Trump's Mission To The US-Mexico Border Will No Longer Be Called Operation Faithful Patriot

news

The Department of Defense has downgraded the border mission for U.S. troops, scrapping the name "Operation Faithful Patriot" and replaced it with "border support."


"We are not calling it Operation Faithful President," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis told Business Insider, confirming an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal. "We are calling it border support."

The Pentagon refused to offer an explanation for the decision to change the name, which was first introduced by U.S. Northern Command. "The mission status remains unchanged," NORTHCOM told Business Insider.

The operation, announced last week, has already seen more than 5,000 active-duty military personnel deployed to locations across Texas, Arizona, and California with the possibility that as many as 8,000 troops could head south as migrant caravans march toward the U.S.-Mexico border.

Troops have been running razor wire, constructing tent facilities, providing planning assistance, and training, NORTHCOM told Business Insider on Tuesday.

The largest troop deployment of the Trump presidency came as the president called the approaching streams of thousands of migrants an "invasion" and a national emergency requiring the advanced capabilities of the U.S. military, a dramatic move that came in the days before the 2018 mid-term elections.

Soldiers from various Engineering Units separate packaged concertina wire from pallets Nov. 5, 2018, on the Anzalduas International Bridge, Texas. U.S Northern Command is providing military support to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to secure the southern border of the United StatesU.S. Air Force/Airman First Class Daniel A. Hernandez

As troops are barred by law from law enforcement activities on U.S. soil, the units deployed to the border have been relegated to a Title X support role, which involves constructing barriers, building bases, and offering logistics and other relevant assistance to Customs and Border Patrol.

Over the past week, there have been reports that the Pentagon is assessing a much lower threat posed by the migrants than that of the White House, which has, at times, characterized the migrant groups as roaming gangs of violent criminals.

The Department of Defense said Monday that active-duty troops deployed to the border will not receive danger pay, additional compensation for activities in a dangerous environment.

The name change for the military's border mission, which critics have called a political stunt, occurred on Election Day. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who approved the deployment in response to a Department of Homeland Security request, responded to such accusations last week, saying, "We don't do stunts in this department."

Defense officials speculated to The Wall Street Journal that the decision to scrap "Operation Faithful Patriot" was made because the mission is not a true operation in the traditional sense of the word.

Read more from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

Two Air Force pararescue Airmen were awarded the Silver Star Medal on Friday for saving dozens of lives during separate Afghan battles in 2018 and 2019.

Tech Sgt. Gavin Fisher and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen both received the third highest military award for their bravery. Fisher also received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

Read More Show Less
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews the honor guards of the Chinese People's Liberation (PLA) Navy before boarding the destroyer Xining for the naval parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in Qingdao, Shandong province, China April 23, 2019. Xinhua via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government covertly moved to expel two officials from the Chinese embassy earlier this year, after they drove onto a military base, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

The newspaper reported on Sunday that one of the two Chinese officials is believed to be an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover.

The Chinese officials breached security at a base in Virginia this fall, and only stopped driving after fire trucks were used to block their path, the Times said.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

President Donald Trump is set to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan as early as next week, NBC News reported on Saturday based on conversations with three current and former officials.

This would come as the US is engaged in ongoing, troubled peace talks with the Taliban. The talks resumed in early December after Trump abruptly scrapped negotiations with the Taliban in September, only to be paused again this week after an attack near Bagram Airfield on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Photo: National Archives

Thomas Hoke can still recall the weather in December 1944, and the long days that followed.

The battle started on Dec. 16, but his company arrived Dec. 27 and would stay there until the battle's end, nearly a month later. By the time he arrived, snow had blanketed Germany in what was one of the biggest storms the country had seen in years.

"It was 20 below and a heavy fog encompassed the whole area," Hoke, 96, recalled from his Emmitsburg home.

The fog was to Germany's advantage because Allied aircraft were grounded, including recognizance flights, allowing the Nazis to slip in.

Read More Show Less

West Point is investigating a hand gesture made by several cadets and midshipmen during an ESPN pre-game broadcast at the Army-Navy game Saturday after clips of the signals went viral because of their association with white power.

"West Point is looking into the matter," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "At this time we do not know the intent of the cadets."

Read More Show Less