Texas National Guard disbanded intelligence wing after members used WhatsApp to spy on migrants
Four members of the unit working on Gov. Greg Abbott’s border mission have been punished after whistleblowers reported the surveillance operation violated long-standing rules against state-run spy operations.
After Title 42’s end, Texas DPS pauses Austin patrols so officers can head to the border
Despite no major influx in border crossings, state troopers will be relocated to border cities. Austin and the Texas Department of Public Safety faced criticism for the racial disparities in state trooper arrests in the capital.
Family of dead National Guardsman urges Legislature to make death benefits bill named for him retroactive
While the state guarantees law enforcement officers, like Department of Public Safety troopers, a $500,000 death benefit for their families if they die on duty, National Guard troops who stand shoulder to shoulder with those DPS officers on Operation Lone Star don’t have the same benefit.
What is the Texas National Guard and why does it matter in this year’s gubernatorial election?
A governor’s military powers are often not discussed as part of the election process, in favor of other prominent issues like education and taxes. But with Operation Lone Star in plain view, voters may have more questions this election.
Texas soldier who drowned trying to help migrants wasn’t equipped with flotation device
Spc. Bishop Evans died after jumping into the Rio Grande to save migrants. He and other members of Operation Lone Star were not provided safety equipment. Texas Military Department said an order for buoys and ropes was made but has not been fulfilled.
National Guard troops were dispatched to famous Texas ranches with private security as part of border mission
The dispatching of troops to the sprawling private ranches, far from the border, raises questions about the use of National Guard troops, who have widely decried the mission as aimless, political and oversized, as the cost of the effort has already ballooned to $2 billion a year.
“I hate it here”: National Guard members sound off on Texas border mission in leaked morale survey
Frustration, anxiety and anger prevailed in the survey responses obtained by the The Texas Tribune and Military Times. The survey includes responses from nearly 250 members of Task Force South, one of six units that fall under the umbrella of Operation Lone Star.
Deplorable conditions, unclear mission: Texas National Guard troops call Abbott’s rushed border operation a disaster
The governor has sent waves of troops to the border as Guard officials scramble to execute a massive mobilization that would normally take months to plan. Some Guard members say the operation has set back their income, education and well-being.
Probe of Texas National Guard border mission demanded over suicide attempts, abysmal conditions and delayed pay
The call for action from Texas Democrats comes as another service member based in the city of Pharr survived a suicide attempt on Sunday, according to an incident report obtained by Army Times and The Texas Tribune.
Allen West blasts Gov. Greg Abbott over suicides, pay problems among National Guardsmen at the border
Abbott’s political challenger said guard members deployed to Operation Lone Star are facing late pay, being exposed to COVID-19, experiencing supply shortages and dealing with added stress that has led to multiple suicides tied to the mission.
Texas National Guard deployed to get COVID-19 vaccines to homebound seniors
“The good news is there’s going to be a record amount of vaccines available across Texas this week with increasing numbers going forward,” he said. Officials have hinted the next group of vaccine eligible Texans could include teachers and other essential workers. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses and have to be stored at temperatures well below freezing. AdThe program is modeled in part after the Save Our Seniors program in Corpus Christi, where Abbott made his remarks Thursday. There, some 2,000 doses have been given to homebound seniors through the local program, officials said.
Texas National Guard teams will vaccinate residents for COVID-19 in five rural counties, Gov. Greg Abbott announces
Soldiers with the Texas National Guard work at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center in Smithville on May 5, 2020. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that National Guard troops will vaccinate residents in five rural counties as part of a new pilot program. Credit: Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORKStarting Thursday, state mobile vaccination teams staffed by Texas National Guard members will be deployed to five rural Texas counties to administer coronavirus vaccines to qualified residents. National Guard teams will visit DeWitt, Marion, Real, Sherman and Starr counties as part of a newly-created State Mobile Vaccine Pilot Program announced by Gov. On Wednesday, President Biden ordered full reimbursement to states that use the National Guard to increase the pace of vaccinations nationally.
A week before the election, Texas National Guard prepares to deploy troops to cities
The Texas Army National Guard said Monday that up to 1,000 troops could be dispatched to cities across Texas ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Brandon Jones, a spokesperson for the Guard, said the deployment is not related to the election and troops would not be stationed at polling places. The newspaper reported that Guard members could arrive as soon as this weekend. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has not been contacted by either Abbott or the Guard about the deployment, spokesperson Mary Benton told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday. Separately, the FBI’s field office in Dallas warned that far-right extremists could pose a violent threat in North Texas around the election.
Texas National Guard soldier dies during training at Fort Hood
FORT HOOD, Texas – A fifth soldier in about three months has died at Fort Hood, according to authorities. “The military is a family, and the entire Texas National Guard mourns with Sgt. The entire Texas Military Department mourns... Posted by Texas Military Department on Saturday, August 15, 2020Moore’s cause of death has yet to be determined and an investigation is now underway. This marks the fifth death at the Fort Hood base. In late June, skeletal remains were found in a field near Fort Hood.
Gov. Abbott activates the Texas National Guard amid protests across the state
HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott has activated the Texas National Guard in response to protest violence throughout the state Saturday, according to a press release. “Texans have every right to exercise their first amendment rights, but violence and looting will not be tolerated,” Abbott said in a statement. Earlier, Abbott announced DPS was sending more than 1,500 officers to assist local police departments. “As Texans exercise their 1st Amendment rights, it is imperative that order is maintained and private property is protected.”