LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KWNA/KFTA) — The Arkansas National Guard is sending troops to Washington D.C. to assist with security during the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden on January 20, Lieutenant Colonel Brian L. Mason confirmed to KNWA/FOX24 on Thursday.
The Arkansas National guard will deploy approximately 500 soldiers, primarily from the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade based in Northwest Arkansas and Airmen from the 189th Airlift Wing.
The deployment will begin on January 17 with troops scheduled to return home before the end of January, 2021.
“Being in the Guard is about service. Service to one’s State and their Nation. We’re sending some of our very best to support Inauguration Day activities,” said Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn, Arkansas National Guard’s Adjutant General. “Priority No. 1 is to protect people and property, and our Guardsmen are trained very well to do just that.”
The 59th Presidential Inauguration, like all presidential inaugurations, is considered a National Special Security Event. The U.S. Secret Service as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising and implementing security for National Special Security Events has requested support from the National Guard. The preparation for a NSSE is a cooperative effort among federal, state and district agencies. Arkansas Guardsmen will work alongside several other states’ National Guard units, the D.C. Metro Police, the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Secret Service.
The requested missions include assistance with Traffic Control and Access Control Points, Traffic Management, Metro Station Security, Crowd Management, Patrol / Watch Stander on outside Fencing, facility security at City Hall / the National Mall, and the Lincoln Memorial among others.Arkansas National Guard
Members of the National Guard were stationed throughout the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday during impeachment hearings after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the building on January 6 in an attempted insurrection.
The 189th Airlift Wing will provide C130H aircraft to transport the Guardsmen to Washington, D.C.
This is a developing story.