The National Guard announced an increase of at least 15,000 guardsmen on Monday, Jan. 11, across Washington before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
Gen. Daniel Hokanson said that 15,000 guardsmen have been authorized to provide logistical, security, and communication support during the inauguration, according to Politico.
“Right now, we have approximately 6,200 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from 6 states and the District of Columbia on the ground in the NCR [National Capital Region] supporting civilian authorities,” he added in a statement on Monday.
Hokanson said the orders for the deployment of troops came from the Secret Service, Capitol Police, and Park Police.
Both the Guard and the local police are working together to advance the details and requirements of the operation as the situation develops. At this time it is not known if some or all of the guards will be armed or equipped with riot gear.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Monday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin “the National Special Security Event operations for the 2021 inauguration effective Wednesday, January 13th instead of January 19th.”
Wolf said the move was prompted by events at the Capitol last week, when a group of protesters disrupted the joint session in Congress to certify the Electoral College votes.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, said she asked President Donald Trump as well as Wolf to issue a disaster declaration for the D.C. area to allow more resources, adding that public meetings will be prohibited from Jan. 10 to Jan. 24.
Bowser also asked Americans to avoid the city during the inauguration event.
The Park Service announced that visits to the Washington Monument amid security concerns about threats to disrupt the inauguration were suspended.
Contingency measures for the inauguration event are being presented while President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Washington.
President Trump has ordered “Federal assistance to supplement the District’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the 59th Presidential Inauguration from January 11 to January 24, 2021.”
“The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the District of Columbia,” the statement said.