Pentagon hopes to complete first phase of its border mission
Washington : The US Department of Defence expects to complete the first phase of Operation Faithful Patriot, which aims to deploy thousands of soldiers along the southern border of the country in order to prevent access for two migrant caravans.
According to Pentagon sources on Monday, some 4,600 soldiers have already been mobilised and were stationed in California, Arizona and Texas, and the goal was to mobilise an additional 600 soldiers, reports Efe news.
Last week, US President Donald Trump's administration announced its intention to send 5,239 soldiers to the border with Mexico.
Trump did not rule out that the final number of soldiers deployed will reach 15,000.
Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Rob Manning said on Monday that the Department was currently considering the deployment of some 7,000 troops in total, although he acknowledged that it will depend on the needs of the border security forces who are responsible for the operation.
Although the deployment of troops still continues, sources of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) confirmed to Efe news that the soldiers have already begun to execute their mission.
The "priority" of this operation, Manning said, was to reinforce the entry points of the country and to locate key weak points at the border.
"We are an agile military, we will adjust to make sure our readiness does not atrophy and we meet our global commitments."
The mission of the Armed Forces, he explained, will be to provide logistical support to agents of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) which monitor the border.
"This will be done using highly experienced and capable combat engineers in battalions with expertise in building temporary vehicle barriers, setting up fences, and operating heavy equipment.
"Three medium-lift helicopter companies equipped with advanced optics and sensor systems will provide continuous situational awareness to those securing the border during day and night," Manning added.