Texas National Guard members move into new Eagle Pass base 

The first Texas National Guard members are beginning to move into a new base that will serve as headquarters for the state's border security operations.

Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders toured the partially complete base Friday. He says state efforts at the border are working.

And though there has been progress, state leaders say this will be a more effective way of managing border security in the long term. 

About 300 National Guard troops began moving in Friday in phase one of six phases of the base opening up.

The base, which was first announced in February, aims to consolidate state troops who have been fanned out among base camps and in hotel rooms across the border region.

State officials say it will improve the quality of life for soldiers and be more efficient.

The state has not shared the full cost of building the base. But once at full capacity, the state says it will save $11.5 million a month in housing costs alone.

"It is operationally more effective and efficient to build this base here," said Major General Thomas Suelzer. "It's right in the middle of the 1254 miles of border that we are taking operational control of."

The state of Texas has clashed with the federal government as it has ramped up state-led border security efforts over the last couple of years.

Border security had traditionally fallen under the federal government's control.

The state added razor wire and other barriers and believes that is why some are choosing to cross in other border states now instead.

"That's a result of the deterrence that's been established by the Texas National Guard," Abbott said.


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But the mission has also been costly with billions in state money spent so far.

Gov. Abbott says the operation will continue until the border is fully under control or there's greater federal involvement under a different administration.

"The moment we ratchet back the resistance Texas has is the moment that the cartels will start shifting migrants away from Arizona and New Mexico and shift them right back into the state of Texas," Abbott claimed.

Texas military officials say they'll continue adding more troops in phases until November when there will be at least 1,700 soldiers on base.