National Guard members from Flandreau will be part of the effort to secure the U.S.-Mexican border.
Members of the South Dakota National Guard’s 1742nd Transportation Company based in Flandreau and Sioux Falls have been given notice that they will help secure the border starting sometime later this year. Details haven’t been released publicly but the deployment is scheduled to last up to a year.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard Bureau requested the deployment, and Guard members will be paid with federal money. About 3,000 Guard members from several states are involved in the federal mission, serving along the border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The mission is to prevent the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband and people.
Flandreau soldiers are a detachment of the Sioux Falls unit, together having about 170 members, said Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Deiss, spokesman for the South Dakota National Guard. “The mission for what the federal government needs is around 125.”
The local unit’s job is the transportation of equipment and supplies.
The Flandreau unit was last deployed in 2014 to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. They also went overseas in 2003-2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 1990-1991 as part of Desert Storm. In 2011, the unit was called to a South Dakota mission to help with Missouri River flooding in Pierre and Yankton.
The federal deployment to the southern border is separate from a recent state deployment by Gov. Kristi Noem, who sent 50 National Guard members from South Dakota to help in Texas.