- Mar 18, 2017
- Reaction score
- As many as 1 in 5 troops in the 6,500-strong “operational force” who have been sent to the border have reported problems with their pay, including being paid late, too little or not at all for months.
- Service members say they have struggled with shortages of critical equipment, including cold weather gear, medical equipment and plates for their ballistic vests.
- Many are living in cramped trailers with dozens of troops.
- Some say they feel underutilized and rarely see migrants while working isolated observation posts that in some cases lacked portable toilets for months.
But Abbott’s haste in rolling out the deployment made similar problems inevitable. The active and former soldiers say that Abbott’s order left Guard officials scrambling to execute a mobilization that would have normally taken several months to adequately plan.
If we had known from day one that the goal was [10,000 troops], we could’ve planned,” said one soldier directly familiar with the operation’s mobilization process. “We pride ourselves on … the number of [federal] deployments Texas supports. But this? This is not something to be proud of.”
A National Guard general from another state added, “There’s no conceivable way that could have gone smoothly. There’s no way.”
The general, like the other currently serving troops who spoke with Army Times and the Tribune, requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the media about Operation Lone Star. Most said they feared retaliation.
Deplorable conditions, unclear mission: Texas National Guard troops call Abbott’s rushed border operation a disaster
This article is co-published and co-reported with Military Times, an independent news organization reporting on issues important to the U.S. military. Sign up for its daily Early Bird Brief newsletter here.The Texas Tribune's nonprofit newsroom relies on donations from our readers. Join as a...
Hey Abbott, are they your troops or cable tv pundits? Looks like the troops don’t think you’re much of a leader. But hey, that orange asshole you’ve had your tongue up wasn’t a leader either, so you two have that in common.