We reported last week on the President’s decision to reinforce the logistical capabilities of the U.S. Border Patrol with assets from the military. It was unclear then how many troops would be mobilizing. Now reports say an estimated 5,200 troops are moving to the southern border. The announcement was made official Monday.
REPORT: Pentagon To Deploy 5,000 Troops To US-Mexico Border; ‘Operation Faithful Patriot’ Underway https://t.co/SgnCdGWWTX
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) October 29, 2018
“We’ll reinforce along priority points of entry so as to enhance [Border Patrol]’s ability to harden and secure the border,” Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command told reporters in Washington D.C. Monday. The troops should be in place this week.
Operation Faithful Patriot appears to be the Pentagon's name for this mission — though what it actually will include is still very unclear.https://t.co/TgsGXg8eCi
— Dan Lamothe ☠🎃 🦇 (@DanLamothe) October 29, 2018
“The reinforcements headed to the U.S.-Mexico border are support troops – not combat troops – and will include three engineering battalions with ‘heavy equipment’, as well as aviation and medical personnel,” Fox writes.
“Most of the troops are on active duty and will carry weapons, but will not be part of any law enforcement effort in deference to the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the federal government from using the armed forces in a domestic police role.”
"The additional troops would mean that the number of U.S. forces deployed at the border would be greater than those currently in Syria and Iraq, and roughly half of those deployed in Afghanistan."
They're calling it "Operation Faithful Patriot." https://t.co/mExmIPur5h
— Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) October 29, 2018
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed the orders last week. When he did, the estimate was modest–somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 troops. And where they were headed was uncertain.
Gen. O'Shaughnessy confirms "Operation Faithful Patriot" will deploy 5,200 troops to "harden" the border, joining the 2,092 National Guard troops already there.
"We have about 800 soldiers already on their way." pic.twitter.com/anKQdM10PY
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) October 29, 2018
Now, their destinations are more concrete. There will be three main staging areas. One will be in Texas. Arizona and California will both see troops, as well. The action has been named Operation Faithful Patriot and will be led by Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan.
Meanwhile, the caravan of migrants is moving more slowly. There are believed to be 4,000 or more headed north through Mexico. Where they will choose to cross into the U.S. is a matter of conjecture, at this point. The group will likely split into multiple factions.
It's already underway: DoD video shows a C-17 leaving Dover for Fort Knox on an alert call today as part of Operation Faithful Patriot, the new military mission to secure the southern border https://t.co/twIjdnfH69 pic.twitter.com/Il3jKeNlmv
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) October 29, 2018
The troops that are standing in their way are bring ground and air assets with them. “The troops are coming from military posts including Fort Bragg, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Stewart, Fort Campbell, Fort Riley and Fort Knox,” Fox adds.
“The deployment includes three medium-lift helicopter companies with night vision equipment. O’Shaughnessy added that 22 miles of barbed wire already had been sent to the southern border and Air Force C-130s and other cargo planes would be used to deliver additional Border Patrol personnel.”
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2018
“Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”