Up to 7,000 National Guard troops could remain in D.C. through March 12, said Nahaku McFadden, a spokeswoman for the National Guard Bureau. The troops would come from volunteers among the about 25,600 forces rushed into the nation’s capital in recent weeks to secure the city for President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, two weeks after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The plan to extend some troops’ deployments comes at the request of federal law enforcement officials, including the Secret Service, which led planning for inauguration-related security, officials said. The intent to extend deployments beyond the end of January, as initially planned, comes as officials fear the potential for more violence in the wake of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters. Five people died, including one Capitol police officer, in the melee.
McFadden said troops deployed to Washington would not be required to remain in D.C. Those who volunteer to support the longer operation will have their initial 31-day mobilizations orders modified.