Gov. Pillen Deploying Soldiers to Texas Border
LINCOLN, NE – Today, Governor Jim Pillen announced the deployment of more than 60 Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers to the Texas border in support of Operation Lone Star. The group will depart on Wednesday, Aug. 2 and will return home in early September. The soldiers are tasked with providing additional observation and reporting near the border, which will assist agencies that are conducting security and law enforcement efforts.
“This mission is critical to the security of Nebraska as well as other states,” said Gov. Pillen. “We need to maintain the safety of our citizenry and stem the ongoing influx of illegal drugs, weapons and criminals into our borders.”
Back in May, Gov. Pillen joined other Republican governors in a security briefing hosted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Last week, Gov. Abbott updated information relative to ongoing criminal interdiction efforts related to Operation Lone Star:
397,900 apprehensions of illegal immigrants (May 2023: 376,000 apprehensions)
31,800 criminal arrests (May 2023: 28,000 arrests)
29,300 felony charges reported (May 2023: 25,000 felony charges)
422 million doses of fentanyl seized (May 2023: 416 doses seized)
“President Biden’s border policies have been ineffective, requiring that states join together to help manage this issue,” said Gov. Pillen. “Failure to do so only opens the door to threats that we can’t fully recognize yet.”
The participation of Nebraska soldiers in Operation Lone Star is the result of a request from emergency management officials in Texas. Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), member states can provide resources and assistance in times of emergency. Federal funds, directed through the Nebraska National Guard will cover costs associated with this deployment.
Following the security briefing he received in May, Gov. Pillen sent 10 state troopers to Texas from the Nebraska State Patrol. They assisted with drone surveillance operations for two weeks. The deployment of troops from the National Guard will last about a month. They are currently undergoing administrative and medical processing, before deploying to the border.
“The Nebraska National Guard is always ready to respond when our fellow Americans are in need of assistance, whether the emergency is here within our state, within our nation’s borders or overseas,” said Adjutant General Craig W. Strong. “I am confident that our men and women will make a positive impact serving in support of Operation Lone Star.”