National Guard Continues to Provide Invaluable Support to the Laredo Sector Border Patrol Mission
LAREDO, Texas – In April 2018, National Guard troops were mobilized to Laredo, Texas under Operation Guardian Support. Operation Guardian Support provided the Laredo Sector Border Patrol the opportunity to leverage the support of the National Guard and return agents to the field to focus on enforcement efforts and enhance situational awareness of potential threats along the border. Their mission is to fill vital, non-enforcement roles such as pilots, aerial observers, intelligence analysts, communications specialists, camera operators and vehicle mechanics.
Of those deployed, is 1st Lieutenant David Acosta who is currently serving as the Officer in Charge and Liaison Officer for the Aviation Task Force in Laredo. Lt. Acosta was also previously employed as a Border Patrol Agent assigned to the Laredo Sector. “I volunteered for this deployment because I understand how important the United States Border Patrol's role is when it comes to securing our nation's border,” said 1st Lieutenant David Acosta. “Currently, the states of Mississippi and Alabama and are providing aerial support here in Laredo. These pilots and crews have flown missions all over the world and are experts in their respective fields.”
In an interesting twist, it also gave 1st Lieutenant David Acosta the opportunity to work alongside his brother, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta, who is currently assigned to Laredo Sector Border Patrol Headquarters. "The amount of support we have been receiving from the National Guard has been invaluable. Agents are often forced to work alone and in remote areas. The aerial surveillance they provide allows us to have more awareness along the border and keep the agents on the ground safe," said Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta.
Since the inception of Operation Guardian Support, the National Guard's aerial support has contributed to hundreds of apprehension, the seizure of close to one-thousand pounds of marijuana and multiple rescues. The National Guard has deployed to assist the United States Border Patrol in previous years. In 2006, during Operation Jump Start, the National Guard supported the Border Patrol to accelerate improvements in border security. In 2010, the National Guard was also deployed along the border as part of Operation Phalanx.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.