By Master Sgt. Mike R. SmithSeptember 11, 2009
ARLINGTON, Va. (Sept. 11, 2009) -- Texas National Guard members have been asked by Gov. Rick Perry to support a special group of Texas Rangers called "Ranger Recon Teams" at high-traffic and high-crime areas along the Mexican border, state Guard officials confirmed today.
"The role of the Texas Joint Counter Drug Task Force Team is to support those operations," said Col. William Meehan, a public affairs officer with the Texas National Guard. "But then, this is something that we have been doing well for nearly 20 years with our counterdrug operations."
The only difference in this mission from their normal counterdrug operation is that they are supporting the Texas Rangers, who launched this particular reconnaissance initiative to reinforce law enforcement along the Texas-Mexican border, Meehan said.
The Joint Counter Drug Task Force, which is made up of about 200 Guard Soldiers and Airmen, may provide aviation, communications, security, medical, logistics, observation and planning support to the Rangers.
The Guard members as well as the Texas Rangers and Ranger Recon Teams will be supported by the Operation Border Star Unified Command, which includes Texas Sheriffs, Highway Patrol strike teams and Department of Public Safety Aviation resources, according to a release from the governor's office.
The effort was launched in early August to address the increase in burglaries of rural homes, ranches and hunting camps in remote areas along the border, said state officials.
Perry said the state's proven border security strategy is based on putting boots on the ground and equipping those personnel with technology, training and funding to stem the flow of contraband across the border.
"Deploying Ranger Recon Teams to high-traffic, high-crime areas along the border will enhance our efforts," he said.
(Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith writes for the National Guard Bureau.)