Texas Lieutenant Governor visits 470th MI Brigade and U.S. Army South
December 9, 2009
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst received briefings from the 470th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade on its organization, intelligence capabilities and operations during a visit to the brigade on Fort Sam Houston Dec. 7.
The lieutenant governor was greeted by Col. Jim Lee, 470th MI Brigade commander, in front of building 1000, known as "Old BAMC," whose historic past includes serving as the hospital for Soldiers injured in Viet Nam and Operation Just Cause.
Mr. Dewhurst first met with Maj. Gen. Simeon Trombitas, commanding general of the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Army Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), at U.S. Army South Headquarters, before receiving his briefing from Colonel Lee.
Colonel Lee spent more than an hour with Mr. Dewhurst, discussing intelligence capabilities and operations in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Lee focused on the counter narcotics and illicit trafficking mission that supports U.S. Army South, U.S. Army North, Joint Task Force (JTF) North and SOUTHCOM. The lieutenant governor said he was pleased to hear of the various intelligence support missions being conducted in support of JTF North and the U.S. Border Patrol that assist in securing the geographic sovereignty of Texas and the United States.
Colonel Lee explained the connections of illicit narcotics traffickers from Peru, Bolivia and Colombia that reach up through Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and the states of California and Texas.
"The Soldiers and civilians of the brigade execute their daily duties in support of the commanding general's intent to interdict illicit trafficking of illegal drugs and human capital," said Colonel Lee.
The commander told Mr. Dewhurst about the large amounts of cocaine produced in Colombia and Peru that eventually reach the shores of United States and about the actions the Army is taking to combat this illicit trafficking threat to the U.S. homeland.
Mr. Dewhurst expressed particular interest in operations that ensured the safety and good order for the citizens of Texas and encouraged increased interagency coordination towards combating this threat to the people of Texas. Colonel Lee finished the discussion by emphasizing his support to protecting the border and people of Texas and to continue the brigade's work with JTF North and the border patrol to ensure the missions of U.S. Army South and U.S. Army North are supported to the best of the brigade's abilities.
Prior to the lieutenant governor's departure, Colonel Lee presented the lieutenant governor with the brigade command team's coin. Mr. Dewhurst stated his appreciation for the service of the Soldiers and civilians who work to ensure the freedoms and liberty of Texans and U.S. citizens and thanked Lee and his staff for their time.