SAN DIEGO -- More than 1,000 US Marines based out of Camp Pendleton have been ordered to join Operation Faithful Patriot, the Trump administration's military response to a caravan of Central American migrants making their way to the US.
Department of Defense officials told FOX 5 that 1,100 members of Pendleton's Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7 have received orders to join the operation. They could head to the border at any time, but have not yet been sent.
The unit is waiting on Border Patrol to tell them more specifically where they need assistance, DOD officials said. The troops are mainly logistics and engineering specialists.
The local units are part of the roughly 3,500 troops already assigned to the operation, which will "provide a range of assistance, including planning, engineering, transportation, logistics and medical support" to border officials when the caravan arrives, the Pentagon said.
The group of approximately 3,500 migrants is travelling slowly through Mexico and remains weeks away from arriving at the border, where many reportedly plan to follow legal procedures and seek asylum.
President Trump said Wednesday that as many as 15,000 US troops could eventually be sent to the border.
The operation's first 100 troops to actually arrive at the border were making initial assessments at port of entry in McAllen, Texas on Friday.