The National Guard will have to cancel their exercises and training in the next couple of months if they are not reimbursed a half billion dollars for their finished mission of protecting the U.S. Capitol.
The National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson said this week that their members were deployed to surround the Capitol compound for more than five months, began after the Jan. 6 riots, and ended at midnight Sunday, June 20.
The mission costs the National Guard $521 million, which has emptied their coffers, the general said, adding that the Guard will have to cancel their planned training and exercises in the final two months of the year without the reimbursement.
“It’s critical for us to get it this year because the funding will be required for us to complete not only our drills but all operations and training we have scheduled,” Hokanson told Pentagon reporters, the Washington Examiner reported.
“It will have a very significant impact on National Guard readiness,” the general said.
Last year, the National Guard deployed their members, for more than 21 million service days, to respond to domestic and overseas missions, such as hurricane relief, fighting wildfires, COVID-19 response, protecting cities from the George Floyd protests. The largest and most expensive, however, was the mission to protect the Capitol.
At the peak of their task, the National Guard deployed 26,000 service members from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to the nation’s capital.
The Guard footed the bill to meet the request by the Capitol Police, Secret Service, Park Service, and others, which lacked personnel or protective measures following the Jan. 6 riots.
Hokanson claimed that their annual training, drills, and operational maintenance would be canceled in August and September if the bills are not restored.