Almost 2,300 National Guard troops will remain in Washington D.C. through at least May 23 to support Capitol Police efforts at the Capitol.
The National Guard has been deployed to protect the Capitol since the Jan. 6 attack. The 2,300 troops represent a 50% reduction of the guardsmen currently in the nation’s capital.
“This decision was made after a thorough review of the request and after close consideration of its potential impact on readiness. During this extended period, DOD officials will work with the U.S. Capitol Police to incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow,” John Kirby, Pentagon’s press secretary, said in a statement.
“We thank the National Guard for its support throughout this mission, as well as for its significant efforts across the nation in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kirby said.
‘Senator James M. Inhofe believes the extension is “outrageous.”
“That’s not what they’re supposed to be. That’s not their mission,” Inhofe said. ‘We have the Capitol Police. That is their mission.”
According to the Washington Post, a review of security at the Capitol by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré submitted to congressional leaders revealed that the Capitol Police is “understaffed, inadequately trained, and insufficiently equipped.”
In the report, Honoré recommends filing 233 open positions on the police force and adding 854 additional police officers.