For Immediate Release
Deputy National Spokesperson
NBPC Joins Governor Abbott, Senator Cornyn And Congressman Cuellar and Calls on DHS to Request Flight Hours for Operation Phalanx
Washington, DC (December 20, 2016)
Today, the National Border Patrol Council joined the bipartisan effort officially requesting flight hours for Operation Phalanx. Operation Phalanx supports Border Patrol operations in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
NBPC President Brandon Judd stated, “While illegal aliens continue overrunning the Rio Grande Valley, the Obama Administration refuses to act. By providing agents actionable intelligence in the field, Operation Phalanx is an important tool in securing the border. We call on the Obama Administration to request the funding to restore Operation Phalanx immediately.”
Judd commented, “The AP recently reported that DHS’s study supports the agents’ long-held assessment that only half of the illegal aliens crossing into the US are apprehended. Operation Phalanx enables us to deploy limited resources to protect our agents, communities, and borders.”
“It is unfortunate that the Administration and President Obama continue to play politics with border security. It makes no sense to keep Operation Phalanx grounded when illegal aliens are overrunning the border, and we are barely catching half of the individuals, cargo and contraband illegally entering the US. In these dangerous times, keeping Operation Phalanx grounded makes no sense.”
Operation Phalanx is a program through which the National Guard provides aerial surveillance, detection, and situational awareness capabilities in support of the Border Patrol. Congress provided full funding for Operation Phalanx in fiscal year 2016. Given that the government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution, that full funding remains.
According to the National Guard, Operation Phalanx will officially end on December 31st if there is not an approved request for additional flight hours for 2017. Once the aerial support flights have concluded, they will be terminating contracts for hanger space and housing.