Operation Faithful Patriot

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Operation Faithful Patriot
NORTHCOM Supports Southwest Border Security.jpg
The Northern Command Battle Staff meet in a planning session with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 28, 2018.
TypeBorder control, Homeland security
LocationUnited States
ObjectiveHardening of the Mexico–United States border
DateOctober 26, 2018 (2018-10-26)

Border support operations, formerly known as Operation Faithful Patriot, are currently being conducted as a domestic deployment and civil contingency operation of the United States Armed Forces at the Mexico–United States border intended to block an anticipated border crossing of thousands of migrants from Central America.

Background[edit]

Units participating in border support operations include elements of the 89th Military Police Brigade, pictured here in January 2018.
Units involved will provide assistance to the United States Border Patrol (pictured).
A Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota of the Missouri National Guard carrying officers of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector Mobile Response Team takes off from Marana, Arizona during Operation Guardian Support in 2018.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, U.S. Army North commanding officer, speaks with personnel deployed to Texas as part of border support operations on October 31, 2018.
Soldiers lay defensive wire along the banks of the Rio Grande River near Hidalgo, Texas on November 2, 2018.

In early October 2018, several thousands of people left El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras on an overland journey north in three separate groups colloquially referred to as "caravans". According to some in the caravans, their intention is to cross through Mexico and later into the United States.[1] In response to the northward migration, and according to Newsweek, President Donald Trump has "vowed to take a hard-line stance against undocumented immigration".[1]

Operations[edit]

In April 2018, President Donald Trump ordered Operation Guardian Support, consisting of National Guard forces voluntarily contributed by states, to assist the United States Border Patrol in ongoing border security efforts.[2]

In October 2018, what was then known as Operation Faithful Patriot was initiated to provide U.S. military assistance to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the southwest United States in confronting the approaching caravans.[3][4] Trump ordered the operation on October 26, 2018; United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis signed the deployment authorization later that day.[5]

According to General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy of the United States Northern Command, the operation involves the deployment of federal troops "to harden the southern border" and augment the National Guard forces already involved in aiding the CBP authorities along the United States' southwestern frontier.[6]

By October 29, 2018, approximately 800 soldiers of the initial contingent had been deployed, with military officials confirming the remainder would be in place by the end of that week.[7] Citing an unnamed source, KQED-FM reported the forces were being moved to marshaling areas in California, Texas, and Arizona and, from there, would respond to CBP positioning requests.[7] In addition, the operation called for the supply of United States Army-owned anti-riot gear to the CBP.[6]

On November 7th, 2018, the Pentagon announced that the name Operation Faithful Patriot was no longer in use. Instead, the current deployment of troops will be simply referred to as "border support."[8] Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered the name change the previous day because the original name had "political overtones."[9]

Units assigned[edit]

As of October 29, 2018, a full list of units participating in border support operations had not been released, but activated forces were said to include military police, in addition to combat aviation, combat engineer, medical, and civil affairs units totaling approximately 5,000 total personnel in addition to roughly 2,000 soldiers of the National Guard already deployed as part of the existing Operation Guardian Support.[1][6] A surge force consisting of an additional 7,000 troops had been placed on "24-hour notice" to reinforce the frontier if those personnel proved inadequate.[1]

1 Eng Bn DUI.png 1st Engineer Battalion[edit]

  • 41st Engineer Company[10]

16th Military Police Brigade SSI.jpg 16th Military Police Brigade[edit]

  • 503rd Military Police Battalion[11]

20th Engineer Brigade CSIB.png 20th Engineer Brigade[edit]

  • 19th Engineer Battalion[12]

89MPBdeSSI.png 89th Military Police Brigade[edit]

  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company[13]

63rd SIG Coat of Arms.jpg 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion[edit]

Guardian Support[edit]

The existing National Guard mission being reinforced is Operation Guardian Support. The National Guard mission is operating in four task forces: Task Force Anzio, Task Force Salerno, Task Force Defender, and Task Force Aviation. The National Guards of Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi have contributed forces to the operation. Virginia, an early contributor to the operation, withdrew its forces in June 2018 on the order of Governor Ralph Northam.[15]

36th Infantry Division CSIB.svg 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Texas)[edit]

  • 536th Brigade Support Battalion[16] (elements)

114AvnRgtCOA.png 114th Aviation Regiment (Mississippi)[edit]

  • 1st Security and Support Aviation Battalion[17] (elements)

133 FA Rgt DUI.jpg 133rd Field Artillery Regiment (Texas)[edit]

  • 3rd Field Artillery Battalion[18] (elements)

151 Avn Rgt DUI.jpg 151st Aviation Regiment (South Carolina)[edit]

  • 2nd Security and Support Aviation Battalion[19] (elements)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "MIGRANT CARAVAN: U.S. MILITARY WILL HAVE UP TO 14,000 TROOPS, MANY ARMED, READY TO INTERVENE AT MEXICO BORDER". Newsweek. October 29, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "Arizona National Guard's deployment allows for more border agents to be on patrol". Arizona Daily Star. May 24, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Shane, Leo (October 29, 2018). "Forces headed to border to confront migrant caravan could total 'in the thousands'". Military Times. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  4. ^ United States Army North. "JFLCC Threat Working Group (Operation Faithful Patriot) 271000ROCT18" (PDF). Cryptome. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  5. ^ Garamone, Jim. "Additional Personnel to Deploy to Southwest Border". defense.gov. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "5,200 Active-Duty Personnel Moving to Southwest Border, Northcom Chief Says". dod.gov. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Burns, Arthur (October 29, 2018). "Pentagon to Send 5,200 Troops to Border, Becerra Calls Deployment 'Disturbing'". KQED-FM. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  8. ^ CNN, Barbara Starr and Zachary Cohen,. "Pentagon no longer calling border mission 'Operation Faithful Patriot'". CNN. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  9. ^ "Deployed Inside the United States: The Military Waits for the Migrant Caravan". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  10. ^ "Army Engineers Apply Concertina Wire Along Mexico Border". Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "16th Military Police Brigade Prepares for OPERATION FAITHFUL PATRIOT". dvidshub.net. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  12. ^ "19th Engineer Battalion Prepares to Deploy". dvidshub.net. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "Griffins Prepare to Deploy". dvidshub.net. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  14. ^ "Soldiers and equipment from the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion support Operation Faithful Patriot". DVIDS. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "Governor Northam Recalls Virginia National Guard Troops from U.S. Southwest Border". governor.virginia.gov. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  16. ^ Thayer, Rose (July 11, 2018). "Guard troops sent to US southern border remain far from the immigration front lines". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "TUPELO SOLDIERS HEAD TO MEXICAN BORDER". WTVA. May 11, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  18. ^ "Texas Guard Support Improves Border Patrol Efficiency". dvidshub.net. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "SOUTH CAROLINA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD TO SEND SUPPORT TO TEXAS BORDER". scguard.com. South Carolina National Guard. Retrieved October 29, 2018.