Statement by Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana W. White on Enhanced Border Security
The Department of Defense provides the military forces to protect the security of our country, which includes border security because border security is national security.
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen are working closely together to meet the president's goal to enhance border security.
President Trump has called on the military to expand its existing support to the DHS border security mission.
The president authorized the National Guard, with the affected governors' approval, to enhance its support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The National Guard's efforts will include aviation, engineer, surveillance, communications, vehicle maintenance and logistics support. These National Guard members will act in support of Border Patrol agents who are performing law enforcement duties.
Effective immediately, DOD established a new Border Security Support Cell led by Kenneth P. Rapuano, 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 coordination between DOD and DHS. The cell will operate for the foreseeable future to ensure we surge our capacity to meet the President's enhanced border security goals. The cell will focus on supporting CBP's priorities based on missions and threats, which will determine the timeframe and number of military personnel employed.
DOD will continue to have a critical role in securing our nation's border in partnership with DHS to ensure the defense of our nation and the security of the American people.