Up to 25,000 National Guard troops to be in D.C. on Inauguration Day
Following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, at least 25,000 National Guard troops will be in the nation’s capital for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday to bolster security, the National Guard Bureau (NBG) confirmed on Friday.
“The Defense Department has agreed to provide up to 25,000 service members to support the Presidential Inauguration National Special Security Event […] led by the U.S. Secret Service,” an NBG news release reads. “The Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau are working on a sourcing solution now to support this request.”
National Guard troops will pour in from all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia to take part in this massive security operation.
This development comes after Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy on Thursday authorized up to 21,000 National Guard troops from across the nation to help law enforcement with security for the January 20 event, according to the NGB. The final number of troops will be set by the Secret Service.
Ever since a mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the amount of Guard troops in Washington has steadily increased. Reporter Jennie Taer has been on the ground in Washington and has confirmed that to be the case.
“I observed the National Guard deployed to the Capitol on Thursday,” Taer told this reporter. “They lined the fence that’s been put up to secure the grounds. I also spent time on Friday with the Pennsylvania National Guard here in D.C. They were at least a mile from the Capitol and were directing traffic, only allowing those with essential worker and business paperwork to pass through to the roads that are right now closed to the public.”
The Capitol riot resulted in the deaths of five people. In its aftermath, the Pentagon was criticized for not taking the threats of extremists seriously enough that day, only having 340 unarmed Guard members in Washington. Many comparisons have been drawn to this summer’s racial justice protests and riots in the nation’s capital, which saw the National Guard act quickly and aggressively in arresting and dispersing people.
Thousands of Guard troops have been securing the city in the lead-up to Biden’s inauguration, with them stationed around the U.S. Capitol and other vital places.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.