HOUSTON, Texas–Breitbart Texas has learned that a story released yesterday by the Associated Press (AP), and subsequently picked up by other news outlets across Texas, is not correct. While there are Texas National Guardsmen on the border, they are not part of the Texas controlled deployment of 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard (TNG).
Yesterday, the AP reported that the deployment of TNG forces had begun as part of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s deployment of 1,000 soldiers to a portion of the Rio Grande Sector of the Texas-Mexico Border. Subsequent to the AP’s report, several media outlets across Texas picked up the story. The outlets quoted TNG Master Sergeant Ken Walker as saying that several dozen soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Perry last month.
This not accurate. Sgt. Walker is, according to the article on KXAN, a part of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force. This task force is part of a federalized National Guard program that has been on-going since 2006 according to officials of the TNG Public Information Office at Camp Mabry located in Austin, Texas.
These federalized National Guardsmen are operating under the command and control of the federal government through the U.S. Border Patrol. They are not under the command and control of the State of Texas. A source in the Lt. Governor’s office told Breitbart Texas that approximately 60-75 guardsmen are manning Border Patrol posts in the Title 32 federal counterdrug program. National Guard helicopters are and have been used in this program. Additional funds were made available by the federal government for these assets by transferring money from other states’ National Guard budgets.
It appears that the only Texas-controlled National Guardsmen who are in the Rio Grande Valley are a group of about 20 soldiers who are there as part of the planning and preparation phase of the deployment. They are there, according to sources in the Texas Capitol, to prepare facilities for the imminent deployment of the TNG forces expected to leave Camp Swift in the very near future.
At this time, there are no TNG operational guardsmen deployed on the border that are under Texas’ control and part of Governor Perry’s 1,000 person deployment.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.