The Defense Department has agreed to provide up to 25,000 service members to support the Presidential Inauguration National Special Security Event federal law enforcement mission and security preparations, as led by the U.S. Secret Service. The Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau are working on a sourcing solution now to support this request.
Every state, territory and the District of Columbia will have National Guard men and women supporting the inauguration.
As of this morning, more than 33,400 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. Additionally, National Guard soldiers and airmen from all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia will be supporting law enforcement in D.C. for the 59th Presidential Inauguration.
Presently, there are more than 66,900 Guard men and women engaged in homeland and overseas missions. More than 21,600 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 are set around the city to protect our nation's Capital. At the same time we have thousands around the country supporting COVID operations, Operation Warp Speed, and a multitude of soldiers and airmen are deployed overseas supporting combat operations," Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau said. "I would especially like to thank the families who are maybe alone tonight, and let you know our nation greatly appreciates all your sacrifices, and those of your service member. I cannot be prouder to be part of this organization."
With nearly 440,000 soldiers and airmen across 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, the National Guard has a deep bench of experience and capabilities to call upon. At the National Guard's historic activation peak on June 6, 2020, roughly 120,000 Guard members were engaged worldwide.
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.
More National Guard troops head to DC for inaugural support
National Guard troops from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Maine are heading to the nation's capital to support law enforcement through the presidential inauguration next week, joining fellow Guard members from more than a dozen other states. (https://ngpa.us/11730)
As of Jan. 14, there were nearly 7,000 National Guard members on the ground in the District of Columbia from D.C., Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
The Secret Service, Capitol Police and U.S. Park Police requested the assistance, Hokanson said. The Secret Service is the lead federal agency coordinating security for the inauguration next Wednesday.
"The National Guard has a long and proud history of inauguration support," Hokanson during an inauguration security briefing with Vice President Mike Pence Jan. 14. "The forefathers of today's National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been part of every inauguration since."
National Guard takes on COVID-19 vaccination mission
Many National Guard members who supported COVID-19 response efforts in 2020 spent much of the year conducting tests, sanitizing facilities, providing logistical support and delivering meals and personal protective equipment. (https://ngpa.us/11731)
Now, the Guard can add another mission to a fight that is approaching the one-year mark: supporting vaccinations.
As early as mid-December, select Guard units were preparing to support local health officials by collecting, securing, transporting and - when requested - administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
Once the vaccines were available, many Guard medical elements nationwide sprang into action.
In New Hampshire, just days before the New Year, 13 vaccination sites opened - with Guard members conducting traffic control, logistical support, and vaccine administration missions. Efficiency was key.
"We've been able to rotate people through very regularly, very easily," said Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Boisvert, with the New Hampshire Army National Guard and a noncommissioned officer in charge at one of the sites. "From the time you drive in, to the time you get your vaccination, you're probably only here for about 20 minutes."
Additionally, as of this morning, a total of 17 states and territories - Arizona, California, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee - are utilizing their National Guard to actively administer COVID-19 vaccines to the civilian population.
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