Troops on US border applying slippery paint to wall, Northern Command says

Contractors work on the border wall near San Diego on March 28, 2019.

By TOM ROEDER | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) | Published: June 8, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Tribune News Service) — More than 100 soldiers will apply slippery paint to a mile-long strip of wall along the Mexican border in California, U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs confirmed Friday.

The troops, assigned to assist Border Patrol agents on orders issued by President Donald Trump last year, were asked to do the painting job by the Department of Homeland Security, Northern Command said. The command at Peterson Air Force Base is overseeing the military’s border mission.

Painting is one of many support jobs being carried out by troops, who are barred by law from acting as police. Instead, they are doing jobs that free up border agents by providing administrative and logistical support.

The paint, applied to a section south of Calexico, Calif., makes the wall slippery and stains the skin and clothing of those who touch it, the command said.

“This effort will provide an operational benefit, in that the coating addresses camouflaging tactics of illegal border-crossers and makes the bollards more difficult to climb,” the command said in a statement.

The paint will cost $150,000, with Border Patrol footing the bill for materials.

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