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Va. National Guard to support 59th Presidential Inauguration

Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 192nd Security Forces Squadron, 192nd Mission...
Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 192nd Security Forces Squadron, 192nd Mission Support Group, 192nd Wing help to secure the grounds near the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 13, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr)(Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr | Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 4:11 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV/Va. National Guard Press Release) — The Virginia National Guard reports 2,400 personnel were on the ground in Washington, D.C. as of Thursday, January 14, to assist civilian law enforcement in protecting property and providing a safe environment for citizens to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest as we approach the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

National Guard Bureau Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy authorized up to 21,000 National Guard personnel to support the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol.

According to a press release from the Virginia National Guard (VNG), personnel will also be on standby in Richmond over the weekend and available to respond if requested. The VNG will remain under the control of Governor Ralph Northam, who authorized the initial VNG support on January 6, for up to 31 days.

“Right now, we have approximately 7,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen on the ground in support of the lead federal agency, and we are building to 21,000 for the upcoming inauguration,” Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, says in the press release. “They are under the command and control of Maj. Gen. William Walker, the Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard, and are providing security, communications, logistics and coordination with all supported agencies.”

[RELATED: Northam issues State of Emergency in Virginia; sends help to DC]

According to the press release from VNG, the majority of the VNG personnel are providing security assistance, but some additional personnel are providing communications, medical, chaplain, logistics and public information support to fellow troops and district and federal agencies.

The press release says VNG’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is the mission command headquarters for all VNG personnel on duty in the district, including Airmen assigned to the 192nd Wing based at Langley Air Force Base.  The 116th has units throughout Virginia from Winchester to Pulaski along I-81, from Staunton to Virginia Beach along I-64, from Danville to Lynchburg to Warrenton along Route 29 as well as Fredericksburg, Manassas and Leesburg.

To read the full release from the Virginia National Guard, click here.

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