We have been following the construction and testing of the border wall prototypes that have been raised along the Mexico/US border in the San Diego area.

The test phase conducted by teams of US Special forces has concluded, and it appears that the wall samples passed muster.

Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico indicate their imposing heights should stop border crossers, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the rigorous assessment told the Associated Press.

Military special forces based in Florida and U.S. Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to breach and scale the eight models in San Diego, using jackhammers, saws, torches and other tools and climbing devices, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not authorized for public release.

….The report recommends combining elements of each, depending on the terrain. The official likened it to a Lego design, pulling pieces from different prototypes.

It appears that height was the main deterrent.

Each model was to be 18 to 30 feet (5 to 9 meters) high, and contractors built at or near the maximum, which is roughly twice as high as many existing barriers. Ronald Vitiello, the agency’s acting deputy commissioner, said after visiting the prototypes in October that he was struck most by their height.

The highly trained testers scaled 16 to 20 feet (5 to 6 meters) unassisted but needed help after that, said the official, who described the assaults on the wall prototypes to the AP. Testers also expressed safety concerns about getting down from 30 feet.
Only once did a tester manage to land a hook on top of the wall without help, the official said. Tubes atop some models repelled climbing devices but wouldn’t work in more mountainous areas because the terrain is too jagged.

The findings appear to challenge what Janet Napolitano, now chancellor of the University of California, often said when she was President Barack Obama’s homeland security secretary: “You show me a 50-foot wall, and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder.”

The tests also provided data on the effectiveness of different materials, and how each type could be utilized for different types of terrains.

Some design elements might work well in certain areas of the country while not being feasible or effective in other areas. Tubes affixed to the top of one prototype, for example, provided an effective deterrent against climbing tools, but could not be used in mountainous terrain.

As for the material used for the design, testing indicated that concrete-topped steel is most effective and durable. Exposed steel near the ground allows authorities to see through the wall while smooth concrete further up impedes climbers, the source told the AP.

In addition to increased visibility, a steel design is also reportedly recommended in the military report because it is simpler and less costly to replace should any portion of the wall be breached.

Here’s to hoping there is an “unconditional surrender” by the Democrats, which includes funding for the actual border wall.