Nebraska National Guard Troops Who Were Sent to Border Expected to Return Home This Week

August 29, 2023
Nebraska National Guard patch

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced Saturday that the Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers who were sent to the U.S.- Mexico border last month to aid authorities in efforts to counter immigration and drug trafficking are expected to return home Friday.

The 61 soldiers have been stationed there since Aug. 2 to provide “additional observation and reporting near the border” to assist Texas law enforcement involved in Operation Lone Star.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched the operation in March 2021, deploying resources from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to the border in an effort to secure the area.

Nebraska is one of 14 states that has recently sent troops and resources to support the operation. The other states are Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Texas.

This month’s deployment marked the fourth time a Nebraska governor has sent state troopers to the border and the second time this year.

Pillen in May deployed 10 members of the Nebraska State Patrol to the border to assist with drone surveillance operations.

This summer’s deployments could cost the state as much as $2.6 million, according to State Budget Director Lee Will.

Pillen defended the expense after visiting the border with Nebraska National Guard Adj. Gen. Craig Strong last week. The two met with troops and got a security briefing from Abbott.

“Based on what I saw today, the cost of the two recent deployments of National Guard troops and State Patrol troopers is worth the prevention of having illegal drugs and criminals pour through the southern border at ever-increasing numbers each day,” Pillen said during his trip.


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