Texas Governor Announces Forward Operating Base at Southern Border

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces the establishment of a Forward Operating Base in Eagle Pass, aimed at strengthening border security efforts.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has unveiled plans for a new military base at the southern border, marking a significant expansion of the state’s border security efforts. The base, which will be called a Forward Operating Base, will be located in Eagle Pass, an 80-acre field near the Rio Grande, and is expected to house nearly 2,000 soldiers, with the capacity to surge to 2,300 troops. The first 300 beds should be ready by April.

The base is a physical manifestation of the state’s commitment to border security, which has been a priority since the launch of Operation Lone Star in 2021. The initiative, which has seen the use of state resources, including the National Guard, for border security, has been a departure from the federal government’s traditional role in this area. The base will help consolidate forces and expand the state’s strategy of using razor wire barriers.

Eagle Pass has been a focal point for Operation Lone Star, and the base will be a more permanent presence in the region. Soldiers have been spread out during the operation, staying in border city hotels, but the base will provide a more cost-effective solution, as the governor noted that housing the Guard at the base will be less expensive than the current hotel arrangements.

The Texas Legislature has allocated more than $5 billion for border security operations, and the governor believes that the base will help improve morale and provide better mental and physical health care for the soldiers1. However, the long-term strategy and the cost of the base have not been fully detailed.

The base is part of a broader effort by Texas to address the surge in illegal migrant crossings, and it comes amidst multiple legal fights with the federal government. The highest-profile case involves Shelby Park, next to the construction site for the base camp, where the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the White House in a dispute over Border Patrol access to the park after Gov. Abbott closed it to the public1.

The Texas Military Department expects the base to be operational this spring, with a 300-bed capacity by mid-April, and an additional 300 beds every 30 days thereafter1. The base is part of a broader trend among Republican governors, who have sent their own Guard soldiers to the border, but the commitments vary.

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