WASHINGTON – National Guard troops from all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia are supporting law enforcement in the nation's capital through the presidential inauguration next week.
More than 1,600 members of the National Guard in Florida, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, Kansas and Utah are among the latest to send reinforcements to Washington.
Up to 25,000 National Guard men and women have been authorized to conduct security, communication and logistical missions in support of federal and D.C. authorities through the Jan. 20 inauguration.
“I have visited with these Guard men and women every night, and they understand the importance of this mission,” said Army Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “They are also proven, prepared, and proud to do their part to ensure a peaceful and safe inauguration of our 46th commander-in-chief.”
As of Monday, more than 21,500 Guard Soldiers and Airmen were in the National Capital Region coordinating with civilian authorities responsible for inauguration support. The U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Park Service, and U.S. Capitol Police requested National Guard support.
The Secret Service is the lead federal agency coordinating security for the inauguration Wednesday.
"The National Guard has a long and proud history of inauguration support," Hokanson said. "The forefathers of today"s National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been part of every inauguration since."
About 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops mobilized to federal duty to support civil authorities in D.C.
"We are once again thankful to the Wisconsin National Guard for always stepping up, not only for their friends and neighbors here in Wisconsin, but wherever they are needed," said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. "I'm confident these members of the Guard will assist in any way they can to help maintain peace and security in our nation's capital in the days ahead."
The Oklahoma National Guard deployed approximately 400 Guard members to D.C. to assist law enforcement with crowd management, traffic control and communications, logistical and medical support. The mission is expected to last seven to 10 days.
"When people see the National Guard, they know we are there to help," said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. "The men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard who will be supporting the inauguration are the same Guardsmen who have been there time and time again for Oklahoma communities."
The Nebraska National Guard is sending 230 troops to help protect property and provide a safe environment for people to exercise their right to assemble and protest peacefully.
"I am incredibly proud of our Soldiers and Airmen who will participate in this historic event, one that reinforces the peaceful transition of power – a hallmark of our democracy – and ensures the safety and well-being of our fellow Americans at our nation's capital," said Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general.
Maine is sending 175 to 200 Guardsmen to assist through the inauguration.
"We're proud to join our brothers and sisters from across the country to support the peaceful transition of power and ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow Americans," said Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Maine's adjutant general.
New Mexico National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are also supporting the inauguration.
"This mission provides our Soldiers and Airmen the great opportunity to work and experience our democracy at work as they assist with a peaceful transition of power," said Maj. Gen. Ken Nava, the adjutant general of New Mexico.
Outside D.C., more than 6,000 members of the National Guard were also protecting state capitols and key infrastructure around the country.
At the same time, more than 22,000 Guard members were helping states respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting with vaccinations, testing, food bank support and other missions.