DC National Guard deployment in nation's capital extended through end of March
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Security officials remain concerned that protests surrounding the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, set to begin the week of Feb. 8, could mean trouble following the attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters earlier this month.
Recent chatter surrounding protests on the "historic" Inauguration Day -- formerly held on March 4, before being changed to Jan. 20 in 1937 -- have security officials worried.
"As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March," National Guard Bureau spokesman Wayne Hall told Fox News. "We are providing assistance such as security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety support to state, district and federal agencies."
Acting Army Secretary John E. Whitley told reporters during a Monday press conference that the guardsmen will provide support to federal law enforcement agencies after four requests were submitted for additional aid from U.S. Park Police, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Chief of the National Guard Bureau Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, said that the deployment of 25,000 National Guardsmen called into Washington, D.C., from every U.S. state for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, within a two-week time frame was exceptional.
"It speaks volumes about the support we received from our governors and adjutants general," Hokanson said. "It also speaks to the investment America has made in the National Guard's ability to respond whenever and wherever we are needed."
Roughly 13,000 guardsmen still remain in D.C. supporting federal agencies with security efforts.
"The D.C. National Guard will remain on orders until March 31, 2021," a spokesman confirmed with Fox News Tuesday.
Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.