Active Duty Troops To Mobilize In Rare Deployment To US-Mexico Border


The U.S. military has started sending jersey barriers to the Southwest border as the Pentagon prepares to mobilize a sizable contingent of troops — including active duty Army soldiers — to help block a convoy of Central American migrants from entering the United States, the Associated Press reports.   

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Oct. 28 that specifics are still being hammered out but indicated that plans for the deployment could be finalized as soon as soon as Sunday night.

On Friday, Mattis approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to beef up military forces on the U.S.-Mexico border after President Donald Trump declared a slowly approaching wave of roughly 7,000 migrants a “National Emergency” on Twitter.

The caravan, which formed in Honduras, is currently about 1,000 miles from the nearest border crossing into the U.S., according to Fox News, traveling on foot at a pace of about 30 miles per day.

Numerous media outlets have reported in recent days that more than 800 additional U.S. service members are headed to the border to bolster the 2,100 National Guard forces who deployed there in April to support the Border Patrol. However, a Pentagon official told Task & Purpose on Saturday that troops levels for the upcoming deployment have not yet been set.

“We don’t have a specific number,” the official said. “At this point would advise straying from any number.”

The Pentagon has indicated that the reinforcements will fall under U.S. Northern Command — “in support of Custom and Border Protection” — and not the National Guard.

The troops who have been deployed to the border since April have played a largely behind-the-scenes role, as they are prohibited from interacting with migrants and most are barred from carrying weapons.

As AP notes, such missions are rare for active duty troops and it’s unclear why their involvement is necessary, as it seems the logistical and air support they are expected to contribute to the operation could also be provided by National Guard units, which states often tap for assistance with border security.


On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.

Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Pvt. Stephen Peters)

With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.

After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.

Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.

McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Andrew Ochoa)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.

The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.

They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.

It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

Read More Show Less