Gov. Lee sending more Tennessee Guard to southern border

NASHVILLE (WDEF) – Governor Bill Lee announces he is authorizing the use of more Tennessee National Guard on the southern border.

Around 50 Guard personnel will be sent in early 2022 to support the Texas National Guard.

The Governor’s Office says this deployment is a response to the surge in illegal crossings and drug-related activity.

“An open border has far-reaching consequences that are fueling a drug crisis impacting both our national security and the safety of our state,” said Gov. Lee. “I have authorized additional Tennessee Guard support at our Southern border as we look to address drug trafficking at the source.”

The Governor says U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports drug seizures along the southern border are growing every month, mainly fentanyl and methamphetamine.

And Tennessee is seeing a 45% increase in overdose deaths from last year.

“Our Soldiers and Airmen are capable and ready to come to the aid of our fellow Americans along the Texas border,” said Tennessee Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes. “Their service and sacrifice carry on a long-standing tradition and are rooted in a long line of Tennesseans who established the Volunteer Legacy that distinctly marks our great state.”

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