Soldiers with the U.S. Army’s Second Infantry Division stand in a line during an air assault training course. (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

U.S. Raising Active Duty Forces at Mexico Border to About 4,350

(Bloomberg) -- The Defense Department will deploy about 3,750 additional U.S. forces to the southwest border with Mexico, raising the number of active-duty troops at the border to about 4,350, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The troops will provide support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations, including a mobile surveillance capability through the end of September, and they will lay about 150 miles (241 km) of concertina wire between ports of entry, the Defense Department said in a statement.

“Additional units are being deployed for 90 days, and we will continue to evaluate the force composition required to meet the mission to protect and secure the southern border,” the Pentagon said. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan approved the additional border support on Jan. 11.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 31 that more than 3,500 active-duty troops would be sent to the border, citing Representative Adam Smith, the Democrat who chairs the House Armed Services Committee.

President Donald Trump said the same day that more troops would be deployed at the border because of his concern about the approach of Central American migrants in so-called caravans.

The U.S. sent almost 6,000 troops to the southwest border ahead of midterm elections in November, but withdrew many of those forces weeks later.

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