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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."
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Military veterans from throughout Northeast Florida came together Saturday morning to honor comrades in arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and remember their sacrifice.
After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.
A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.
Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.