DoD Enhances Support for U.S. Border Security Mission, Spokesperson Says

The Defense Department is enhancing its support to the Department of Homeland Security to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said today.

President Donald J. Trump authorized the National Guard, with the affected governors’ approval, to enhance its support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection along the southern U.S. border, White said at a Pentagon news briefing.

“The National Guard’s efforts will include aviation, engineering, surveillance, communications, vehicle maintenance and logistical support,” White said.

Agreement on Border Security

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis agrees with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen that border security is national security, White said. The two secretaries, she explained, are working closely together to enhance DoD support to DHS. 

The National Guardsmen will act in support of border patrol agents who are performing law enforcement duties, she said, adding that the timeframe and troop levels have not yet been determined.

New Support Cell

White announced that effective immediately, DoD is establishing a new border security support cell led by Kenneth P. Rapuano, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security.

“This is a 24/7 cell comprised of several DoD representatives who will serve as the single conduit for information and…

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