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1,000 Virginia National Guard members remain on duty in DC

By Cotton Puryear | Joint Force Headquarters | Jan. 25, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. – Approximately 1,000 Virginia National Guard members are among more than 7,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from dozens of states remaining in Washington following the presidential inauguration to support local and federal authorities.

"They will remain on duty until those agencies no longer require our direct support," said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the adjutant general of Virginia. "We expect our troops to conduct security-related missions to include crowd control, traffic control and assisting with entry and exit points."

The VNG had approximately 2,400 members on the ground Jan. 20 to help civilian law enforcement protect property and keep people safe at the inauguration. They joined more than 26,000 Guard members from all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam authorized the initial VNG support after a Jan. 6 request from the mayor of Washington and Department of Defense and National Guard Bureau officials asked multiple states to identify units able to support law enforcement and the D.C. National Guard. They remain under the control of the Virginia governor under Title 32, 502 (f) for up to 31 days.

The majority of VNG members helped with security. Others are assisting with communications, medical, logistics and chaplain support to fellow troops and D.C. and federal agencies.

The VNG also had additional Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force on duty in Virginia for security-related duties and to support COVID-19 testing and vaccinations across the state.