HOUSTON, Texas — Members of the Texas National Guard currently in training at Camp Swift, near Austin, have been told to stand by for a personal briefing from Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry is expected to arrive at Camp Swift this morning to brief the troops on his expectations of their deployment.
It is still not clear as to exactly where this first batch of troops will be deployed, according to one of the soldiers currently at Camp Swift. The soldier has been at the camp receiving training this week and expects to be deployed somewhere along the border this weekend. Approximately 300 soldiers are in this particular training group. He also revealed the soldiers will be traveling and patrolling in military vehicles.
The first group of soldiers who were trained last week have been ordered to remain at Camp Swift to train the following waves of soldiers. They will remain at Swift for two months.
The soldiers are also being trained in the use of advanced surveillance systems such as the Ratheon LRAS (Long Range Advanced Scout) systems. These systems can be used to detect illegal crossings of the border, but also to search for people being smuggled through ranch lands to avoid border patrol checkpoints like the one in Falfurrias.
Public Information Officers from both the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas National Guard have been extremely tight lipped about releasing any information regarding the deployment.
Oddly, a report by KHOU TV in Houston expresses criticism of the deployment, stating pessimism about the TNG’s effectiveness in dealing with the people who are already surrendering at the border. This seems to miss the entire point of the TNG deployment.
While the surrender of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units is a daily occurrence along the border, their numbers only represent about 20 percent of the number of people crossing the border according to previous statements by Gov. Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.
This is further evidenced by the numbers of illegal immigrants being captured by the Border Patrol and Brooks County Sheriff’s Deputies near the town of Falfurrias nearly 100 miles inland from the border. Numbers posted by the Border Patrol at the Falfurrias checkpoint reveal the capture of approximately 270 people per day over the past month.
The stated mission of the National Guard to “Deter and Refer” should provide extra eyes and ears for DPS officers who are actively searching for human smugglers and drug traffickers. These represent a much higher percentage of the numbers of border crossers than do the women and children who are surrendering.
Texas State Representative Allen Fletcher, Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, told Breitbart Texas he expects the soldiers to have a very impactful deterrent effect on those seeking to cross our borders. “In their home countries, the military are people they are very afraid of,” Fletcher said. “When they hear there are armed soldiers along the border of the United States, it will deter some of them from coming.”
The soldiers are expected to begin their deployment along the border this weekend.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.