National Guardsmen from Washington, D.C., and Virginia are being mobilized to help restore order in the nation’s capital after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters attacked Capitol Hill in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said he and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have spoken with leaders in Congress about Wednesday’s riot on Capitol Hill.
“We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation,” Miller said in a statement. “We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities. Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly.”
Video: D.C. National Guard activated
Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe first tweeted that 1,100 members of the D.C. National Guard are being called up, but defense officials were not able to confirm that figure.
More than 2,700 soldiers and airmen serve in the D.C. National Guard, according to its website.
“Earlier this week, Mayor Bowser requested approximately 340 D.C. National Guardsmen to assist D.C. police in preparation for possible protests today,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said on Wednesday. “That request was approved. Today, the mayor requested the full activation of the D.C. Guard to support local and federal law enforcement as they respond to the situation at the Capitol. That request was approved. There have been no other requests from the D.C. government.”
Separately, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is sending Guardsmen from his state to Washington D.C., the Virginia National Guard told Task & Purpose.
Virginia National Guard officials declined to say how many service members are being deployed or when they might arrive, citing “operational security concerns.”
This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information becomes available.