About 1,100 Marines out of Camp Pendleton, California, will be headed for the U.S.-Mexico border in support of an operation being overseen by U.S. Northern Command as a migrant caravan of asylum seekers from Central America inches their way toward the border.
The Marines with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force will be operating in a supporting role helping build barricades, fences, housing for Customs and Border Protection, and providing medical and fixed and rotary wing aviation support, according to 2nd Lt. Fredrick Walker, a Marine spokesman, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
Last week President Donald Trump said numbers of troops headed to support the operation could grow as high as 15,000. At least 2,100 National Guard troops already are in the area supporting the endeavor. Another roughly 5,200 active duty troops are also slated to be involved.
The border security operation dubbed Faithful Patriot, has been derided by critics as a political stunt by Trump to shore up support before the midterm elections, which culminated yesterday.
Troops away from their families for more than 30 days may see extra pay.
Following the election, the Wall Street Journal reported the Pentagon would no longer refer to the operation as “Faithful Patriot” and instead would call it border support.
The migrant caravan is comprised of migrants fleeing violence plagued Central America, hoping to seek asylum in the U.S.
After more than 1,000 miles and 25 days of walking, the caravan made a stop in Mexico City to consider its next steps, the Wall Street Journal reported.