SC Nat’l Guard to send support to Texas border
by Staff Reports | May 11, 2018 8:36 pm
Gov. Henry McMaster and S.C. Adj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr. today announced that the South Carolina Army National Guard will send troops and equipment to the Texas Border in support of Operation Guardian Support, President Donald Trump’s mission to secure the southern border.
One South Carolina Army National Guard UH-72A Lakota helicopter from the 2-151 Security and Support Aviation Battalion, and about nine soldiers and crew are scheduled to depart next week.
“The highly trained men and women of the South Carolina National Guard are ready and able to support President Trump’s mission to secure our country’s border, and our entire state is grateful for their service and sacrifice,” said McMaster.
This announcement comes a month after Governor McMaster spoke with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to offer South Carolina’s support for the mission.
The crew, headquartered at the Donaldson Center in Greenville, are expected to arrive in Austin, Texas, on or about May 19 and will support missions wherever they are needed in Texas. The UH-72A Lakota is a light utility helicopter primarily used for aerial surveillance and passenger movement. An additional South Carolina Army National Guard UH-72 with crew is expected to augment support later next month.
“Our Soldiers are well-trained and experienced with this mission, as they have conducted border security support previously in 2012 and 2016, as well as with Operation Jump Start in 2007,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina. “This mission is all about helping our neighbors, just as they helped us. We appreciate the continued strong support from the citizens of South Carolina and our elected officials. I know our soldiers will do an outstanding job helping our neighbors in Texas.”
Previous Border Security Missions for the South Carolina National Guard include:
* In the late 1990s, the 122nd Engineer Battalion and 122d Engineer Company built part of the existing Border Wall in the San Diego area.
* In 2007, the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 2-151 Security & Support Battalion provided 2-OH58 Kiowa aircraft and 20 personnel in support of security operations along the Arizona-Mexico border in 2007 for Operation Jump Start.
* In 2012, the South Carolina Army National Guard was specifically tasked by National Guard Bureau to stand up a command element in support of the Texas Military Department to provide surveillance support to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. They provided command and control assets along with 2 UH-72 Lakota helicopters out of the 12 and 25 Soldiers of the approximately 60 for their mission, which was called Operation Phalanx. It was a joint operation that also included assets providing border support in Arizona, New Mexico along with Texas. Other states continued rotating for this mission, where the South Carolina Army National Guard has filled in gaps for short durations, sending individual Soldiers and UH-72 helicopters.
* In 2016, the South Carolina Army National Guard again supported Operation Phalanx, providing 15 Soldiers of the approximately 45 and 2 UH-72 Lakota helicopters of the 8.