The U.S. Air Force has deployed 5,200 full-time troops to the Mexican border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot.
While the National Guard, Border Patrol, and U.S. Customs agents are still enforcing the perimeter, these full-time military units will help “harden the southern border,” the U.S. Northern Command General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy wrote in an official statement.
Members of the 3rd Airlift Squadron of Dover Air Force Base and 61st Airlift Squadron of Little Rock, Arkansas were seen loading cargo and personnel into C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules aircraft on Monday, Oct. 29, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the Aviationist reports.
Troops from the following bases are involved in the operation:
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
- Fort Riley, Kansas
- Fort Campbell, Kentucky
- Fort Knox, Kentucky
- Fort Stewart, Georgia
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Federal law states the added military presence may provide support in the form of construction, transportation, border containment and medical assistance, but is prohibited from confronting, arresting, or searching migrants who make their way across the border.
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According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump has said his administration supports the construction of temporary “tent cities” to hold asylum seekers, despite a federal ruling that previously banned long-term detention centers holding children and families.
“We are going to put tents up all over the place,” Trump said, speaking on “The Ingraham Angle.”
These 5,200 troops join 2,100 National Guardsmen already stationed at the border, and bring the total number of military personnel along the Mexican border to 24,000. As the Faithful Patriot deployment continues, President Trump said that could increase by at least another 10,000 in the coming months.
“We’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border,” he told White House reporters during a press conference on Oct. 30.
Learn more about this deployment in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.