Gov. Noem Announces National Guard Deployment to Southern Border

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February 20, 2024

Contact: Amelia Joy


Gov. Noem Announces National Guard Deployment to Southern Border

Fifth Time that South Dakota National Guard has Deployed to the Border


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will deploy South Dakota National Guard troops to the southern border later this spring. This will be the fifth time that the South Dakota National Guard has deployed to the southern border to assist in border security efforts during the Noem Administration.


“The border is a warzone, so we’re sending soldiers,” said Governor Noem. “These soldiers’ primary mission will be construction of a wall to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drug cartels, and human trafficking into the United States of America.”


This deployment answers the call from Texas Governor Greg Abbott to help Texas respond to the crisis at the southern border. 60 South Dakota National Guard soldiers will deploy to the southern border on a rolling basis over a three-month period. Further specifics about the unit’s mission may not be answerable due to security considerations.


Last month, Governor Noem and the South Dakota legislature joined together to hold the first joint session in the nation responding to Texas’ efforts to secure the border in the face of threats from the Biden Administration. Governor Noem delivered a special address to the joint session of the legislature; shortly thereafter, the legislature became the first in the nation to pass a resolution of support for Texas’ efforts and for states’ rights.


In her address to the joint session of the legislature, Governor Noem highlighted a desire for different rules of engagement if South Dakota were to again deploy National Guard soldiers to the border: “Our troops have been hampered by federal restrictions when they’ve been deployed to the border in the past. I don’t want South Dakota soldiers to facilitate an invasion – I want them to stand up and stop it. So we are talking to Texas about what rules of engagement can look like to make sure that happens.” This request has been met by the new primary mission of constructing a border wall.


Two-and-a-half years ago, Governor Noem was the first governor to deploy National Guard troops to the southern border at the request of Governor Abbott.


December represented the first month in American history that border encounters totaled more than 300,000. Monthly border encounters have increased by 452% since President Biden took office. Total overdoses have increased by almost 20% across America in that time period as a result of the drug trafficking at the southern border.