- The number of active-duty military personnel to be deployed to the US-Mexico border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot has surged to more than 7,000, according to the latest Department of Defence estimates.
- Last week, the number was said to be in the hundreds.
- “This is a response to the caravan directed by the president,” Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis told reporters Sunday, referring to the migrant caravans approaching America’s southern border.
- While critics have accused the Trump administration of engaging in a political stunt ahead of midterm elections, Mattis argued Wednesday that “we don’t do stunts in this department.”
The US military is sending thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border in preparation for the arrival of migrant caravans determined to enter the US.
The operation, known as Faithful Patriot, is expected to involve more than 7,000 active-duty troops, the Department of Defence estimated in a press statement released late Wednesday. This is in addition to the over 2,000 National Guard personnel deployed to the border for Operation Guardian Support, US Northern Command explained to Business Insider.
The troops deployed as part of Operation Faithful Patriot are advancing the Customs and Border Protection mission by providing planning, engineering, transportation, logistics, and medical support. These military units will serve in a limited, Title 10 capacity, engaging in activities such as barrier construction, airlift, and medical treatment.
Active-duty US military personnel are being deployed to the following Base Support Installations (BSIs):
Arizona: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca
Texas: Fort Bliss, Joint Base San Antonio, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Naval Operations Support Center Harlingen, and Naval Air Station Kingsville
California: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Naval Air Facility El Centro, Naval Base Coronado, Naval Base San Diego, and Naval Base Point Loma
Basing may change during the course of the operation.
The US military is sending military police, engineers, helicopter teams, command and military planning units, medical teams, transportation and logistics teams to the border. The units heading south are coming from bases across ten different states.
The units expected to deploy to the US-Mexico border are:
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Headquarters & Headquarters Command, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command
- 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division
- Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 16th Military Police Brigade
- 51st Medical Company, 28th Combat Support Hospital
- 172nd Preventive Medicine
- 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
- 329th Movement Control Team
- 403rd Inland Cargo Transfer Company
- Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion
Fort Carson, Colorado
- Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
- Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
Peterson Air Force, Colorado
- Joint Enabling Capability Team and Aviation Planner from U.S. Northern Command
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
- Joint Public Support Element – Public Affairs
Fort Meade, Maryland
- 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera)
Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia
- 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division
- 90th Human Resources Company, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade
Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas
- Defence Logistics Agency Contingency Contracting Team
- 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Assessment Team
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 505th Military Intelligence Brigade
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
- 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, I Corps
- 87th Engineer Sapper Company, 555th Engineer Brigade
Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina
- 1st Combat Camera Squadron
Fort Bliss, Texas
- 24th Press Camp Headquarters, 1st Armoured Division
Fort Hood, Texas
- 89th Military Police Brigade, III Corps
- Headquarters, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
- 937th Engineer Sapper Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
- 104th Engineer Construction, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
- 289th Quartermaster Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade
Fort Knox, Kentucky
- Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, 19th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade
- 15th Engineer Company (Horizontal), 19th Engineer Battalion
- 541st Engineer Sapper Company, 19th Engineer Battalion
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
- 887th Engineer Support Company, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
- 372nd Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
- 74th Transportation Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
Fort Riley, Kansas
- Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 97th Military Police Battalion, 1st Infantry Division
- 977th Military Police Company Combat Support
- 287th Military Police Company Combat Support
- 41st Engineer Company (Clearance), 4th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
The planning teams will coordinate operations and support missions, medical personnel will triage, treat, and prepare patients for transport, the engineers will construct erect light towers and build barriers, and the helicopter teams will facilitate the movement of CBP tactical teams.
The Department of Defence says the number of troops deployed could change at any time, potentially on a daily basis. Changes will be made in accordance with operational demands, the press release explained.
“We’ll do up to anywhere between 10 [sic] and 15,000 military personnel, on top of border patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border,” Trump said Wednesday afternoon, adding, “Nobody’s coming in.”
The president previously characterised the approaching caravans as an “invasion,” warning the migrants that the military will be waiting for them when they arrive.