RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia National Guard plans to provide about 2,000 personnel in total to join a fore of other state's National Guard soldiers in Washington D.C.
There are currently around 1,000 personnel on the ground in D.C., as of Saturday, and officials say additional personnel will join in the coming days to assist civilian law enforcement with security operations.
Officials say personnel, including those from neighboring states, is expected to reach 6,200 total by the end of the weekend.
The VNG says soldiers and airmen will assist in protecting property and providing a safe environment for citizens to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest. They are scheduled to be on duty through the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.
“Once again our Soldiers and Airmen left their full-time jobs and loved ones to answer the call of duty to help keep their fellow citizens safe,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “I am incredibly proud of how quickly and safely our personnel responded, and they have effectively integrated into supporting the civilian law enforcement security plan. We owe a special thanks to our families and employers, because we couldn’t conduct our mission without their support.”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam authorized the VNG support after a request from the mayor of Washington, D.C.
Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York soldiers and airmen will join Virginia in providing support.