SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Army North Lieutenant General Jeffrey Buchanan has been named the Field Commander for the military response along the United States-Mexico border.
Lately, we have received a lot of viewer comments asking about the military response at the border. Here, we provide some answers to some of the most common questions:
What is the military's role at the border?
According to United States Northern Command General Terrence John O’Shaughnessy, the military will NOT be in charge at the border. Instead, troops and equipment will be at the border to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with their needs.
Currently, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has approved the following military assistance at the border.
- Military planning teams to coordinate operations, engineering, medical and logistic support
- Helicopter companies to support the movement of CBP tactical personnel
- Engineering battalions to erect temporary vehicle barriers and fencing
- Deployable medical units to triage, treat and prepare for commercial transport of patients
- Temporary housing to support CBP and military personnel
- Light towers, barrier material, barbed and concertina wire, as well as cases of meals ready-to-eat.
Will the military be able to use force at the border?
The short answer is yes, but only if needed.
Right now, U.S. military units in San Antonio and other locations in Texas, California, and Arizona are going through specific training and rules along the border. Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland Air Force Base is one of the primary locations where training is underway.
Troops will also train with CBP on how to interact with migrants if the need arises.
What will it cost?
This is a question that has still not been answered. According to the Northern Command Commander, the plan is not final and DHS needs are still being developed.