Pentagon – Troops at Southern Border Could be Home by Dec 15
The Pentagon says that the vast majority of the over 5,000 active duty troops sent to the Southern border should be home by December 15 or sooner as their tasks are completed.
Col. Rob Manning, a Defense Department spokesman, stated that the Army does not expect to deploy more active duty troops unless otherwise requested. He also stated that Thanksgiving meals would be distributed to those already deployed in Arizona, California, and Texas.
“The bottom line is that our numbers will be commensurate with the capabilities that … CBP is requesting.” Col Rob Manning
Part of the mission was to “harden” entry points along the border by stringing concertina or razor wire, and placing “temporary barriers” at specific places, according to Stars and Stripes.
“Some of their tasks have been completed already. As of Friday, the 2,800 active-duty troops supporting CBP operations in Texas had finished their mission of “hardening” immigration entry points in the Brownsville area at the state’s most southern tip. However, Manning could not say Monday whether those troops would remain in Texas or be shifted to other locations along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In addition to the 2,800 troops in Texas, there were 1,500 active-duty troops operating in both California and Arizona. To date, the troops had installed 2,714 meters of razor wire obstacles in Arizona and another 4,145 meters of razor wire in California, Manning said.”
Officials stated that there has been no interaction between the active duty troops and the “caravan.” By law they can’t be used as law enforcement, and can only defend themselves if necessary. They are at the border to “assist” the CBP only. If the caravans remain clogged at Mexican border towns, then it is unlikely that the troops will be utilized further.
The big question is just one word: IF. Approximately 5,800 troops are currently a the Southern Border: 1,500 in Arizona, 1,500 in California, and 2,800 in Texas.
“At some point in time, I’m not going to keep troops here just to keep them here. When the work is done, we’re going to start downsizing some capability. I’m looking as early as next week to start thinking through rightsizing, if we need to change, or do I need to shift (troops elsewhere on the border).” Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Commander, US Army North to The Hill
The migrants tend to climb fences, which is why the razor wire was utilized. If the CBP asks for more tasks, they will give them what they need. Until then, our troops may be home by Dec 15.
Featured photo: Concertina wire is displayed in areas of the border to show how the Soldiers from 937th Route Clearance Company, 36th Engineer Brigade, are assisting the Custom Border Protection in Lukeville, Arizona, November 14, 2018. Photo by Bradley McKinney, US Army.