January 14th – The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Tuesday (12th) that National Guard soldiers stationed in Washington, D.C., are allowed to be equipped with lethal weapons.
Wednesday (13th), it was reported that an additional 5,000 National Guards were authorized to be stationed in Washington, D.C., making Biden’s National Guard in the U.S. capital to 26,000 before Biden’s inauguration.
According to CNN on the 13th, U.S. Secretary of the Army McCarthy made a decision after a meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi. Captain Chelsi Johnson, a spokesman for the National Guard, said McCarthy approved the armed duty of National Guard soldiers at the request of federal law enforcement.
In addition to lethal weapons, the National Guard also carries helmets, gas masks and bulletproof vests. The National Guard is planning to add 15,000 National Guard troops to meet current and future inauguration requirements, National Guard Director Hokansen said Monday (11th). He pointed out that 6,200 National Guard soldiers have been deployed in Washington, D.C., and a total of 10,000 troops are planned to be dispatched by the weekend, and another 5,000 are planned before the inauguration ceremony.
Currently, the U.S. Department of the Army, in collaboration with the Secret Service, is conducting additional background checks on National Guard soldiers involved in the security work at President-designate Biden’s inauguration.
The National Guard stressed that extremism will not be tolerated in the army, and appropriate action will be taken after individual case investigations.
A spokesman for the Department of War promised to work closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to identify people who participated in last week’s congressional riots and understand their relationship with the military; offenders will be tried by military or transferred to the state and federal government.
In addition, the Washington, D.C. National Guard will provide additional training for active service members arriving in Washington to emphasize that if they see or hear inappropriate things, they should report to the commander.
The statement said that current DoD policy requires all military personnel to receive annual training in a program that requires department personnel to report “any information about known or suspected acts of extremism that may pose a threat to the department or the United States”.