Texans have always played a significant and historic role in the story of our nation and our national defense. A large part of this story is the role played by our very own Texas Military Department, also known as the TMD. The Texas Military Department is a part of the executive branch within the Texas Government led by Governor Abbott and is comprised of the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. The nearly 24,000 Texans that comprise the TMD provide Governor Abbott and President Trump with military forces to defend both our great state and nation, protect our borders, and help Texans recover from natural disasters. In fact, the TMD proudly holds the distinction of being the largest state military force in the country!
While the TMD is headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, the department has installations and units all over our state. From our Army Guard forces at Fort Bliss in El Paso to our very own Silver Eagles with the 136th Airlift Wing right here at our Joint Reserve Base, the TMD is everywhere! When our Guard forces are not serving in Texas and protecting our southwestern border, they are deployed overseas in support of President Trump’s national defense strategy. Since 9/11, the TMD has deployed troops more than 34,000 times to 35 different countries to include Iraq and Afghanistan.
The overseas deployments are only a part of the story. The TMD’s most meaningful impact is often felt right here at home. In recent years and on countless occasions, the Texas Guardsmen have supported local authorities in responding to emergencies and disasters. Most notably, our brave Guardsmen have rescued over 500 Texans and evacuated nearly 2,000 more during recent natural disasters. When they are not saving Texans at home, our Guardsmen are making our State safer through their participation in the Joint Counterdrug Task Force. This important mission supports local law enforcement in their efforts to disrupt the illegal drug trade in our state. In recent years, the Taskforce, largely due to the support of Texas Guardsmen, has seized nearly $35 million in drugs and apprehended over 600 drug traffickers. These incredible efforts keep our children safe and help make our communities better.
Last week Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist and I met with TMD’s own Major General Tracy Norris, the Adjutant General of Texas, and TMD soldiers along our Southern border, where we saw firsthand the TMD’s work in border security. Last month, I was also honored to meet with Major General Norris in my Washington, D.C. office, where I was so proud to hear about the great things our fellow Texans are doing across the state and while deployed overseas. Just like the TMD motto states, the Texas Military Department really is made up of Texans serving Texans!
Member of Congress