Emily Birnbaum, Washington Post, January 14, 2019
The Pentagon is updating and extending the mission of troops stationed the southern border, shifting from a mandate to “harden” ports of entry to surveilling the border and laying down wire, according to The Associated Press.
“[The Department of Defense] is transitioning its support at the southwestern border from hardening ports of entry to mobile surveillance and detection, as well as concertina wire emplacement between ports of entry,” the Pentagon said in a statement, according to the AP.
The troops will reportedly operate security cameras, lay down wire and fly aircraft in order to support Customs and Border Protection.
Pentagon officials told the AP they are unsure how many additional troops they will request.
U.S. troops will likely be deployed at the border until September, officials told the AP.
The 2,350 active-duty troops at the border were deployed at the beginning of November for a mission that was originally supposed to end on Dec. 15. It was extended until Jan. 31, and the latest expansion will mean the troops will remain there until the fall, according to the AP.