Soldiers deploy concertina wire in a location along the Southwest border of the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. U.S. Army North is deployed to the southwest border under the authority of U.S. Northern Command to support the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection's mission to secure the border. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

WASHINGTON — The head of U.S. Border Patrol defended using military personnel at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying extra resources are needed "as long as we face this crisis" of an influx of migrants.

Speaking at a House Homeland Security hearing Thursday, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said apprehensions and drug seizures at the border have become "overwhelming." She said agency officers are already working 50 hours a week, and in some cases she must ask them to work more in a physically and emotionally demanding role.

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The Department of Defense has not yet determined how many additional U.S. service members it will send to secure the Southwest border with Mexico, a defense official told Task & Purpose on Saturday.

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U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Victoria Ross

Along the U.S.-Mexico border, small teams of Marines are using a suite of advanced sensors and remote monitors to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in scanning the most vulnerable sections of the untamed border. These Marines belong to specialized units called Ground Sensor Platoons, and for over a decade have been quietly partnering with the Border Patrol to help agents catch drug traffickers and migrants who cross illegally into the United States from Central and South America.

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