A group CBP UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters on patrol over the Carribean. File photo
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking the Pentagon for 700 additional National Guardsmen plus helicopter and other equipment to help secure the southern border, according to media reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to review the request and respond to the DHS.
The request is for assistance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection missions, such as those with the Air and Marine Operations. There are 1,600 National Guardsmen serving on the U.S.-Mexico border. About 2,000 troops have been already approved, and the new request would increase that figure to roughly 2,700, reports said.
Current on-the-ground missions include air-interdiction support, road maintenance and vegetation clearing, operational support with radio operators, fleet maintenance, intelligence analysts and surveillance support.
Read more at ABC News.