CAMP SWIFT, Texas — Lt. Governor David Dewhurst attended a briefing from the Texas National Guard Command Staff prior to meeting with about 100 soldiers who are about to be deployed to the Texas border region under Operation Strong Safety. Breitbart Texas was on-hand for a short Q&A after the briefing. Texas National Guard Adjutant General, Major General John Nichols said his message to the illegal immigrants “is for you not to come across.”
“I am deeply impressed with the commitment to excellence on display as the National Guard deploys to the unsettled border region,” said Lt. Gov. Dewhurst. “As they leave behind their families and civilian jobs, these brave men and women are well-prepared to stand with local, state and federal law enforcement as they continue to close a security gap left by years of inaction by Washington, DC. Texans should be proud of their willingness to serve.”
“This is an important job,” Dewhurst continued, “because the people of Texas are fed up the federal government’s failure to secure our border.”
Dewhurst described the training the soldiers were going through in preparation for this mission to the Texas border region. “They’re being trained right now in surveillance, they’re being taught Spanish, and they’re learning sophisticated monitoring and surveillance equipment,” the Lt. Governor said. “So I’m very comfortable with the ground troops and our airborne troops.”
Dewhurst said budgeting plans are being made to continue the surge and deployment well into 2015.
Major General Nichols was asked about how many soldiers of Governor Perry’s 1,000 troop deployment are already along the border. “I couldn’t tell you,” the General said, “but it’s a lot.” When pushed for a more specific number he said, “It’s under a thousand and over four hundred.” He said there are less than seven hundred guradsmen still at Camp Swift where they have been undergoing training for the past month.
As for how the first group is doing, “We’re doing a proof of concept,” Gen. Nichols said. “We talked about being force multipliers in the past, so by us occupying the observation posts for the DPS troopers, it allows us to be more mobile.”
The General discussed some of the complexities of communications between civilian law enforcement and military units. He described the differences in codes used for activities and even the different phonetic alphabets used by agencies. He said that to overcome this, the agencies will be using “plain English” to communicate.
During the tour of the training grounds we observed but were not allowed to photograph the military vehicles configured with sophisticated surveillance systems that give the guardsmen the capability to see in the dark using infrared and night vision capabilities.
General Nichols said the rest of the soldiers will be deploying shortly. “We put it in phases,” he said, “so we can prove the concept as we go, identify any issues and correct them and then bring in the next wave.”
General Nichols wrapped up the briefing by saying, “Our intent is not to go down there and start something. Our intent is for you not to come across.”
Lt. Gov. Dewhurst wrapped up his remarks stating, “”The drug cartels and transnational gangs who cross the border with impunity, hiding behind the flood of Central American immigrants drawn by President Obama’s irresponsible rhetoric, are a legitimate threat to the safety of communities across Texas and beyond,” continued Dewhurst. “After Texas rolls up the red carpet, we’ll send Washington the bill.”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
Some spin for ya. Try not to get too dizzy. LOL