Unmarked Texas Military Department installation, housing national and state guard troops as part of Operation Lone Star; 26.890035, -99.284931 (Zapata, Texas); Digital photograph; January 2024.

The massive deployment of National Guard troops to Texas border areas as part of Operation Lone Star has necessitated the creation of new military installations, often situated on large plots of unused land on the outskirts of town. To meet the (ostensibly) temporary housing needs in these camps, the Texas Military Department has contracted with private companies like Team Housing Solutions, whose website displays photos of its facilities for Del Rio’s Camp Amistad which could be confused for advertisements for a private apartment complex. Like the Del Rio camp, the installation in this photograph—located on the outskirts of the town of Zapata—was created under contract with a private housing provider, in this case Storm Services LLC. Unlike the Del Rio camp, however, as of January 2024 there was no sign identifying this massive military installation operating out of this Texan town, and it was largely invisible—appearing in Street View but not in other map modes—and completely unlabelled on Google Maps. (Text adapted from our Border Chronicle piece here).

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