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March 4, 2021
25,000 National Guard members have been deployed in Washington D.C. ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Officials have boosted the number of National Guard members deployed in Washington, D.C., to 25,000–an increase of 25 percent. Guard members have fanned out across the U.S. Capitol lawn, inside the building, and in surrounding areas of D.C. for days. At least 7,000 National Guard troops from dozens of states are already on the ground in the nation’s capital, with more expected to arrive in coming days at the request of the Secret Service, said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
The military security force will be more than three times the total number of U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The National Guard has been briefed on the potential threat of IEDs throughout the city after pipe bombs were discovered outside the Democratic and Republican National Committee headquarters the day of the Capitol riot. The culprit remains at large (FOX).
Biden’s inauguration ceremony is slated to take place outside the Capitol on Wednesday. While there will not be the usual throngs of spectators, security officials from multiple law enforcement agencies are worried about online “chatter” that the FBI said points to the possibility of further violence. City officials are erecting a perimeter throughout downtown and putting up barriers around the White House, National Mall and Capitol. In order to travel through the perimeter, people will need to provide proof of essential purpose.
The National Mall–with the exception of two designated zones for a limited and tightly controlled number of protesters — will remain closed until the day after the event, as will a perimeter around the monuments, White House and other sections of Pennsylvania Avenue. The Guardsmen currently in the city have been sent from Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state, with additional support to come from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Maine (The Hill).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KENT NISHIMURA/GETTY