDTF has provided this support in many militarily unique ways, bringing innovation to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across Texas. This support has made significant results that include dismantling and disrupting Transnational Criminal Organizations and their affiliates. These results have made a significant impact in the efforts to address the rising illicit fentanyl crisis that started in 2020 as well as the continued war on drugs.

    In keeping with its mission, the Texas JCDTF will continue to detect, interdict, and disrupt drug smuggling and associated illicit activities at the request of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies by leveraging unique military skills and assets in order to support national counterdrug strategies and objectives.

    Since its creation more than 30 years ago, the Texas JCDTF history has been marked by parks that are built in the place of illicit-drug homes demolished, record drug seizures, positively impacted at-risk youth and enhanced law enforcement agencies capabilities. Above all, one of the lasting effects of the program is the partnerships formed among communities, Guardsmen and law enforcement agencies. After all, the JCDTF members are Texans serving Texas.

    “Protect Texas! Stop Drugs!”



    Date Taken: 12.08.2022
    Date Posted: 12.13.2022 14:50
    Story ID: 435099
    Location: AUSTIN, TX, US 

    Web Views: 105
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