Pentagon planning military border mission for the ‘next couple years’
By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 9, 2019
The Defense Department is working on a plan now with the Department of Homeland Security that could keep troops at the U.S.-Mexico border for the “next couple years,” a top Pentagon official told Senate lawmakers Wednesday.
Based on Homeland Security’s ability to manage the increasing number of migrants crossing the southern border, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel that the two departments want to create “a comprehensive plan for the next couple years.”
“Although the commitment to the border hasn’t impacted preparedness for other missions at this point, what we want to do is get into a more predictable mode of the requirements the Department of Homeland Security has and do better at integrating across the government,” Dunford said during the Senate hearing.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the committee’s chairman, opened his questioning during the hearing on the Pentagon’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 by asking Dunford and acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan for an update on border operations and how much support the Defense Department could provide “without negatively affecting” other missions.
Shanahan outlined the two main areas of DoD support at the border: the 4,364 servicemembers – made of active-duty troops and National Guard members – providing support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the building of a border wall overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Photo credit: Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford testifies during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. In the foreground are Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, center, and Under Secretary of Defense David Norquist, the DOD’s chief financial officer. CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES
Read more at the link below.Attribution:STARS AND STRIPES