Governor Parson Provides Update on Missouri Deployment to Southern Border

MARCH 15, 2024

 — Today, Governor Mike Parson provided an update on Missouri personnel deployed to the Southern Border in Texas as part of Governor Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star mission. Eleven Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) troopers have been supporting the Texas Department of Public Safety on the Southern Border since March 1, 2024. Missouri National Guard (MONG) members, totaling 48 soldiers, began supporting border security efforts this week on March 14 after receiving official orders on March 11. 

"Missourians understand there is a crisis at our Southern Border and that it's not just impacting the State of Texas. It seems like every week we are hearing of more and more fentanyl deaths and drug trafficking instances that are ripping Missouri families and communities apart. It stems from the chaos at our Southern Border, and it must stop," Governor Parson said. "While President Biden and the federal government fail to do anything, we're proud the State of Missouri is doing something. We extend our sincere thanks to our MSHP troopers and MONG service members for their efforts in addressing this crisis. Missouri stands with Texas, and we are taking action."

On February 20, 2024, Governor Parson issued Executive Order 24-03 activating up to 200 MONG members and 22 MSHP troopers to support Operation Lone Star on the Sothern Border. 

Recent polling by Saint Louis University and YouGov shows that 75 percent of Missourians believe there is a crisis at the United States-Mexico Border and that it should be addressed immediately. Governor Parson echoes Missourians' concerns and has taken action. Additionally, the Missouri House of Representatives has already approved, with a bipartisan vote, a supplemental budget request to support the deployment Governor Parson has ordered to the Southern Border. 

Below are updates from both MSHP and MONG deployments to the Southern Border. 

Missouri State Highway Patrol Border Deployment:

On March 1, 2024, 11 MSHP troopers traveled to southern Texas to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in providing law enforcement services in the area of the U.S. border. The team briefed at the Texas DPS South Region Office (3) in Weslaco, Texas, on March 3 and reported to its first assigned shift on March 4. 

MSHP troopers assisting Texas DPS troopers in the area of the U.S. border provided assistance with the following incidents/encounters from March 3-10:

  • Traffic Stops - 216
  • Undocumented Migrant Encounters - 193
  • Undocumented Migrant Turn-backs - 16
  • Impaired Driver and Drug Arrests - 9
  • Other Law Enforcement Assistance - 13 

In addition to the incidents above, on March 8, Missouri and Texas troopers assisted with a fatal National Guard helicopter crash that occurred within their area of operation. All five Missouri troopers working the night shift responded to the crash and assisted until released by military personnel. A Missouri trooper assisted with the scene security at the crash site the following day.

On March 14, Missouri troopers attended the funeral of Border Patrol Agent Chris Luna, 49, who was killed along with two members of the New York National Guard during the March 8 helicopter crash near Rio Grande City, Texas.  

Troopers from seven of the Patrol’s nine troops, the Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC), and the Field Operations Bureau (FOB) are serving in Texas.  

Missouri troopers assigned to the detail work 12-hour shifts, with each working shifts alongside a Texas DPS trooper. This allows for officer safety and operational efficiency. Routine calls for service include general law enforcement calls, traffic stops, response to alarms and camera activations, and assisting with warrant arrests. Officers routinely intercept undocumented migrants on foot and in vehicles and observe them until U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers respond to take custody. At times, officers encounter undocumented migrants who turn and cross back over the border before interception.

Marine operations-certified Missouri troopers have also joined the Texas DPS Tactical Marine Unit to familiarize themselves with DPS responsibilities on the Rio Grande River near Anzalduas Park.

Missouri National Guard:

The first group of MONG service members deployed on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, and began active support on Thursday, March 14. 

Forty-eight MONG service members deployed from across the State of Missouri, most of them based at armories in Lamar and Clinton. The majority of the troops volunteered to stay for the entire duration of the mission. Seventeen members of the group will rotate out in the latter part of April after being replaced by additional MONG service members.

The initial 48 Soldiers arrived in Texas on Tuesday and rested overnight at a Texas National Guard armory. On Wednesday, they completed travel and arrived at the assigned area of operations for orientation and a mission brief. 

On Thursday, MONG service members began working alongside Texas National Guard and law enforcement partners. MONG service members are assisting in the construction of physical barriers, manning observation posts, and supporting security patrols, as needed.

Photos from both the MONG and MSHP deployments can be found below.