LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Officials in Washington are preparing for next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, and part of the security will be coming from the Natural State.
The Arkansas National Guard reports that 500 soldiers primarily from the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade based in Northwest Arkansas and airmen from the 189th Airlift Wing will be deployed to the nation’s capital to assist with security and other duties.
The troops will head to Washington starting on January 17 and are expected to be there through the end of the month.
Officials with the ANG say the troops will assist with traffic control and access control points, traffic management, Metro Station security, crowd management, patrol / watch stander on outside fencing, facility security at City Hall / the National Mall, and the Lincoln Memorial among others
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn, Arkansas National Guard’s Adjutant General, noted that life as a Guardsman is about service, both to the State of Arkansas and to the nation.
“Being in the Guard is about service. Service to one’s State and their Nation. We’re sending some of our very best to support Inauguration Day activities,” Penn said. “Priority No. 1 is to protect people and property, and our Guardsmen are trained very well to do just that.”
An increased military presence was seen at the U.S. Capitol following last week’s riot as a joint session of Congress voted to confirm the electoral college vote for Biden.
New images from earlier this week show just how many troops were now in D.C., with photos showing scores of troops bunked out on the floor of the Capitol.