Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump wants a larger, more aggressive mission for US troops at the Mexican border
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that to send additional U.S. troops to the southwestern border with Mexico — and he indicated he wants service members to do more than just build physical barriers.
"I'm going to have to call up more military," Trump told reporters in Texas. "Our military – don't forget – can't act like a military would act. Because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy."
The president did not explain what constraints on U.S. military behavior he was referring to apart from a vague mention of "all these horrible laws" he accused Democrats of refusing to change.
"I think they will pay a very big price in 2020 for all of the things, whether it is the fake witch hunt they start out, or whether it is a situation like this," he continued. "I think the border is going to be an incredible issue."
White House officials did not immediately respond to Task & Purpose questions about whether the president wants to expand the U.S. military's mission on the border to include law enforcement.
So far, the Pentagon has not received any request from the Department of Homeland Security for additional active-duty troops to support border and customs personnel on the U.S.-Mexico border, defense officials said.
Trump's latest comments come amid news reports that civil authorities are being overwhelmed by the number of migrants trying to cross into the United States from Mexico. In March alone, U.S. immigration officials apprehended or turned back more than 100,000 migrants along the southwestern border, CBS News reported on Tuesday.
The president's rising anger about the rising number of Central Americans attempting to cross the border and apply for asylum reportedly culminated in former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation on Sunday.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Wednesday that troop deployments to the border could last beyond this year.
"That's one of the things that the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and I have talked quite a bit about," Shanahan told reporters outside the Pentagon. "What I would say is as the situation there deteriorates, it's pretty elastic in terms of demand on us, so I would expect shortly here to have another request for assistance."
Shanahan has already approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services to identify which Defense Department facilities could be used to lodge up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children this fiscal year if needed, said Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis.
"At this point, there are no requests for housing," Davis said. "DoD is working with the military services to identify potentially suitable locations for such support to HHS."
WATCH NEXT: Soldiers Pound ISIS Fighters In Syria From New Fire Base
'We are dropping like flies' — Former fighter pilots are pushing the Pentagon for earlier cancer screenings
WASHINGTON — Former Air Force and Navy fighter pilots are calling on the military to begin cancer screenings for aviators as young as 30 because of an increase in deaths from the disease that they suspect may be tied to radiation emitted in the cockpit.
"We are dropping like flies in our 50s from aggressive cancers," said retired Air Force Col. Eric Nelson, a former F-15E Strike Eagle weapons officer. He cited prostate and esophageal cancers, lymphoma, and glioblastomas that have struck fellow pilots he knew, commanded or flew with.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.
The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.