Trump sending military to border; 82nd Airborne says it has not deployed yet

U.S. Army Sgt. William Shealey, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, fires an M2 machine gun during the 2018 International Sniper Competition at Burroughs Range on Fort Benning, Georgia, Oct. 17, 2018. The weeklong competition challenged Soldiers with multiple weapon systems in search of the best sniper. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michelle U. Blesam)

This morning President Trump said the military will be used to stop people at the border.

“I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency,” he tweeted.

But 82nd Airborne Division has not deployed to the U.S. southern border and is under no orders to do so, officials said.

Lt. Col. Ramon Osorio, a spokesman for the division, said rumors that paratroopers had been sent to the border to stop a caravan of Central American migrants were false.

The rumors have been spread across social media in recent days and championed on some online forums. According to some accounts, President Donald Trump ordered the division and other troops to deploy on Monday.

The 82nd Airborne Division, which includes approximately 18,000 soldiers at Fort Bragg, trains to deploy on short notice. Its paratroopers form the core of the nation’s Global Response Force, which is postured to respond anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.

But the division, also known as the All Americans, has received no orders to prepare for a trip south, Osorio said.

“I am unaware of any directive that has us postured to do that,” he said.

The rumors of the 82nd Airborne Division deployment have become more common in recent days, as the migrant caravan has approached the border.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted about the situation. On Wednesday, he said the U.S. “will never accept people coming into our Country illegally!”

Also on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the Trump administration has not settled on a plan for what to do if the caravan arrives at the border. The 7,000-person caravan is currently at least 1,000 miles away.

The AP reported that some in the administration are advocating for finding a diplomatic solution while others have pushed for declaring a state of emergency or rescinding aid to some of the nation’s southern neighbors.

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3567.

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©2018 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

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