“It certainly is a war in a sense that we’re doing what we can to protect Texans and the rest of the nation from clearly a threat that has emerged over the last several years,” said Former FBI prosecutor Steve McCraw, who runs the undeclared “war.”
“I never thought that we’d be in this paramilitary type of engagement. It’s a war on the border,” said Captain Stacy Holland with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Holland leads a fleet of 16 state-of-the-art helicopters that make up the aviation assets used by the Texas DPS to fight Mexican drug cartels.
In recent years, the cartels have become bolder and more ruthless.
They cross the border with AK-47s on their backs, wearing military camouflage. They recruit in prisons and schools on the American side. Spotters sit in duck blinds along the Rio Grande and call out the positions of the U.S. Border Patrol.
To combat the cartels, the Texas Department of Public Safety is launching a counterinsurgency.
Tactical strike teams send field intelligence they gather to Austin to a joint operation intelligence center, or JOIC in military terminology.