National Security

Weekly Ops Briefing: Troops Deploying to U.S.-Mexico Border, KIA in Afghanistan, Iran Sanctions, Niger Ambush Punishments, U.S.-Turkish Patrols

You live in a busy world with a lot of information being thrown at you. Don’t feel overwhelmed. OpsLens will give you a weekly briefing on the major stories you need to know about and cut out all the extra information that isn’t important. Here’s your weekly briefing on what’s going on in national security and military news.

Military Units Deploying to the U.S.-Mexico Border

The first active duty troops have begun arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot, a civil contingency operation aimed at reinforcing national security in the face of a caravan of immigrants approaching the border from Central America.

More than 7,000 troops have been committed to the border and that number may rise to 15,000. They will join more than 1,000 National Guard troops already there and will assist Customs and Border Protection by providing engineering, logistical, medical, and aviation support.

Here are the units that have received orders to deploy:

  • Headquarters & Headquarters Command, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command
  • 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 16th Military Police Brigade
  • 51st Medical Company, 28th Combat Support Hospital
  • 172nd Preventive Medicine
  • 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
  • 329th Movement Control Team
  • 403rd Inland Cargo Transfer Company
  • Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion
  • Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
  • Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
  • Joint Enabling Capability Team and Aviation Planner from U.S. Northern Command
  • Joint Public Support Element – Public Affairs
  • 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera)
  • 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division
  • 90th Human Resources Company, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade
  • Defense Logistics Agency Contingency Contracting Team
  • 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Assessment Team
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 505th Military Intelligence Brigade
  • 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, I Corps
  • 87th Engineer Sapper Company, 555th Engineer Brigade
  • 1st Combat Camera Squadron
  • 24th Press Camp Headquarters, 1st Armored Division
  • 89th Military Police Brigade, III Corps
  • Headquarters, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
  • 937th Engineer Sapper Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
  • 104th Engineer Construction, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
  • 289th Quartermaster Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade
  • Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, 19th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade
  • 15th Engineer Company (Horizontal), 19th Engineer Battalion
  • 541st Engineer Sapper Company, 19th Engineer Battalion
  • 887th Engineer Support Company, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
  • 372nd Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
  • 74th Transportation Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 97th Military Police Battalion, 1st Infantry Division
  • 977th Military Police Company Combat Support
  • 287th Military Police Company Combat Support
  • 41st Engineer Company (Clearance), 4th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
  • Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7

The Pentagon has not stated how long the deployments and operation will last. While troops are forbidden from carrying out law enforcement duties inside United States territory under the Posse Comitatus Act, Congress can and has granted exceptions for operations supporting border patrol.

U.S. Soldier Killed in Another Insider Attack in Afghanistan

A U.S. soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday in an apparent insider attack by a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

The soldier killed in the attack was identified on Sunday as Major Brent Taylor of the Utah Army National Guard. Major Taylor also served as the mayor of the town of North Ogden, Utah.

“Today we mourn the loss of a remarkable American,” said Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, the adjutant general of the Utah Guard, in a statement. “Major Brent R. Taylor was a patriot whose personal life resonated with excellence. From his commitment to education, to his passion for politics, Brent was dedicated to making a difference.”

Major Taylor was commissioned in 2006 and was on his fourth combat deployment. He was deployed to Afghanistan this time as part of an advisory team for Afghan commandoes. He leaves behind a wife and seven children.

The incident is under investigation.

U.S. Reimposes Sanctions on Iran

The White House announced on Friday that the United States will reimpose on Iran sanctions that had been lifted as part of the nuclear deal the Obama administration made with Iran in 2015.

The sanctions will take effect on Monday and will include shipping, finance, and economics, and will not be lifted unless Iran adheres to the list of 12 demands that the United States issued. Among the demands are the complete withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria and an end to Iran’s nuclear and missile development programs.

Army Punishes Six After Niger Ambush

The United States Army has punished six soldiers and officers based on their involvement in the mission in Niger that resulted in a deadly ambush by ISIS militants, killing four American soldiers and four Nigerien partner troops.

An investigation cited “individual, organizational and institutional failures” in the preparation and planning for the special forces teams’ operation in Niger.

According to The New York Times, those being disciplined include Captain Mike Perozeni, the leader of the Green Beret team, his second in command, and a master sergeant. The two senior officers who approved the mission and oversaw the mission were not reprimanded.

“As a result of the Niger 15-6 investigation report, Secretary Mattis directed US Africa Command, US Special Operations Command, Department of the Army and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness to conduct a comprehensive review of procedures, policies and training programs and report back to him with a plan of action and corrective measures,” said Commander Candice Tresch, a Pentagon spokeswoman. “Secretary Mattis received those reports by the 120-day deadline and is conducting a thorough review of the findings.”

U.S. and Turkey Begin Joint Patrols in Syria

U.S. and Turkish troops began conducting joint patrols in northern Syria last week. These joint patrols are part of an effort to ease tensions between Washington and Ankara.

The U.S.-Turkish partnership is concentrated in and around the northern Syrian city of Manbij and aims to maintain peace and stability in the area. Manbij was freed from the Islamic State by Kurdish militias in 2016. Turkey has demanded that the U.S.-backed Kurdish militias withdraw from the area, a point of contention between the United States and Turkey.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Castellano

Christopher Castellano is a U.S. Army Veteran. He currently serves as a firefighter in New York City.

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