Operation Lone Star’s Crabb continues helping secure borders
By Michael Brooks
Operation Lone Star began its second year in early March of 2022 and Edna resident Lindsey Crabb has been serving on the OLS project for six of those months.
OLS is a joint mission between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department along the southern border between Texas and Mexico. According to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, Governor Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021 to respond to a rise in illegal immigration. In May of 2021, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration that now covers 48 counties, mostly counties along or near the border. The declaration directed the Department of Public Safety to “use available resources to enforce all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border and to assist Texas counties in their efforts to address those criminal activities.”
The following month, the Governor opened Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities for detaining arrested persons under Operation Lone Star.
When Crabb joined OLS, she did so on her own.
“I volunteered for OLS in September when it was still a voluntary mission,” she said. “About a month later it became an involuntary activation as the troop requirement continued increasing and Guardsmen across Texas had less than two weeks to prepare for a mission with no known end date.”
Crabb and her unit has many tasks, but their overall objective is to help secure the border.
“My day-to-day mainly consists of logistical operations, maintaining accountability of equipment and sensitive items coming in and out of our sector, not to mention requesting and distributing mission essential items to the companies, etc,” Crabb explained. “Because I volunteered before my organic unit got activated, I fell in with a completely different unit, but every Task Force’s overall mission is relatively similar, man secures points along the border and support our DPS and Border Patrol counterparts.
“Our presence here is moreso redirecting a lot of the immigration to areas that are more densely manned by border patrol, making it much more manageable. There are a lot of statistics showing how much our presence here has impacted the immigration problem, but I'm not sure if I can share those details at this time,” Crabb answered honestly.
She has time to make a decision but at present, she is conflicted as to whether she is ready to return to normal life.
“The requirement for each OLS member is 365 days from the time we came on orders unless we have a very valid reason to come off mission. However, regardless of how valid your reason is, it could very easily be denied,” she said. “Service members are allowed to remain on OLS for longer than 365 days if they choose to.
“It’s hard to say whether or not I’m ready to come off mission and go back to my normal life. This is something I have been contemplating heavily. Obviously, I miss my family, I miss watching my nieces and nephew grow up, I miss my dog, I miss being home, and as unpleasant as this mission has been at times, I am enjoying the challenges of my role and feel it is helping me develop and grow into a better leader, which is really important to me.”
Aside from OLS, all military people are keeping an eye on what is happening in Ukraine.
Military people are never certain where their future may take them, but Crabb is ready no matter what happens.
“There’s not as much unease about the Russia/Ukraine situation as you might think, at least at my level,” she explained. “I personally know quite a few people who wish they could join the fight in support of Ukraine, but unfortunately until President Putin oversteps with a NATO country, there is nothing we as a military can do. In the event that he does however, we will stand ready.”