The Pentagon on Monday announced a mission to extend the length of time active duty troops remain on the Southern border. Troops will continue to assist border patrol with and provide security through Sept 30, Reuters reported. The decision was made based on a request from the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that over sees the border patrol.
New troops heading to the border "will include combat engineers to fortify border crossings and aviation units to help ferry Border Patrol agents," USA Today reported.
"DOD 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. DOD will continue to provide aviation support," the Pentagon said in a statement Monday.
The current deployment was issued by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and was set to expire Jan 30. The new order was approved by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
There are currently 2,350 active duty troops and 2,200 National Guardsmen stationed at the border. At the peak of the current mission, around 5,800 troops were deployed. It is unclear how many more troops will be deployed on this latest mission.
President Trump sent troops to the United States-Mexico border prior to the 2018 election. The goal was to prevent a Central American caravan from crossing into the United States. According to CNN, the military placed 10 miles of wire along the border in Texas by the end of November.
The Pentagon did not say how the deployments are going to be paid for.