Small Wars Journal

Update: The Military Deployment to the U.S.-Mexico Border

Why were Active-Duty Forces Picked over Guard to Defend the Border? Capabilities, Pentagon Says by Tara Copp - Military Times

The Pentagon faced questions Monday as to why it selected thousands of active-duty forces to deploy to the border instead of sending additional National Guard.

 

In responses to reporters, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning said when the Department of Homeland Security made the request for military support, it specifically sought forces to assist with planning; engineering support to construct barriers; aviation support to transport Customs and Border Patrol personnel; medical teams; command and control capabilities and the ability to construct temporary housing for Customs and Border Patrol personnel.

 

Those are active-duty capabilities; but they are also the purview of the National Guard. Approximately 4,800 troops have been deployed with 5,200 expected to be in place by the end of the day.

 

Of those 4,800, 2,600 are in Texas and 1,100 each are in Arizona and California. Between 750 to 1,000 of those forces are Marines from Camp Pendleton. Several Pendleton units are being combined to form an engineering Marine Air Ground Task Force that will stay in California, a DoD official said on the condition of anonymity…

Read on.

Active-Duty Troops Sent to US-Mexico Border Training For 'a Range of Scenarios' by Corey Dickstein - Stars & Stripes

Thousands of active-duty troops are bolstering temporary barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border and training at nearby logistics hubs for issues that could arise as they support Customs and Border Protection agents protecting against immigration from Central America, a department spokesman said Monday.

However, Army Col. Rob Manning, one of the Pentagon’s top spokespeople, declined to describe in detail the nature of the training at established military bases in California, Texas and Arizona. He also declined to detail the rules for the use of force for troops supporting Operation Faithful Patriot, just days after President Donald Trump announced he had instructed the military that if people throw rocks to “consider it a rifle.”

“The [training] vignettes cover a range of scenarios that could occur,” Manning told reporters Monday. “But … we don’t anticipate that there will be that type of interaction” with migrants crossing the border illegally or seeking asylum.

By Monday, some 4,800 active-duty troops had arrived at the 13 logistics hubs that the Pentagon established to support the mission. Manning said the deployment would grow to 5,200 by Monday evening and more than 7,000 troops in the near future. The deployment of active-duty soldiers is in addition to roughly 2,100 National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border region since April to support CBP agents under the umbrella of a separate operation…

Read on.