WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has approved requests from the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) for District of Columbia National Guard (DCNG) assistance with traffic control during First Amendment demonstrations expected in the city in the coming days.
“The people who live, work and visit the District are part of our community, and their safety is our first mission,” said Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless, DCNG commanding general. “Our MPD and USCP partners have asked for our help in ensuring people can demonstrate peacefully and safely, and we stand ready to assist.”
In response to a Feb. 16 request for assistance from the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), the DOD approval allows for approximately 400 DCNG personnel to provide support at designated traffic posts, provide command and control, and cover sustainment requirements along with 50 large tactical vehicles to be placed at those designated traffic posts on a 24-hour basis starting no later than 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, or as soon as operationally and logistically possible. The mission is approved to continue through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 7.
Austin also approved a Feb. 20 USCP request for assistance and allows for up to 300 National Guard personnel from outside the District of Columbia to assist at designated traffic posts and select Capitol entry points starting no later than 7 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.
Guard members will not carry firearms or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities. Neither approval allows for the use of helicopters or other aircraft by the National Guard or the sharing of equipment with law enforcement agencies.
DCNG will provide command and control for both missions though units from outside the District will remain under operational and administrative control of their respective governors.
- 30 -
NOTE: Contact DCNG Public Affairs at 240-521-3129.