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Gianforte orders deployment of some Montana National Guard soldiers to Texas

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Posted at 3:53 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 17:53:54-04

GREAT FALLS — Montana Governor Greg Gianforte announced on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, a deployment by the Montana National Guard (MTNG) to support the state of Texas in its efforts to secure the southern border of the United States.

In response to a request from Texas through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, the MTNG will place 10 soldiers on State Active Duty to support efforts in response to a declared state of emergency on the Texas border.

The team consists of volunteers who are scheduled to arrive in Texas on April 8, where they will be part of Operation Lone Star. The group is scheduled to return on May 12.

Texas Governor Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in 2021, deploying the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to the southern border, where they work to detect and stop illegal crossings.

Major General J. Peter Hronek, the Adjutant General for Montana, said in a news release: “The soldiers and airmen of the Montana National Guard are always ready to respond to requests for support from our fellow states. In recent years we have provided support outside our state in response to hurricanes, flooding and fires, and on this mission we will be supporting Texas in their ongoing border mission.”

In February, Gianforte met with Abbott and several other governors to discuss the southern border.

Ahead of the visit, Texas submitted a request for support from other states through a mutual aid agreement that allows National Guard members to provide assistance outside of their home state.

On February 13, Gianforte directed MTNG leadership to work with Texas to identify ways Montana can support Texas, including identifying volunteers for a potential support mission.

Gianforte said at the time: “National security is the number one responsibility of the federal government, and President Joe Biden has left Americans and our country completely vulnerable with his failure to address the cartel-fueled surge in illegal immigration and drugs. While Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws already on the books, the State of Montana will identify meaningful ways to support Governor Abbott and Texas in their efforts to secure the southern border.”