Gov. Rick Perry today visited the Camp Swift Army National Guard Training facility for a status report on the Texas National Guard's (TXNG) training and deployment in support of Operation Strong Safety to combat crime and drug cartel activity in the border region. The governor, joined by Texas Adjutant General John Nichols and Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, thanked the soldiers and airmen for their commitment and dedication to protecting our state and our nation.
"Texas put out the call and you have answered. Your mission is clear - to be a visible presence to deter criminal activity - and contribute additional eyes and ears to assist law enforcement and Border Patrol agents along the border," Gov. Perry said. "At stake are the lives of innocent people along both sides of the border, and the safety and well-being of communities across the state, and our nation, placed in jeopardy by the criminal activities of transnational gangs and drug cartels."
On July 21, 2014, Gov. Perry directed Maj. Gen. Nichols to activate up to 1,000 TXNG soldiers and airmen to assist DPS with border security efforts. While TXNG is only authorized to deploy up to 1,000 troops, more than 2,200 have volunteered to serve on this important mission.
TXNG soldiers and airmen will assist law enforcement by significantly amplifying patrol capabilities in the border region, including the use of enhanced observational equipment to detect and deter criminal activity.