FORT HUACHUCA — Approximately 1,500 soldiers have been deployed to southern Arizona in response to caravans of Central American migrants and asylum seekers currently journeying toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
The troops, who have been arriving in Arizona over the past two weeks, are being housed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, with “a few at Fort Huachuca,” said Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for U.S. Northern Command.
Due to reasons of operational security, Kucharek was unable to provide a breakdown of the number of troops at each installation.
The current numbers of deployed soldiers at the border could fluctuate depending on needs and assessment, he said.
Fort Huachuca is providing “housing, training facilities and staging areas for personnel, equipment and resources,” for the troops, said media relations officer Tanja Linton in an email.
The soldiers in Arizona are among the deployment of over 7,000 troops that are being sent to Texas, Arizona and California under operations formerly known as Operation Faithful Patriot, according to a press release from United States Northern Command. Department of Defense officials announced this week that the name of the operation had been changed to “border support.”
Soldiers from 14 installations throughout the country, including medical companies, military police, aviation brigades and engineer companies were identified for deployment, according to the press release. They will be supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection by providing a “range of assistance,” including planning, engineering, transportation, logistics and medical support, said the release.
The troops will join the roughly 2,000 National Guard troops who have been providing mechanical and technical support to CBP since the spring.
Members of the caravans, which first formed in violence- and poverty-stricken Honduras in October, but have since grown to include thousands of people from throughout Central America, began to arrive in Mexico City on foot late last week, reported the Associated Press.
It is uncertain what part of the U.S. border members of the caravans will head to or when they will arrive, but the border crossing closest to Mexico City is in Texas.
While President Donald Trump has said that up to 15,000 troops could be deployed to the border, Kucharek said there was currently “no request for further assistance.”
The current request will run through Dec. 15, he said.