With 5,200 troops on their way to the nation’s southwest border, the Pentagon said Tuesday that number is expected to swell.
“What I can confirm is there will be additional force over and above the 5,239,” U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command head Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy told reporters, according to The Hill.
The final number is “undetermined,” he added, subject to change as officials “refine the requests” from the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol.
And the cost is “unknown at this time,” he said, The Hill reported.
A little more than 1,000 troops are already in place in Texas, with more “moving in today,” he told reporters. An eventual 1,800 troops from seven different bases will reach Texas “in days,” 870 of which will be part of a headquarters in the state, The Hill reported.
In addition, thousands of additional reserve forces are on hand to be sent to the border, The Hill reported.
Avoiding the rhetoric from President Donald Trump that troops were sent in response to an “invasion” by a massive caravan of migrants seeking entry into the United States, O'Shaughnessy said Operation Faithful Patriot is meant to “secure the border.”
Pressed for clarification, however, he conceded the Pentagon has viewed the caravan as “different than what we’ve seen in the past,” The Hill reported.
Under the Posse Comitatus Act, federal troops are mostly prohibited from engaging in domestic law enforcement activities. O'Shaughnessy insisted troops will support CBP agents already there, The Hill reported.
“CBP personnel are absolutely the primary and principle members that will be handling specifically the migrants,” he said.
“There could be incidental interaction between our military members and migrants and other personnel that may be in that area,” he added, and to address that, “we are making sure our soldiers, our Marines are going to be fully trained on how to do that interaction - they are going to understand the rules for that interaction,” The Hill reported.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.