National Guard D.C. Deployments Will Continue into March

National Guard D.C. Deployments Will Continue into March

soldiers at the capitol
Photo by: U.S. Air National Guard/Master Sgt. Matt Hech

About 7,000 National Guard troops will remain in Washington, D.C., in the coming days to support federal and local law enforcement, officials announced.

More than 25,000 Guard soldiers and airmen converged on the nation’s capital to support security operations in the run-up to Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. The increased security came after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I am incredibly proud of our National Guard airmen and soldiers serving in support of local and federal law enforcement activities,” said acting Army Secretary John Whitley. “These missions show the breadth, flexibility and resolve of the National Guard’s sacrifices and service to this nation.”

About 13,000 Guard troops remained in D.C. on Jan. 25, said Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. 

That number will drop to about 7,000 in the coming weeks “as we continue to work to meet post-inauguration requirements,” Whitley said. He added that he expects the Guard presence to draw down to about 5,000 troops by mid-March.

The Guard received and leaders approved four requests for follow-on support—from the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., Whitley said.

About 500 troops will support the Park Police and about 550 will support the police department through the end of January or the first week of February, he said. Another 600 will support the Secret Service, and about 5,000 will support the Capitol Police.

“National Guard service members will provide a variety of support including security, communication, medical evacuation, logistics and safety support,” Whitley said.

Whitley and Hokanson, who spoke during a press briefing alongside Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, praised the Guard troops from across the country for their quick response. 

Hokanson also noted that the Guard remains busy across the country and around the world, with more than 23,000 troops supporting COVID-19 response and about 72,000 engaged in the homeland and overseas.