Home » Military Personnel » Camp Pendleton Marines Join Federal Mission at U.S.-Mexico Border

Camp Pendleton Marines Join Federal Mission at U.S.-Mexico Border

U.S. Northern Command border support operations at Bisbee, Arizona on Nov. 6, 2018. US Army Photo

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A contingent of active-duty Marines deployed this week to the California-Mexico border to join the growing border support mission ordered by the Trump administration.

The about 1,100 Marines tapped for the mission are assigned to Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7 from the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based I Marine Expeditionary Force, according to U.S. Northern Command. NORTHCOM is overseeing the military support to the U.S.-Mexico border mission for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“There are currently more than 5,600 personnel deployed in support of Customs and Border Protection,” NORTHCOM officials said in a Thursday statement. “The number will fluctuate as more units and personnel deploy into the operating area. DoD anticipates more than 7,000 active duty troops will be supporting CBP.”

“Military personnel will provide a range of support including planning assistance, engineering support (temporary barriers, barricades, and fencing), fixed and rotary wing aviation support, medical teams, command and control facilities, temporary housing for Customs and Border Protection personnel and personal protective equipment for CBP personnel,” according to I MEF officials.

The latest military deployment orders for the mission along the Southwest border came in a presidential response to the movement north through Mexico of caravans of Central American migrants intent on requesting asylum in the United States.

On Thursday, a group of Marines set out heavy machinery and wire along the border near San Diego, bolstering security along some stretches of existing border walls. “We are hardening, if you will, the fence here, putting up concertina wire to make that wall less scalable,“ a SPMAGTF-7 spokesman, 2nd Lt. Frederick Walker, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The task force is providing the federal agencies with “planning assistance, engineering support (temporary barriers, barricades, and fencing), fixed and rotary wing aviation support to move CBP personnel, medical teams to triage, treat and prepare for commercial transport of patients, command and control facilities, temporary housing for CBP personnel and personal protective equipment for CBP personnel,” Walker said in an email to USNI News on Friday.

A U.S. Marine, serving as a rifleman with 2nd Ground Sensor Platoon, II Marine Expeditionary Force, emplaces a ground sensor into a concealed position at an undisclosed location in Texas, March 2018. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marines joined several hundred California National Guard soldiers in the mission, which includes 1,300 active-duty troops assigned in California, 1,500 in Arizona and 2,800 in Texas, according to NORTHCOM’s most-recent tally. “DOD has a long history of support for DHS and CBP in their mission to secure the U.S. border. All units supporting USNORTHCOM’s mission to support CBP will adhere to authorities, law and policy,” according to NORTHCOM. Marine Corps and Navy bases in Southern California have been designated to support the border mission.

The deployment to the U.S.-Mexico border isn’t new to Marines, who have participated in federal missions along the border for several years. Earlier this year, Marines with 2nd Ground Sensor Platoon from Camp Lejeune, N.C., deployed to southern Texas on a counter-drug surveillance mission for Joint Task Force North. In 2016, ground sensor platoons worked with the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas emplacing sensors to help detect and monitor illicit drug and human trafficking. Marines with 2nd Intelligence Battalion’s ground sensor platoon did similar work during a 2011 deployment.

  • Arthur Vallejo

    According to The United Nations, Mexico has been the second most violent nation on Earth during each of the past six years. The most violent nation during the aforementioned time period has been Syria.

    • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

      As long as they vote democrat, anyone is welcome it seems?

  • John Locke

    Now CDR Heelspurs has inspired loony militias and Rambo wannabe’s to go camping down there to protect us from *gasp*………… the INVASION…………. of unarmed men, women and children on foot.

    • Oskar

      Yeah, those drug smugglers and coyotes are only armed with harsh language…

      • Centaurus

        Just think…some might be using IEB’s, Improvised Explosive Babies during the “invasion”

        • Oskar

          Just think… For once.

  • Yamanote

    Devil Dogs vs indigent women and children. Congratulations and Happy Thanksgiving fellas.

    • TransformerSWO

      Did you even read what the Marines are doing in support of the mission?

      • Centaurus

        The Marines are being Marines. FROM THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA, TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI ?????


  • Danger_Dan

    This is not a mission for the USMC. Call it what it is — wasteful and stupid.

  • Hunter Freeman

    Interesting how all the news on the “invasion” of the caravan stopped after last Tuesday. Pentagon declared that it wasn’t a risk to the US. What a pointless, ridiculous waste of time, money and manpower, just for bogus PR, and political incitement purposes.

    • Centaurus

      Well, that’s our ever wise President and his cronies at Faux News whipping up their “Base”. A campaign of fear and paranoia, not facts. After all, anyone that protests its loony-toon policies always seem to have been paid protestors. Such a bellicose child. Now, back to the Invasion…

      • Hunter Freeman

        They’ll believe anything. I’d just once like to interview a person, such as the one I saw/listened to on tv in Tennessee (of all places!), explain to me how very afraid they are, now. The “invasion” is weeks, perhaps months away (if they ever get to the border) and they are frightened to death!? Peoples’ ignorance of what this PR stunt really is all about astounds me.

        • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

          Well then, let’s just thrownopen the doors and do nothing?

          • Hunter Freeman

            Please calm yourself. Not sure why you’re so hysterical. Immigration reform is not some kind of false binary choice, as you claim. “throwopen the doors and do nothing” is a foolish, hyperbolic statement, not based on what most people want to see happen, and hinders the discussion (do you even want to discuss, or just lob angry retorts?) on immigration reform.

          • Centaurus

            I’ll gladly let you sniff my rabbits balls if Zorcon can give the 3 of you a hand-job…

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            LOL, it actually is a binary choice. We are doing nothing and regulating it by controlling influx is a choice for which the political left refuses to even consider. How else can you flood the nation with dependent classes and change the political landscape.

            My parents lived in MX for 20 years, I know it extremely well. If I wanted to live in SA, I would move there. I see no need to import it without any regards to the consequences.

          • Centaurus

            Yes, do nothing and meet the little children at the Emergency Room when you need your temperature taken.

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            I wold have to be dying to go to a ER today and I probably would.

      • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

        Now that you have had your fun, travel back over to Vox or The Atlantic and bother them?

        • Centaurus

          I can smell the Tako Sauce cheez-ing out of your pores, my huckle-berry.

  • Oskar


    Just once.

  • Oskar

    Lead by example.

  • vetww2

    High pressure hoses could sure cut down on the number of wall climbers.