The National Guard’s deployment in Washington, D.C. will end Sunday after troops were called to the Capitol following the Jan. 6 riot.
More than 2,000 National Guard troops are set to return to their home bases this week after the Department of Defense did not request an extended stay for the force to guard the nation’s capital.
Capt. Chelsi B. Johnson of the D.C. National Guard Public Affairs told WUSA 9 that operations will “return to normal.”
The Capitol Police have not requested the Guard to stay past May 23. Once the mission concludes, D.C. National Guard will return to normal operations and the out-of-state Guard members will return to their home station.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request in March to have nearly 2,300 National Guardsmen remain at the Capitol through May 23.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said following the extension that it had been made “after a thorough review of the request and after close consideration of its potential impact on readiness.”
He added during a Pentagon briefing that the extension was granted to “help bolster and support the Capitol Police and their capabilities, which may not be at the level where it needs to be given the fact that we’re in sort of a new environment in this country.”
The troops were deployed due to intelligence suggesting additional threats following the Capitol riot that saw attendees of a pro-Trump rally storm the building to delay the certification of Present Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
The U.S. Capitol Police previously told WUSA9:
The U.S. Capitol Police is extremely grateful for the Department of Defense’s continued commitment to support our critical mission to protect Congress. The National Guard has played a critical role in the Department’s enhanced security posture. We thank the Guard and the Department of Defense for their partnership.
The deployment of the Guard to the Capitol by the Biden administration has been criticized due primarily to the treatment of guardsmen. They were originally forced to take rest breaks and meals in a cold garage but later were permitted spaces within Congressional buildings.
They were also provided with low quality food, leading to about 50 Guard troops being treated for gastrointestinal issues.
Kirby said that Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, then visited the Guard several times a week to eat with them to make sure they were receiving quality food.
Author : Landon Mion
Source : Town Hall : National Guard to End Deployment in D.C.