5,200 U.S. active duty troops will be sent to the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Northern Command Commander Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said Monday.
“We’re bringing in military police units. We’re bringing in strategic airlift,” O’Shaughnessy said. “As we sit right now, we have three C-130s and a C-17 that is ready to deploy with personnel wherever they need to be.”
The 5,200 active duty troops would join about 2,100 National Guard troops sent by Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis approved the use of the troops on Friday, with the first troops directed to be in place by Wednesday. “We have 800 soldiers on their way to Texas right now,” O’Shaughnessy said.
Those first troops are coming from Fort Knox and Fort Campbell and will eventually be augmented with aviation support from three medium-lift helicopter companies and three combat engineer battalions. In all, the forces headed to the border are about 5,200 and would be deploying by the end of the week.