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Army Times details what caused National Guard’s border mission to fall apart

National Guard members stand ready for duty.
U.S. Air National Guard / Matt Hecht
National Guard members stand ready for duty.

MCALLEN, Texas -- A report Wednesday from Army Times details problems that plagued the National Guard in patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021. Among the Army Times' findings, when troops weren't on duty, they were mostly at hotels and remote locations. Incidents of alcohol and drug abuse became so persistent senior leaders issued breathalyzers and instituted alcohol restrictions.

According to the article, legal restrictions left Guardsmen with little to do, other than serve as onlookers. The article states that soldiers were left isolated at observation posts for hours waiting for shipments of equipment to arrive for months.

The article points to issues in McAllen, Texas where three soldiers in a 1,000-soldier battalion died during the border deployment.

It compared how only three Army Guard troops died on overseas deployments in 2021, out of tens of thousands. One officer is quoted as saying they were the biggest threat to themselves at the border.

A spokesman for the command that oversees the federal border mission did not comment on the Army Times' findings, citing the information came from documents marked as "controlled unclassified information."

Article Topic Follows: Border
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David Gonzalez

ABC-7’s digital content director

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