Despite multiple news outlets reporting Monday that all U.S. military troops — including hundreds from Fort Hood — sent to the border by President Donald Trump will be home by Christmas, official reports from the military say otherwise.
U.S. Army North — which is in command of the ground forces of troops on the border — released the following after a request from the Herald:
“We are continually assessing our resources and refining requirements in close coordination with (Department of Homeland Security). We may shift some forces to other areas of the border to engineering support missions in California and other areas. No specific timeline for redeployment has been determined. We will provide more details as they become available.”
The reports stemmed from an interview with Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan by Politico on Monday, where the commander of U.S. Army North said all 5,800 troops at the border would be home by Christmas.
“Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan in the Politico interview.
A Los Angeles Times story on Tuesday, quoting anonymous sources, stated defense officials said the troops could actually begin going home as early as this week. The LA Times story said Trump administration officials were delaying the departure because they were worried about curtailing the mission too quickly in case Border Patrol agents needed continued assistance.
U.S. Army North is the land forces of U.S. Northern Command and is headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Fort Hood currently has troops from the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, 89th Military Police Brigade and the 36th Engineer Brigade deployed to Donna, along the Texas-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley.
According to Fort Hood officials, the post currently has approximately 700 soldiers deployed to the border.