Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army just awarded $976 million in contracts for border wall construction
Despite the Pentagon already having received pushback from Congress about plans to help build the border wall, the Army announced two multi-million dollar contracts on Tuesday for border wall construction in New Mexico and Arizona.
The money for the border wall — $976 million, per Tuesday's announcement — comes from the Defense Department's counter-narcotics funds, a large part of which is made up of money that the Army did not spend for personnel costs because it failed to meet its recruiting goals, defense officials said.
Tuesday's announcement comes after a heated exchange between the Pentagon and the Democrat-controlled House about whether the Defense Department has the right to transfer money for barriers along the border.
On March 25, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan authorized up to $1 billion to build part of the border wall in the Yuma, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas regions, following President Donald Trump's Feb. 15 national emergency declaration.
"These funds will be used to support [the Homeland Security Department's] request to build 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border," the Defense Department announced at the time.
But the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee unsuccessfully tried to block the Pentagon from using the counternarcotics funds for the border wall.
"The committee denies this request," Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) wrote in a March 26 letter to David Norquist, who is performing the duties of deputy defense secretary. "The committee does not approve the proposed use of the Department of Defense funds to construct additional physical barriers and roads or install lighting in the vicinity of the United States border."
However, Congress has given the Pentagon permission to transfer up to $4 billion from this year's budget for purposes other than originally intended. That means the Defense Department was only required to notify Congress that it plans to use the $1 billion for the border wall, Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood said on March 27.
The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to provide more information on the matter on Wednesday, according to spokeswoman Raini Brunson.
Per Tuesday's announcement, SLSCO Ltd. out of Galveston, Texas, received a $789 million contract, and is expected to finish their portion of border wall construction in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, by October 1, 2020. Barnard Construction Co. Inc. in Bozeman, Montana, received $187 million, and will be building "primary pedestrian wall replacement" in Yuma, Arizona. The expected completion date is Sept. 30, 2020.
SEE NEXT: Pentagon to Congress: Here's every project that could be used to fund Trump's wall. Or not. We don't even know
WATCH ALSO: Border In A Nutshell
- Trump claims border wall is under construction ›
- Army Secretary: Contractors May Build Trump's Border Wall - Task ... ›
Two people, including a U.S. Marine Corps member, were arrested over the weekend and accused of distributing drugs to service members and civilians in North Carolina.
It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.
A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.
In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.
QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.
The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.
The Air Force is working on a ‘flying car’ to replace the V-22 Osprey — and it could take flight sooner than you think
'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.
But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.