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National Guard response to civil unrest

21-001 | Jan. 8, 2021

As of this morning, more than 25,500 National Guard members are supporting homeland operations at the direction of their governors. The current number includes activations for COVID-19 and civil disturbance missions.

Presently, there are more than 58,200 Guard men and women engaged in homeland and overseas missions. Nearly 20,600 National Guard professionals continue COVID-19 response efforts at the direction of their governors in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

“Our National Guard soldiers and airmen have met every domestic challenge put before them promptly and professionally,” said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “I’m proud of the role we continue to play in keeping our communities safe.”

January 6, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller approved up to 6,200 National Guardsmen to support civil authorities in the District of Columbia for up to 31 days under Title 32, 502(f) authority. Currently the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware will be providing support.

“[The] violence at the Capitol was reprehensible and contrary to the tenets of the United States Constitution,” Miller said. “In the midst of this tragedy, I was proud of the professionalism of our Department of Defense personnel. I want to specifically recognize the service of the District of Columbia National Guard. They performed with honor, integrity, and alacrity to protect people and property from unlawful acts.”

At the request of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and federal agencies, D.C. National Guard members will support federal and D.C. law enforcement agencies in protecting life, property and the right to peacefully assemble and protest. Law enforcement officers are responsible for the safety and security of all personnel. The National Guard will provide assistance as requested.

National Guard civil support missions are generally conducted to assist:

  • Supporting civil authorities whose capabilities or capability is insufficient to meet current requirements.
  • Protecting the life, property and safety of U.S. citizens.
  • Protecting critical U.S. infrastructure.
  • Providing humanitarian assistance during disaster response and domestic emergencies.
  • Providing support to designated law enforcement activities and operations.
  • Providing support to designated events, and other activities.

District of Columbia:
Approximately 1,100 D.C. National Guardsmen have been mobilized to support law enforcement officers in various locations in the city to protect property, allowing federal and district law enforcement officers to conduct law enforcement missions.

At the direction of the Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland National Guard activated about 500 soldiers to support Washington, D.C. law enforcement.

“The Maryland National Guard is well-trained and prepared to protect lives and property,” said Army Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, adjutant general for Maryland. “The Maryland National Guard has been called upon many times to support local and state partners, including to restore and maintain the peace. We are always ready, always there.”

Governor Ralph Northam has approved Virginia National Guard support to law enforcement to Washington, D.C.

“I commend the Virginia National Guard and Virginia State Police for quickly stepping up in this time of great need,” he said. “Let me be clear: Virginia will be there for as long as it takes to protect our nation’s capital and ensure the peaceful transfer of power.”

Governor Tom Wolf announced Thursday that approximately 1,000 Pennsylvania National Guard members have been activated to support the District of Columbia National Guard in support of civilian authorities in the nation’s capital.

“Pennsylvania Guard members are well-trained and well-prepared to assist our communities, commonwealth and country in any way they can,” said Acting Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler. “We are also very fortunate that our Guard members have extensive experience working alongside the D.C. National Guard as part of past training events and presidential inaugurations.”

New York:
“I am deploying 1,000 members of the New York National Guard to Washington, D.C. … to aid and facilitate the peaceful transition of presidential power,” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. “This deployment will not impact our state’s ongoing efforts to contain and combat the COVID virus.

New Jersey:
Governor Phil Murphy announced Thursday that approximately 500 New Jersey National Guard members have been activated to support the District of Columbia National Guard in support of civilian authorities in the nation’s capital.

“I am authorizing the deployment of 500 members of the New Jersey National Guard to Washington, D.C. to protect our democracy and facilitate the peaceful transition of power,” Murphy said.

Governor John Carney has approved Delaware National Guard support to law enforcement and additional National Guard units in Washington, D.C.

“After conversations with DC authorities, I am deploying members of the Delaware National Guard to Washington to support law enforcement and ongoing security efforts after the breach of the Capitol,” Carney said.

Additionally, National Guard members continue to make significant homeland response contributions supporting COVID-19 response efforts across the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

As of this morning, nine states – Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin – are utilizing their National Guard to actively administer COVID-19 vaccines to the civilian population.


Below is a compilation of the Guard’s significant contributions in 2020 (as of Dec. 31, 2020):

  • 395 Million: Meals packaged, served or delivered by Guard members in 2020.
  • 192 million: Pounds of food packaged and delivered by Guard members in 2020.
  • 36.9 million: Masks made by Guard members in 2020.
  • 12.8 million: People tested or screened for COVID-19 virus by Guard members in 2020.
  • 11.5 million: Miles drive to deliver PPE, food and supplies in 2020.
  • 1.9 million: Calls answered, made at call centers.
  • 170,000: Items of Personal Protective Equipment delivered in 2020.
  • 15,800: Increased bed capacity at Alternate Care Facilities in 2020.
  • 9,672: Facilities disinfected by Guard members in 2020.

2020 National Guard Homeland Response Peak Numbers

  • 120,091: Guard members engaged worldwide (June 6)
  • 86,400: Domestic Operations support (June 8)
  • 47,400: COVID-19 support in 50 states, 3 territories and DC (May 10)
  • 43,351: Civil disturbance support in 34 states and DC (June 7)
  • 11 million: Days supporting our communities (DOMOPs) in 2020.

Domestic Operations Breakdown for Calendar Year 2020


  • Guard members from 50 states, three territories and DC have logged over 6.9 million days in 2020 conducting over 12.8 million COVID-19 tests and screenings; sanitizing 9,600 facilities; packaging and delivering 192 million pounds of food; and making 36.9 million masks in 2020.

Civil Disturbance:

  • Guard members from 38 states have logged 596,400 days supporting law enforcement agencies in 2020 by supporting crowd control, monument / infrastructure security, traffic control, and roving patrol missions.
  • At peak, 43,351 Guard Soldiers and Airmen were conducting CD missions on 7 Jun 2020.

For information regarding this press release, please send an email to the National Guard Bureau Media Operations desk at ng.ncr.ngb-arng.mesg.ngb-media-desk-owner@mail.mil.