Washington beefs up security ahead of Biden’s Inauguration Day
Additional National Guard units arrive in the US capital
WASHINGTON – U.S. capital prepares to host thousands of additional National Guard troops to help maintain order during next week’s handover.
«I think we can expect that there will be more than 20 thousand National Guard troops here.», – Robert Conti, acting head of the Metropolitan Police Department, told reporters on Wednesday.
Representatives of the Ministry of Defense confirmed the issuance of permission to increase the contingent.
This became known a few days after the National Guard announced that it would send up to 15,000 troops to Washington to ensure security ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20..
The National Guard is made up of soldiers who combine service with their main job, who can be sent overseas, but are often called upon to help in case of emergencies in their states..
Officials said 10,000 Guardsmen are expected to arrive in Washington by Friday. The rest will arrive a little later..
More than 6,000 National Guard troops have served in Washington and the Capitol since President Donald Trump‘s extremists stormed the building on January 6..
In a statement released on Monday, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel Hawkanson, said they would be «maintenance of security, logistics, communications and communications».
However, since Tuesday night, National Guard soldiers working in the Capitol have also been carrying weapons..
«This request was made by the federal authorities, and it was approved by the Minister of the Army», – said the District of Columbia National Guard.
Photos of armed soldiers in camouflage uniforms guarding the Capitol and standing in corridors spread on social media on Wednesday.
Photos and videos also show streets blocked by military vehicles and workers installing additional barriers..
By comparison, four years ago, when Trump was inaugurated, only 8,000 National Guard troops were involved in providing security in Washington..
Precautions this year include closing more streets in the Capitol area. Only legislators, their staff, and security personnel will be able to enter the restricted area.
Other Washington DC attractions are also closed.
The National Park Service said earlier this week that the Washington Monument will be closed to visitors until the end of the inauguration. Other parts of the National Mall will also be closed in the coming days..
«January 6 events serve as a stark reminder of the importance of comprehensive security planning», – said in a statement by the United States Secret Service, which is leading the planning effort.