After officially signing the order to extend the deployment of active-duty troops on the U.S.-Mexico border, Secretary of Defense James Mattis explained what they will be doing to the end of January.
“So we get missions in and I accept certain missions because they’re appropriate for us,” Mattis told reporters while on a trip to Canada. “The — in Texas, basically the engineering tasks are complete. In Arizona, they’re pretty much complete. I’ll probably leave a few engineers in each place who would actually move — if we ever had to close the ports of entry; the commissioner of border patrol says close this as you saw it done once for six hours in California.” . . .
“So that will leave a modicum of engineers out there. You don’t need many to move the last Jersey barriers or barbed wire barricades into position,” he said. “There are some MPs who are still there. Those MPs, generally in Texas, Arizona, those places, are there as oversight of the U.S. army engineers or of the — where the helicopters are stationed just — they’re basically guards, that sort of thing. Side arms they don’t —they only carry rifles.”
Mattis pointed out those that will be sent home are not the National Guardsmen who were sent to the border beforehand since they are under different orders. (Read more from “Mattis Explains Which Troops Will Be Staying at the Border and What They’ll Be Doing” HERE)