STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Pentagon considering new DHS request for assistance on southwest border

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is expected in the coming days to approve a Department of Homel...

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 4:56 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 4:56 PM

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is expected in the coming days to approve a Department of Homeland Security request for additional military assistance to reinforce areas of the southwest border with Mexico, according to two defense officials.

It would be the first major decision Shanahan has taken since replacing James Mattis.

Armed forces

Government organizations - US

Military

Patrick Shanahan

Political Figures - US

US Department of Defense

US Department of Homeland Security

US federal departments and agencies

The request has not yet made its way to Shanahan for approval but is being discussed at senior staff levels between both departments. It is not yet clear if it would actually require additional troops to be deployed.

NPR was first to report that DHS had made a request.

The two defense officials said the request is for military assistance reinforcing existing barrier areas along the border rather than building new sections of a barrier. It is expected that the military assistance would almost entirely involve laying additional concertina wire as it has done in the past during the early weeks of the military deployment.

Shanahan is scheduled to talk to his staff on Friday about the overall operations on the southwest border.

DHS has also asked the Pentagon for additional air support, which could include both fixed wing and drone surveillance. Much of that mission is currently performed by National Guard forces and it is not clear if additional troops would be needed for that effort, one of the officials said.

The key question for Pentagon planners is to determine if in order to fulfill the DHS request, it would require additional combat engineer personnel to be deployed and how many additional troops it would take. There are currently between 2,300 and 2,400 active duty military personnel assigned to the border mission but that includes many performing air missions, security and medical functions as well as engineering tasks.

This request is separate from the White House-led effort to potentially use existing DOD funds to build new sections of a border wall.

The active duty troops assigned to the border mission are scheduled to end their efforts at the end of January under the current agreement between the two departments, although it could be extended if Shanahan approved it. The National Guard mission that currently has about 2,000 troops assigned is scheduled to end at the end of September.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 34°
Columbus
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 31°
Oxford
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 33°
Starkville
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 30°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather