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Trump's Mission To The US-Mexico Border Will No Longer Be Called Operation Faithful Patriot
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.
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- European officials keep talking about a 'real European army' to reduce their reliance on the U.S.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
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.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario's seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
An Army staff sergeant who "represents the very best of the 101st Airborne Division" has finally received a Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge after a 75-year delay.
On Sunday, Staff Sgt. Edmund "Eddie" Sternot was posthumously awarded with a Silver Star for his heroics while leading a machine gun team in the Ardennes Forest. The award, along with Sternot's Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was presented to his only living relative, Sternot's first cousin, 80-year-old Delores Sternot.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.