Gov. Justice authorizes deployment of National Guard to southern border

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 12:17 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Gov. Jim Justice announced on Wednesday that he has approved up to 50 West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to deploy to the southern border.

Gov. Justice says they will deploy to Texas for up to 30 days to support Operation Lone Star, or OLS, as part of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact from Texas.

“In response to a letter requesting aid from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, I have approved the deployment of members of the West Virginia National Guard to help secure our border, reduce the flood of fentanyl, and combat the human trafficking crisis,” Gov. Justice said. “Several governors are doing this because the situation on our Southern Border is terrible, and I want to make sure we’re doing our part. So, I’m very proud to support our friends to the south. I know our National Guard will do incredible work, and we’ll wish them Godspeed to get home safe and sound. I thank them all for their incredible bravery and for stepping up yet again to answer the call.”

The WVNG members will work alongside the Texas National Guard and Texas law enforcement partners to detect, deter, and interdict transnational criminal activity between points of entry, Gov. Justice says.

In coordination with the Texas National Guard, Justice says the WVNG will send the personnel in August, and they will fall under operational control of the Texas National Guard Joint Task Force for OLS.

The Soldiers and Airmen are all volunteers, according to the governor. No units are being mobilized for this support.

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Gov. Justice requesting support in responding to the ongoing border crisis through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which enables states to provide assistance and share resources with another state in response to a disaster or emergency.