Troops from all the services will take part in the southern border buildup, either on duty to back up U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in the border states or serving as base support in other areas, according to U.S. Northern Command.
Base Support Installations chosen for Operation Faithful Patriot include Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca in Arizona; and 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 in California.
In Texas, the Base Support Installations will be Fort Bliss, Lackland Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Naval Operations Support Center Harlingen, and Naval Air Station Kingsville, NORTHCOM said in a statement.
Those bases will serve troops actually going to the border, who will be strictly limited to supporting CBP and will not have law enforcement authorities of detention or arrest in the event of the arrival of the "caravan" of migrants and political asylum seekers now heading north through Mexico.
The NORTHCOM statement also identified units that have already been notified to deploy in support of CBP, but said the actual number of troops on the border will change daily with the flow of units.
NORTHCOM said the initial estimate is that about 7,000 total active-duty troops will deploy, in addition to the 2,000 National Guard troops who have been on the border since April, although President Donald Trump said earlier at the White House that the number of troops could rise to as many as 15,000.
NORTHCOM said the units slated to deploy are:
From Fort Bragg, North Carolina:
- Headquarters Command, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment
- 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 Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion
From Fort Carson, Colorado:
- Headquarters Company, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
- Headquarters Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support
Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
From Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado:
- Joint Enabling Capability Team and Aviation Planner from U.S. Northern Command
From Scott Air Force Base, Illinois:
- Joint Public Support Element -- Public Affairs
From Fort Meade, Maryland:
- 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera)
- 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division
- 90th Human Resources Company, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment
- Defense Logistics Agency Contingency Contracting Team
- 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Assessment Team
- Headquarters Company, 505th Military Intelligence Brigade
From Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington:
- 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, I Corps
- 87th Engineer Sapper Company, 555th Engineer Brigade
From Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina:
- 1st Combat Camera Squadron
From Fort Bliss, Texas:
- 24th Press Camp Headquarters, 1st Armored Division
From 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
From Fort Knox, Kentucky:
- Headquarters Detachment, 19th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade
- 15th Engineer Company (Horizontal), 19th Engineer Battalion
- 541st Engineer Sapper Company, 19th Engineer Battalion
From 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
From Fort Riley, Kansas:
- 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.
At a welcoming ceremony for South Korean officials at the Pentagon on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the deployments are not unusual and should not be seen as other than routine military support occasionally provided for other federal agencies, according to a released pool report.
He also rejected the charge that the border buildup is a "political stunt" by Trump to boost support for Republicans in the midterm elections.
"The support that we provide to the Secretary for Homeland Security is practical support based on the request from the Commissioner of Customs and Border police, so we don't do stunts in this department," Mattis said.
He likened Operation Faithful Patriot to the military assistance provided after hurricanes.
"We do this following storms, we do this in support of the Department of Homeland Security. This is a different aspect of it, but that's what we are doing," he said.
Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of NORTHCOM, gave the first indication that all services would be involved at the border at a gaggle with Pentagon reporters Tuesday.
He said that "every airman, soldier, sailor, and Marine going there" would be fully trained for the mission at the border.
Citing an internal document, The Washington Post reported this week that the deployed force will include a special purpose Marine air-ground task force, among other elements.
However, a Marine Corps spokeswoman said earlier Wednesday that no specific Marine units had yet been tasked by NORTHCOM for the operation.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.