ROCKPORT, Texas–Deployment of the Texas National Guard may take up to 45 days before any impact will be visible to the general public. Leaders of the Texas Military Forces (TMF) under the command of the Texas Adjutant General, Air National Guard Major General John Nichols, are now developing plans based upon the directives issued to them by Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The role of the soldiers and airmen of the TMF will be to provide additional eyes and ears for state law enforcement authorities who are already deployed to the parts of the border region being covered by Operation Strong Safety according to Lt. Colonel Joanne McGregor, TMF Public Affairs Officer who spoke with Breitbart Texas. Without speaking directly to the general law enforcement authority and capabilities of the TMF while under state control the Colonel said the TMF will not be making any arrests per the directives from the DPS.
She confirmed the deployment area will be restricted to the two points of entry specified by the Governor’s directive issued on Monday.
“Our National Guard members will be armed,” McGregor said responding to a question from Breitbart Texas about weapons, “only for purposes of self-defense.”
It is not known at this time if the TMF forces will be performing patrol duties separate from DPS resources or if they will only patrol as a team. “The plans for specific ground and air operations are still in the very early phases of deployment.” McGregor stated. “Our primary role will be to ‘refer and deter’ as was stated in Gov. Perry’s press conference.”
McGregor was not able to clarify at this time, exactly why the deployment could take up to 45 days. She said the planning will take about two weeks and then training would begin with assigned units. She also could not address, at this time, when airborne resources would be deployed.
“We are Texans serving Texans,” McGregor said referring to General Nichols expression about the role of the TMF. She expressed the positive anticipation of the leadership of the TMF to the coming deployment responsibilities.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.