OLYMPIA – The Washington National Guard will send nearly 400 troops to Washington, D.C., this weekend to assist with security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Washington Military Department spokesperson Karina Shagren said 373 troops will be flown to the nation’s capital on Saturday. They’ll stay at least through the inauguration on Jan. 20.
Most will be Army Guard members who have received training in handling crowds and protests, although the contingent may include 27 security forces from the Air National Guard. They’ll be flown to the assignment by the Washington Air Guard’s 141st Air Refueling Wing based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Shagren said.
The Guard troops are not being called up to federal duty for this assignment.
More than 20,000 members from National Guard units across the country are expected to be deployed to the capital amid security concerns after a pro-Trump mob took over the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and left five people dead.
Some members of the National Guard have been present at the Capitol since last week, with some sleeping on the historic building’s marble floors.
Shagren said it’s not yet clear where the troops from Washington will be housed.
Members of the Washington National Guard were deployed in Seattle after violent protests in that city this summer. They were assigned to the state Capitol in Olympia last weekend, amid security concerns for the start of the Legislature on Monday.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday the troops will remain on the Capitol Campus through Inauguration Day, as law enforcement prepares for potential armed protests at all 50 state capitols in the coming week.
Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.
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