Deployment of troops to the southern border is expected to cost at least $534 million by the end of September, the Pentagon said, according to The Hill. A DOD letter to Congress references $350 million for the National Guard mission and $184 million for the active-duty mission.
DOD also announced Tuesday it has awarded nearly $1 billion in contracts to build the administration’s border wall.
Assistant Defense Secretary Robert McMahon told lawmakers this week that any military construction projects to be defunded or delayed due to Pentagon funds redirected for the administration’s border barrier have not been chosen.
“It’s a level of detail we are not down to yet, because today there is no requirement,” McMahon said, according to Military.com.
The border deployment is also affecting readiness, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. He said deployments have helped some service members such as pilots, military police and engineers, but others could see skills degrade.
“One particular unit is doing a mission today that’s not part of their core competency,” he said. “For 60 days, they can handle that, but it will affect their readiness.”
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Tuesday he expects that the Pentagon’s border role will expand as the Department of Homeland Security requests more assistance, Military Times reported.
Army Corps of Engineers photo by Brooks Hubbard IV