More than 5,600 active-duty troops fan out across southern U.S border

  • NBC News | by: Gabe Gutierrez, Bianca Seward and Annie Rose Ramos |
  • 2018-11-10
About 1,000 of the 5,600 troops that the Pentagon says it has deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border are in the McAllen area.A camp filled with tents and military equipment in Donna is growing by the day. As some troops install barbed wire fencing, others prepare a medical tent.

"One of the most unique things, in my experience, has been the short notice of this," Cmdr. Sgt. Maj. Matt Howard told NBC News. "Most folks didn't even know this mission was going to exist."

Of the deployment ordered by President Donald Trump, 2,800 troops were sent to Texas, 1,500 to Arizona and 1,300 to California.

A day after the midterm elections, the Pentagon announced it was no longer calling the mission "Operation Faithful Patriot" — instead re-branding it as simply "border support." No reason was given. But that's given fuel to skeptics who say the deployment was a political ploy to stoke fears about immigration.

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