Shanahan: Of course more troops will go to the US-Mexico border

Shanahan: Of course more troops will go to the US-Mexico border

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Border Patrol agents intercept a large group of migrants in El Paso on March 7 (Photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs)

WASHINGTON — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said it should not surprisesanyone that more active troops and more Pentagon support will be dispatched to help support President Trump’s border wall operation.

“Our support is very lasting,” Shanahan told Pentagon reporters on Friday. “Given the deterioration there at the border you would expect that we would provide more support.”

Shanahan made the remarks prior to the start of a meeting with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

The Pentagon said Friday it hopes to provide regular updates in troop deployment and missions at the US-Mexico border. The first National Guard troops arrived at the border in April 2018, with active troop deployment beginning in November.

“In terms of the type of support it will be in the form that we provided,” Shanahan told reporters. “Just to give you a sense of where we stand in the process: I haven’t received a formal request. Those usually come in the form of a request for assistance. But we’ve been having a number of conversations with DHS (Department of Homeland Security).”

He said there is a planning meeting scheduled for Saturday in the Pentagon to review “where are we on barrier construction, where do we stand on troops deployed and then in the areas we anticipate, what type of preliminary plans should we be doing prior to receiving a request for assistance.”

On Friday, Task and Purpose reported that he Pentagon will decide by May 10 which military construction projects will be sacrificed to help pay for the border wall.

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