Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved hundreds of unarmed National Guard troops to be deployed in Washington, D.C., ahead of a truck convoy protest against pandemic restrictions that is expected to coincide with President Biden‘s first State of the Union address.
The Department of Defense (DOD) said that Austin had approved a request that had been made by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) for assistance from National Guard members.
“The people who live, work and visit the District are part of our community, and their safety is our first mission priority” Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless, D.C. National Guard commanding general, said in a statement. “Our MPD and USCP partners have asked for our help in ensuring people can demonstrate peacefully and safely, and we stand ready to assist.”
According to the DOD, the approval will allow about 400 D.C. National Guard members to “provide support at designated traffic posts, provide command and control, and cover sustainment requirements.”
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