An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Transcripts : Transcript View
TRANSCRIPT | Jan. 8, 2021

National Guard Support to DC Law Enforcement and the Inauguration


Welcome to, all of you who are here for attendance for our media round table. We'll be starting in a very few minutes. If you would please ensure that you keep your mics muted until, and unless we are able to call on you. And I will be starting very shortly, and then reading the Rules of Engagement. So, thank you and we really do appreciate you being here. We'll be starting very shortly, just want to welcome each of you here. And we will start in about approximately two minuteAll of their bios were provided in the media release, and at the end of this media round table, if we have any open questions or anything, we will follow up with you, and provide the information as requested.

Opening Statement:

Major General Steve Nordhaus of the National Guard's Bureau's Director of Operations:

I am Major General Steve Nordhaus of the National Guard's Bureau's Director of Operations. Thank all of you for joining us here, today. First, I want to say how sorry I am about Wednesday's horrific events. It was a dark stain on our democracy and does not honor the nation I serve. We look forward to working with our local communities, federal partners, and all to help heal our nation.

As I speak, nearly 6,200 National Guard men and women from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will join the District of Columbia to provide Law Enforcement support to Federal and DC authorities through the Presidential Inauguration on 20, January.

These members were authorized by acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller; to report to the DC Guard for up to 31 days under Title 32-502(F) authority. What I had like to do before we go any further, is to explain how the National Guard is called up in an emergency such as this; when requested for National Guard assistance, it generally comes in from a local authority, that is requesting, generally a governor to provide additional assistance and the National Guard to support them.

The governor then approves, and that support is provided through the Adjutant 7.44 General from that state to the local community as required. The District of Columbia is different, it does not have a governor, so that would be under Mayor Bowser or a federal agency asks for a request, and then that request generally goes to the commanding General of the District of Columbia and it is supported through the Secretary of the Army, and the Secretary of Defense to authorize that support.

With us today, we have Army Major General, Tim Gowen; the Adjutant General for the state of Maryland. Also with us is Army Brigadier General, David Wood. He's the Director of the Joint Staff from Pennsylvania, and Army Colonel, Lisa Howe, the Interim Adjutant General for the State of New Jersey. At this time, I had like to open it up to the first question.



Nahaku McFadden: Sir, we are going to first have Major General Timothy Gowen to provide any of his statements first.

Major General Nordhaus: Okay. Thank you.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir.

Major General Gowen: Good afternoon everybody. Again, I am Tim Gowen, I am the Adjutant General of the state of Maryland. The Maryland National Guard is a dual mission, here at home protecting the homeland, and abroad fighting America's wars. And we are also, as always, a community-based force, sometimes that community is local – as with our Covid-19 mobile vaccination support teams, which we have been working diligently here in Maryland, over the past several days.

And sometimes that community stretches across state borders and we are called upon to help provide our neighbor of communities the same support that we have to provide everyone's state in times of need. At Governor Larry Hogan's direction, I have deployed 500 of Maryland Army National Guard's soldiers assigned to the 58th Troop Command to respond to the crisis in Washington D.C., the 58th Troop Command has a role of serving as the Maryland National Guard reaction force.

As such, well trained and ready to support missions of this nature. These dedicated military professionals have joined D.C.'s National Guards forces to restore and maintain peace and order within the Capitol area. At the direction of the Governor, our soldiers will support law enforcement as needed, and as long as needed.

They're serving in a total of 32 federal active-duty status. Under the command and control of D.C. National Guard, and are performing this sacred mission entrusted to us, protecting the community and insisting civil authorities. This is what we do, this is why we serve. Thank you.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir. General Wood, do you have some statements?

Brigadier General Wood: Good afternoon, I am Brigadier General Dave Wood, and I am the director of the Joint Staff for the Pennsylvania National Guard. On behalf of the citizen-soldiers of Pennsylvania, thank you for this opportunity to participate. We are one of the largest and most deployed guards of the states. And it is not surprising that Pennsylvania was tapped to take part in this mission.

Most of our soldiers and airmen that we are sending to the District of Columbia were already scheduled to go there, to provide support for the upcoming Presidential Inauguration. We've done this, every four years since 2005, so this is something that, in Pennsylvania, we are used to doing, we understand how the District of Columbia, D.C. National Guard works, and we understand how the D.C. Metropolitan Police work.

Our plans were already in place to move troops, vehicles, and equipment to the National Capital Region. And moving this timeline up for the seven of eight days really was not that difficult for us to do. Our members are well-trained to assist our communities, our commonwealth, and our nation and are familiar with this type of mission.

We've been called upon to conduct similar missions to assist law enforcement in Philadelphia, just this past summer. We were in D.C. National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016 and of course we were at the Papal Visit, in 2015. So, we feel very comfortable in this mission, we know that we are here to protect our citizens, and we thank you for the opportunity to take part in this call.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir. And Colonel Howe?

Colonel Howe: Good afternoon everyone, I am Colonel Lisa Howe, the interim Adjutant General for New Jersey. As Major General Nordhaus said, mentioned earlier that New Jersey is participating in this mission in Washington D.C. In the last 48 hours, in collaboration with National Guard Bureau, New Jersey's governor Phil Murphey ordered the deployment of 500 New Jersey National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to support local law enforcement and D.C. National Guard with ensuring the security of our nation's capital.

Our soldiers and Airmen will be on the ground in the next few days, we have 500 who will be down there to support D.C. National Guard and local authorities. These are some of the same New Jersey National Guard members who deployed to D.C. over the summer, last year, to support them, providing security and protecting our precious national monuments.

They're also some of the same National Guard members who spent much of last year supporting New Jersey's Covid-19 pandemic response, and over 1,000 soldiers and Airmen supported in various Covid-19 missions throughout the state. I am so proud of our Airmen and soldiers who have volunteered to step up to support our fellow citizens in Washington D.C., as we are neighbors helping neighbors. Thank you.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you so much, each one of you. Let's go ahead, and we are going to begin taking questions. And we are going to start with Associated Press, Lolita Baldora. Lolita?

Lolita Baldora: Hi, yes. Thanks so much. This question is for the Generals and the Colonel from the states. How concerned are you about the safety of your Guard members as they come into D.C., considering the riot earlier this week, and what – if any – nonlethal or other weapons or protective gear, are you hoping or asking that they be allowed to use or have? Thank you so much.

Nahaku McFadden: General Gowen, would you like to begin, please?

Major General Gowen: Yeah, sure. So, my guys are pretty well experienced, unfortunately, in this mission set. We started Governor Hogan's tenure with the civil unrest in Baltimore, and we have been pretty well on top of that mission set, ever since. So, and in fact, this is the second time in the past six months that Maryland National Guard soldiers had deployed to D.C.

So, I think your question is; am I concerned about their safety? I am not, I am always concerned about the safety of my soldiers. And however, I think we have done everything we can to mitigate that risk. We are well-trained in the mission, we have the equipment needed to protect them, they have very strong leadership there, on D.C. National Guard and they have a great plan, and my soldiers on the ground are some of the best in the nation, especially at this mission set. So, I will be happier when they are home but I think we have done everything we can to make sure that they are in the best posture possible. Over.

Brigadier General Wood: Yeah, I knew what General Gowen said, says correct. Look, when we deploy, we deploy with our equipment that we need to do the job. Do you know? There's no hiding the fact that soldiers and airmen, do have lethal force with them. How the Rules of the Use of Force are engaged is just dependent on the scenario and the situation. We are going to deescalate as much as we can. D.C., this past summer did a great job of being able to deescalate without having to have soldiers armed.

In Philadelphia, our soldiers were armed. Again, we were able to deescalate issues, and we did not have any issues. So, we are not going to put away the equipment that we have, we are going to bring it with us, and the way we deploy it, will be based on the situation and based on the Commander's intent. So, but again, as General Gowen said, our soldiers are very well-trained, they understand what their job is to do. Their job is not to be out front; their job is to support law enforcement.

Do you know? The police or law enforcement agencies, they will take care of arrest, detentions, things like that. Our soldiers are just there to provide that additional backup.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir. We're going to continue on, CBS News, David Martin; are you there?

David Martin: Yeah, I was wondering if you could go back to the original request from D.C. Mayor Bowser to D.C. National Guard; what support did she ask for on December 31st; and how did that change between December 31st and this Wednesday?

Nahaku McFadden: General Nordhaus, would you like to provide some overarching messaging?

Major General Nordhaus: My understanding was that on the Commanding General for D.C. National Guard received that order about 31 December, I believe the number was for 340 National Guard members. And I believe that was approved early the week prior to Wednesday, so around Monday for that support. I do not have any other information than that, sir.

David Martin: So, you do not know what was initially requested, do you? The question really is, did she request Guard troops at the Capitol in her original request?

Tracy O'Grady-Walsh: All right let me chime in here, this is Tracy O'Grady-Walsh. David, I think there was a conversation between you and the Secretary of Army and General Hokanson, earlier today around 11:00, they are going to be the best sources for that information. But if you did not get those answers, we will make sure we follow up with you with that.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, thank you so much. So, next, we are going to the Reservist National Guard, Bianca. Are you there Bianca?

Bianca: Yes, ma'am. What impact, if any, did the recent events at the capital have on your planning and guidance, ahead of the inauguration? Did it change the trajectory or the guidance you are giving personnel in any way?

Nahaku McFadden: General Wood, would you like to start first?

Brigadier General Wood: Sure, sure. As I said earlier, in my earlier remarks; we have been involved with the inauguration and supporting the D.C. guard for many years. And we have got approximately 1,000 troops that we were scheduled to send down for the inauguration. Basically, we have been asked to send those thousand troops down early, and that is really what our plan is going to be. So, there really was not a whole lot of impact from an operational standpoint, for us.

You know, obviously, these are citizen soldiers. These are soldiers that are reservists and have jobs, and obviously that longer deployment puts some challenges on those soldiers, airmen, and their families.

But they are all used to that, and obviously we – as the leadership –we will do what we can to ensure that their hardships, and things like that, we will take care of those service members. But really, I think I would probably say across the board for all the states that were planning to come – and that includes Maryland, Delaware, all of the states here in FEMA Region 3 and Region 2. I do not think the operational tempo really changed that much. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: Colonel Howe, do you have anything else to add?

Colonel Howe: Not a whole lot, just that New Jersey also this is a recurring mission for us, to support the inauguration. These current events just increased New Jersey's commitment to assist.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. Moving on, we have Reuders; Idris, are you there? Okay, nothing heard. Mike Glenn, from the Washington Times? Mike, are you there?

Mike Glenn: Yes, I am here. My question was already asked and answered, so, I will just go ahead and pass.

Nahaku McFadden: Copy, thank you so much. We have Fox News; we have the D.C. Desk; are you there, Fox News? Nothing heard. WUSA9 TV, Kolbi Satterfield? Kolbi, are you there?

Kolbi Satterfield: Hi, yeah. I am here. It goes back to the D.C. timeline. I am really just trying to figure out how the National Guard came into D.C. to protect the Capitol. When did the calls come? And from who andwho gave the 'Okay' for that? Is what we are really trying to head down if anyone can do that, and then a follow-up question to that will be; how many guardsmen are typically in D.C. for the inauguration?

Is that going to be more this year? And is Inauguration going as planned, in terms of security and reports of that seven-foot fence around?

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. General Nordhaus, would you like to begin?

Major General Nordhaus: Sorry. I would like to begin with a timeline. So, when the events unfolded on Wednesday, calls began to be received from the National Guard Bureau and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau when he heard that the mayor had reached out to – I believe it was Maryland and Virginia – and the Secretary of the Army. Then decisions were made within those states, I will refer back to those states, I will come back to Major General Tim Gowen, for information on that. But then, rapidly they started making phone calls to honor those requests, and the Secretary of Defense, acting Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Army approved it, shortly thereafter as we continued to make those capabilities and movement into D.C., I had like to pass it over to Major General Tim Gowen, from Maryland.

Major General Gowen: Thanks, so first of all, I need to point out that things are not always as sequential as people want them to be. So, it is very – there is a lot going on. I think my phone, between the hours of 1430 and I do not know, 1:00 in the morning when I finally went to bed, I was never not on the phone.

And I have several chains of command to deal with in a conversation like this. So, getting to the specifics of the question; 'What is the timeline?' The first time I had any specific calls was somewhere around 15:00 with the governor's office. And from that, it was just kind of a, 'How goes it? What are you guys hearing?' And at that point, I had heard from the governor's Chief of Staff, that she had heard from the D.C mayor's Chief of Staff that they wanted the National Guard.

Well, they do not have the authority to ask for National Guard, it does not mean they do not deserve it, it just means they do not specifically have authority. It must go through the Secretary of Defense. So, we are working that channel, had another call with the Governor shortly after that, and that is when the Governor said, 'We'll get ready to go. Get your guys, call them up, put them on state active-duty if you have to.' So, that is what we did.

And then, shortly after that, I started to have a few phone calls with the Chief of National Guard Bureau, and more back and forth with the Governor's staff, lots and lots of calls with my own staff. And at 1730, we finally received official notification from the Secretary of Defense that we can move our guys into D.C., on 502F orders. And that is what we needed, so we started to prepare, we moved at the Governor's orders, everything.

We had soldiers moving toward the armory and got the go-ahead that we knew the mission was to go into D.C. as of 1730. And by 3200, that is 11:00 p.m., I had all my soldiers in the armory, ready to go standby for D.C. to accept that.

They weren't ready to accept them until the next morning, and frankly, you've got to also remember something with the National Guard is that these guys were all civilians, working at their civilian jobs all day long. It would have been a very high risk for me to send them through the night, after having worked all day long and ran to the armory to send them to a city where they weren't necessarily ready to accept those forces yet.

So, the best thing for us to do is for us to wait until the next morning, and then the first thing in the morning, they were there. And that, in terms of National Guard response, is lightning fast that we are not a first response force. We're not the Fire or Police, we are – generally, we advertise about a 12-hour response time for just our first tier of forces. We were ready to go within eight hours, and we are pretty proud of that. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir. I want to point out that in the chat, we did drop a link to the Secretary of the Army's statement, and you may see that there is more information there that might be of use to answer those particular questions. We're moving on, Politico – Lara Seligman, are you there? Okay, nothing heard. Tara Copp from McClatchy? Sorry, we cannot hear you, Tara.

Tara Copp: You'd think I would learn this. So, I want to get back to the timeline. But first, on the weaponry that service members will be authorized to carry, will they be authorized to carry lethal weapons? Will they be carrying guns?

And what will the Use of Force be? And then a second question on the timeline; you know the violence at the Capitol started around 1:or 1:30, and there were a lot of questions at the time, where is the guard? Just wondering what that makes you guys feel? And whether there should have been, maybe some troops put in pre-positions to respond to that.

Nahaku McFadden: Thanks for the question. Colonel Howe, would you like to start from your perspective? New Jersey.

Colonel Howe: As far as the firearms; I am not sure; it is not appropriate for us to go into details for the protection of our guard members on the Use of Force. And as far as the timeline, for New Jersey, we were –because Maryland and Virginia were already the first to be asked, we were a couple of hours behind, but probably around 19:00; in conversation with the Governor's office and National Guard Bureau, was when we decided we would have troops ready to go.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. General Wood, would you like to add a little bit more to that?

Brigadier General Wood: Well, again. In terms of describing the rules for the Use of Force, we just do not advertise that. I mean it does not make sense to do that, because it puts our service members in some degree of jeopardy.

If you see soldiers that are working, that have weapons, they are there with weapons, because they have been authorized to do so by their chain of command. If they do not have weapons, they are there because they have been authorized to not have weapons there. And that is basically it. I mean, you know these are soldiers and airmen; they are trained in – you know you do not send firemen into a fire without all their equipment.

So, having that equipment available is part of what we do, and how we use it is part of our business and that is how we do that. In regards to prepositioning, and being prepared. You know, I can tell you we have been working in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey; all of us here have been having operational synchronization meetings. Working groups with the Washington D.C National Guard in preparation for PI 59. The inauguration.

We have been working through all of these steps, and each of us in our own home states has been working through the whole entire election process, from Election Day through the Electoral Collegeday, through the certification days. And we have been looking at using the law enforcement analysis that is been given to us, you know that is been driving whether we need to be prepositioned or not. I would say that in understanding what the decisions were made in terms of prepositioning here in the District of Columbia, whichwould be a question for the National Guard. And I do know that we have been working very closely – and when I say National Guard, the District of Columbia National Guard, who has been very close with the D.C. Metropolitan Police.

So, you know I think we are very comfortable that what we were anticipating to have in our presence, the timelines were sound, and sometimes these things just happen. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you so much, sir. Moving on we got ABC News, Luis Martinez?

Luis Martinez: Hi, can you give me a minute? I will enable my video here. Please stand by, thanks for your patience.

Nahaku McFadden: You're good Luis.

Luis Martinez: There we go, good afternoon. Thanks for doing this gentleman, I question the perceptions of what the National Guard is, and perceptions of the General, therefrom Maryland talk about it is record time for you to get forces out there in eight hours. But can you kind of expand of the idea of well, first off, we have to be mobilized to be prepositioned for something so that we can respond quickly, and that kind of scenario versus what I would call a call up from a cold call?

And I think there is something to be said about the perception out there, which the National Guard was ready, or can be ready at a moment's notice. Can you explain any frustrations that you might have – and this is to any of you – or a few things that you would like to clarify that would make it easier for people to understand, thankyou.

Nahaku McFadden: General Gowen I see. Are you?

Major General Gowen: Yeah, chomping at the bit to answer the question. So, the reporter a few minutes ago asked, 'Where was the guard?' The guard was being a plumber, or a carpenter, or a doctor, or working in a grocery store. They were at their civilian jobs.

That's where the Maryland National Guard was. That's where the vast majority of the Maryland National Guard is, even today. I have only got a portion of my forces called up. For eight months, we had a lot of those guys called up.

And once they are called up, I mean we are fairly responsive, but you've got to consider the entire timeline. First of all, we have to notify the people, then they may or may not be able to leave their jobs at that moment. Then they have got to travel.

They need to go home, they need to prepare, they need to grab their bags for what might be two, four, ten, 12 days. Who knows how long, they need to prepare for that. They have to come all the way across the state from where that is, and in Maryland, we are lucky that it is only a couple of hour's drive from wherever they live to wherever the armory is.

That they must come all the way across the state, then they need to get to the armory, they need to get organized, then we need to get in vehicles, and in this case; drive all the way, another hour or so – maybe more, in some cases – if it is coming from the other side of the state, where one of my armories was all the way to Washington D.C. So, we have got to accept the notion that the National Guard is not a first responder force.

The way that the National Guard works, in everything we do not just for the civil disturbance but for snowstorms and floods, and anything else, cyber-attacks. Everything that we deal with, is a tiered response. It starts off with first responders, and when the first responders reach their capacity, then they go up to the next higher. Sometimes it is a county, when the county runs out of capacity, they go up to the state. In our case, we actually sent 200 Maryland State Troopers to Washington D.C., and I know a lot of other states did too.

That's the proper response, to use the law enforcement activity, all the way to its maximum capacity, and when that is reached, that is when you call in the National Guard. So, for various entities, people out there assume that the first response is to bring in the Guard; I think we have got to reeducate the people how this works. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir. Time Magazine, Bill Hennigan? Hello, Bill. Nothing heard. We're going to go to Air Force Magazine, Jennifer Lee, how are you?

Jennifer Lee: I am well, thanks. Thank you all so much for taking the time. My question is really aimed at getting a better feel for the Air National Guards' specific role in this response. So, for the state leaders, I am hoping that you can kind of elaborate on how many, approximately, or specific, whatever OPSEC allows forces from your international guard wings are being mobilized as part of this response? And then for the national level leadership, I am hoping that you can speak to whether there have been any requests for international guard air assets or any other kind of assets in addition to the manpower that we are seeing come in. Whether it is for mobilization of forces around the national capital region, ISR in pieces of crowd control, or other things. Thank you.

Nahaku McFadden: Colonel Howe, would you like to begin?

Colonel Howe: Sure. For New Jersey, of our total of 500 service members going down, 100 are from the Air National Guard, from our 177th Fighter Wing, and our 108 Wing. They are security forces, so they will be there to join the rest to provide security.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. General Wood, would you like to add anything to that?

Brigadier General Wood: So, we certainly are a team play when we have these types of operations. We have approximately, out of our thousand, we have approximately 50 airmen that are going. Primarily they are communications, we do use our security forces when we need to. But in this case, we have a full brigade of Army soldiers that are making up the 1,000. So, we really did not need to tap too deep into the security force elements of the Air Force. But they are certainly there if needed. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: And General Nordhaus, there was a little overarching response, is there anything else that you would like to add?

Major General Nordhaus: I know Virginia is not on the line, but I know that they are using one of their security forces squadrons within the state of Virginia to assist. So, it is as the National Guard is one third Air National Guard, around 108,000 and then you have around 340,000 Army National Guard, it makes up a force of about that one-third of two-third. You know 30% and 70%.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. Next, we have National Guard Magazine, Drew Brooks. Are you there Drew?

Drew Brooks: Yes. So, I was wondering if either of the two MP units from Alabama and Arizona that were given the quick reaction mission, earlier this year, if either would be standby or in the D.C. area?

Nahaku McFadden: Sir?

Major General Nordhaus: Major General Nordhaus, here. Note, neither one of those are in the D.C. area at this time.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, we have the Washington Times, Mike Glenn; are you there, Mike?

Mike Glenn: Okay, I am sorry. Hold on.

Abraham Mashie: Yeah, I have a question. Abraham Mashie, Washington Examiner.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay.

Abraham Mashie: Secretary McCarthy spoke here, in the press room today. And he said that the timeline for Secretary Miller's approval for D.C Guard and all states was more on a 1Major General Nordhaus: 00, 14:00 timeline. But we just heard the Maryland Chief that he did not receive the authority until 15:30. Can you clarify the discrepancy? Thank you.

Nahaku McFadden: General Gowen?

Major General Gowen: Boy, I just want to clarify. I said 17:30, that is when we received it. And I cannot speak for anything that happened up until then. That's – you will have to refer to the Secretary's press release.

Abraham: You said possible follow-up, is it possible that the authority was given but did not arrive at you until 17:30? Or would that not happen?

Major General Gowen: I received it at 17:30. I do not know; I am in charge of the Maryland National Guard. I received it at 17:30.

Abraham: Thank you, Sir.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. We're going to go with Politico, Lara? You had some technical difficulties, are you back now?

Lara: Yes, I am back. Thanks so much for coming back to me. Can you just say, I do not think I have heard you say this yet; how many guardsmen in total will be in D.C. for the inauguration, and is this different than previous inaugurations?

And secondly, can you just give us a sense of if you are more concerned now, after what happened on Wednesday for that the guardsmen will need to be used for riots and crowd control?

Nahaku McFadden: General Nordhaus, would you like to begin?

Major General Nordhaus: Yeah, I do not have the exact numbers. I believe they are fairly close to what we have seen planned in previous inaugurations. Certainly, as military and local law enforcement and anybody that is in that type of job, looks at new events and information, and continues to plan, and make decisions so we are ready for the upcoming event.So, I know that as far as the National Guard, we continue to plan and now work with 54 to make sure we have available the resources that might be requested as we approach the 20th of January.

Nahaku McFadden: Next, we have CNN. Oren Liebermann. Oren, are you there? Nothing heard. CBS News, Kevin McCarron? Okay, nothing heard. New York Times, Eric Schmitt? All right. Washington Post, Dan Lemothe?

Dan Lemothe: Yes, thank you. General Gowen, this is probably a question for you, and then there is a probably more looking forward aspect, that I think several of you could maybe speak to. Governor Hogan was talking yesterday about your calls to – it sounded like the National Guard Bureau, despite the authority being with the Army Secretary and the Defense Secretary.

What actually happened there, and was there confusion over who should have been called, or how that worked? And then looking forward, there was confusion, I think pretty obviously through the afternoon, in terms of where the Guard could be, whether the Guard was available, whether the Guard could be on Capitol Hill, that sort of thing.

How do we make sure this sort of thing does not happen again? Thanks.

Major General Gowen: Yeah, so I think I had two maybe three calls with General Hokanson between the time when I first spoke with the Governor, and when we finally got the orders permitting us to deploy to D.C. And the first call was because General Hokanson and I, also had heard on the news that Maryland was going into D.C., and he's like, "What have you heard?" and I am like, "Nothing, sir. What have you heard?" and he's like, "We'll get back to you." But so, we just confirmed with each other that we had heard that on the news and that it must have been wrong because it did not come from him and it did not come from me.

So, I forget the second part of your question, now what was it again? I am sorry.

Dan: I think it is mostly trying to understand who was calling who, and then the second part was, obviously there was a great deal of confusion on Wednesday over who was available and how quickly.

If, for whatever reason, this new plan with more people is still not sufficient, what are the conversations at that point?

Major General Gowen: Yeah, so, as I said, once things really got rolling and solidified, there were a lot of phone calls, and that is when General Hokanson reached out to – I think six or seven other states. And we really started to solidify the plans, and a lot of it was, 'How much can you provide?' and you must understand, we are doing a lot of other things right now.

My guys just came off of a long, long period of time where they are on orders, I have got units that are deployed, I have got units that are coming home, right now. I have got units that are going out, getting ready to go out the door. So, it is always – I never want to over-promise.

And General Hokanson was trying to reach a certain number for deployment into D.C., so there was a lot of work, a lot of conversations with a lot of states, and across from staff to staff to make all that happen. I personally do not think it was confusing, not to me at least, maybe to the outside, and whoever was trying to get a grasp on it.

If you are trying to get a grasp on something like that, the National Guard's a unique organization, it is not a tiered, specific, military organization like that unless – when we are not called up, there is no straight chain of command from me up to General Hokanson. I work for the Governor, and all the states work for the Governor, so there is a lot of give and take.

There's a lot of, you need to make sure that all of the facets of your personal chains of command, and chains of influence are on board with the decisions as they are being made. So, you are basically making some sausage, and to the outside, it looks kind of ugly, but we have been through this process so many times it is just kind of what to expect. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: Dan, does that answer your question?

Dan: I believe the only logical follow-up is, do you think that was clear to D.C. officials?

Major General Gowen: You mean, Mayor Bowser?

Dan: Mayor Bowser, capitol police, anybody who would have been involved. I mean there is a degree of desperation that was probably there at that point, and maybe they throw the playbook out the window and just hope for the best. We were hearing a lot of, "Hey, we were asking and not getting." And the flip side of that is the limitations you logically had.

Major General Gowen: Yeah, I mean it is hard for me to answer what she saw from her perspective. I can tell you; it is really hard to – you want to promise that we are coming, but nobody's really in a position to promise the whole big picture like that. Nobody, not even the Secretary of the Army, because we all belong to the governors at that moment, and not anyone state can make a promise.

So, I can see how when you are waiting, when things are looking kind of tough in your city, and you want the National Guard response, you want it now, now, now. There's nobody that can give it to you that quickly, so it takes a while to generate the response, and it takes even longer to generate the forces. That's why I wish I could – it is really hard to work in this organization because of that. Do you know?

Everyone wants to help right away, but sometimes you cannot, but it is also, it is even more frustrating because it is hard to educate the other end of the supported organizations. To help them understand just how challenging it is to get all these people off their jobs and into the armories, and dealing with all the other limitations that we got.

So, it is difficult and I think over the years, for all the right reasons, people have come to rely on us for these things. But I think sometimes there is a little bit of; we have got to manage expectations too. Over.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you, sir. General Nordhaus, would you like to kind of, maybe reiterate how the National Guard is requested?

Major General Nordhaus: Well, I would just like to add in, bolster in there with Major General Gowen's point. Is that when the calls came in that afternoon into Virginia, into Maryland, and they started making calls to build those folks.

They have got to come off their jobs, they need to go into the armories, they got to actually go home first, pack a lunch, head into the armories, prep equipment, get their equipment ready, and then gather vehicles, determine where they are going to go, have the authority to proceed in that direction, and then with the ability for somebody to receive them, provide the rules for the Use of Force, and then follow under the appropriate C2, and then direct it out to the locations there.

So, I think as the early call as the information on the day of Wednesday began, those calls were all going out and everyone was moving out as fast as they could to build the National Guard members that could do these missions, while in the National Guard Bureau who is a coordination and synchronization element between the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, and to the Department of Defense, that we were helping to synch those calls to move out as fast as we could.

Nahaku McFadden: Thank you. Moving on, we have Army Times, Kyle Rempfer. Kyle, are you there?

Kyle Rempfer: Yeah, I am here. My question was; during the summertime activations, there was an Ohio guardsman who was removed from the D.C. mission, after the FBI had uncovered some information indicating the expressed extremist ideology online.

So, my question is, have any similar alerts been received this time around? Regarding any guardsmen? Have any guardsmen been removed from this assignment, and is this something that you guys are watching for, ahead of this mission in particular?

Major General Nordhaus: Major General Nordhaus here, not to my knowledge. And of course, we are always doing everything we can to make sure we have a security force, and our forces are professional and ready to support our communities.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, WUSA9, Eliana Block? Are you there?

Eliana Block: Yes, hi. I just had a couple of quick questions, regarding the D.C timeline. I know we just talked a little bit about Mayor Bowser, but I was hoping that you could tell us, you know when exactly you heard from Mayor Bowser's office, and when exactly D.C. National Guard was activated?

Additionally, to that, I just had a follow-up. I have heard from Hogan and Mayor Bowser talking about how they had initially requested that were quote on a quote, 'denied'. Can you talk a little bit about that as well?

Nahaku McFadden: General Nordhaus, would you like to start?

Major General Nordhaus: Yeah, as far as the last part of your question; to my knowledge there was an initial request into Major General Walker, and then that went up through the appropriate approval process through Secretary of the Army, it was discussed between the 31st and a few days prior to the event.

And it was approved, and to my knowledge, the things that were asked for were approved. And as far as the timeline, I had had to go back and refer to the Secretary of the Army's timeline and statement.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, Idris, you are back on with Reuters. Go ahead, Idris.

Idris: Hey, can you hear me?

Nahaku McFadden: Yes.

Idris: Yeah, I just wanted to quickly ask two quick questions. Firstly, what is the intelligence that you are seeing, or that is being shared with you for the coming few weeks, in terms of crowds, is the expectation that there will be more violence?

And there was an AP story with the Secretary of the Army saying, 'Military considering allowing guard troops to be armed.' Is that something you are discussing or is that under consideration right now?

Major General Gowen: As part of your first question, Major General Nordhaus here. That part, as far as intelligence it really goes through the federal agencies, and local law enforcement to have that, so I cannot speak to that. And on the second part, that would be under the Commander's intent, based on the situation and those determinations will be made as the situation dictates.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, we have Breitbart News, Kristina Wong? Kristina are you there? Nothing heard. Task and Purpose, Hailey?

Female Speaker: Nahaku McFadden, one more question with Briana, and then we are out of time, okay?

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, thank you. Briana, then.

Briana: Hey, how's it going? Thanks for putting this on. I just wanted to clarify one thing, who made the initial call during the chaos at the capitol? Was it the Mayor's office, or was it Capitol police? And was it to D.C National Guard?

Nahaku McFadden: General Nordhaus?

Major General Nordhaus: I do not know who made the first call. I received a call at the time from the Joint Staff saying that they had heard that there was a call from the Virginia – or from the Mayor to the Governor of Virginia, and I had to tell them I did not know, at the time. So, to this day, I do not know exactly, who made what calls when, as far as from the Mayor to the Governors.

Briana: Okay, and is that unusual? For the Mayor to call Virginia for help from the guard, versus the D.C. guard?

Major General Nordhaus: I cannot speak to that, ma'am.

Briana: Okay, thank you for your help.

Nahaku McFadden: Okay, so this concludes our media round table for today. Thank you all for being here, we do understand that some of you still have some outstanding questions. Please feel free to send an email to the email that was in the press release, and or call us and we will do our best to follow up with you.

Just want to say thank you to Major General Nordhaus, Major General Gowen, Colonel Howe, and Brigadier General Wood for being our subject matter experts here, today. And sharing all the great things that the National Guard is doing on behalf of keeping Americans safe and going forward into the inauguration. So, thank you and we are completed for today.