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Army Secretary: Contractors, Not Soldiers, May End Up Building Trump's Border Wall
If President Trump orders the Army to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, don't expect to see soldiers and green bulldozers on the job.
"The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for contracting for commercial builders to construct the wall," Secretary of the Army Mark Esper said in Alabama on Tuesday. "They've been doing it for years. That's ongoing. I'll just leave it at that."
Esper was asked after a visit to Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal if the Army is doing any planning to build the wall and what the challenges would be in building it. Trump has tweeted during the standoff with Congress over funding for the wall that the Army could build it if he declares a national emergency situation.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that, "The White House has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to examine potentially diverting money from other projects to pay for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, if Mr. Trump does decide to declare a national emergency."
The Corps of Engineers has a civil division that is responsible for military construction and projects like dams and ports across the country. The Corps' military functions include needed work at military installations including facilities and infrastructure construction.
The Washington Post reported Jan. 11 that the president also "is eyeing unused money in the Army Corps of Engineers budget, specifically a disaster spending bill passed by Congress last year that includes $13.9 billion that has been allocated but not actually spent for civil works projects." The Post reported that Trump has asked the Corps of Engineers to determine how quickly it could sign contracts and begin work.
Esper's visit to Alabama was to visit contractor Northrop Grumman and key military and civilian leaders at Redstone to monitor progress on the "Future Vertical Lift" vehicle, a new generation of helicopters that is one of the service's key priorities for the future.
Redstone is working on Future Vertical Lift, which will develop a new family of helicopters with shared hardware such as sensors, avionics and engines. Northrop Grumman has won an Army contract to upgrade Black Hawk helicopter cockpits with new open-architecture digital technology, and the contractor has a large presence in Huntsville.
©2019 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
SEE ALSO: Trump May Raid Army Corps Of Engineers Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Funds To Build Border Wall
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The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.
They started the US war against ISIS. Now they have an important message for Trump on abandoning the Kurds
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Trump's recent decisions in northern Syria were ill-advised, strategically unsound, and morally shameful. In rapidly withdrawing U.S. presence and allowing a Turk offensive into Syria, we have left the Syrian Kurds behind, created a power vacuum for our adversaries to fill, and set the stage for the resurgence of ISIS.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.
More than 74 years after Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps has announced that one of men in the most famous picture of World War II had been misidentified.