Spc. Spc. Greg Abbott's massive border security operation, Operation Lone Star, is known. According to Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, the mission includes 43 flotation devices that guards are required to use for boat missions. Evans was not part of a boat crew.
While Suelzer addressed lawmakers at the Texas Capitol about Evans' death and low morale, Suelzer explained that requests for additional flotation devices were made in February, but were delayed by supply chain problems. She also faced questions about the yearlong mission, including those concerning equipment shortages, Evans' death, low morale, and the impact of the recent equipment shortages. The Guard leaders said that they don't issue all soldiers flotation devices as many are on the ground.
Suelzer stated that Evans' funeral left guards in place and have been told not to enter the water without special training.
Suelzer stated that "(He] was a human being." "He saw a drowning human being and jumped into the water to rescue them."
Border Patrol is a common provider of refuge for migrants along Texas' 1,200-mile (1.930-kilometer) border to Mexico. Sometimes, crossings can prove fatal.
Evans is the at least fifth guard member to have died in the mission. This includes suicides. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez (a Democrat) has called for an inquiry into the deaths. According to Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the mission involves thousands of state troopers and patrol boats on Rio Grande as well as surveillance aircraft. It costs the state more that $2 million per day.
Abbott granted guard members extraordinary authority to arrest and detain migrants last year, but most of the mission's personnel are assigned to observation posts. Although guard leaders admitted that morale issues, such as equipment shortages and poor living conditions, were present, they said that there have been improvements in recent months.
Ulis stated that the average morale of employees would be around seven. "Far beyond when we started."