Up to 25,000 National Guard in DC for Inauguration: US Army

January 15, 2021 Updated: January 15, 2021

The U.S. Army confirmed that as many as 25,000 National Guard members will be stationed in Washington D.C. for Inauguration Day next week.

The Defense Department authorized up to 25,000 service members to be deployed, which is an increase of 5,000 from numbers earlier this week.

A statement from the Army to news outlets on Friday said the increase would support the “federal law enforcement mission and security preparations” during the inauguration, and it would be led by the U.S. Secret Service.

“Our National Guard soldiers and airmen are set around the city to protect our nation’s Capital,” National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson said in the statement.

All 50 states and D.C. will have National Guard members to support the event, ostensibly due to the breach at the U.S. Capitol building last week during the Jan. 6 Joint Session of Congress.

In a statement on Wednesday, President Donald Trump reiterated to Americans that they shouldn’t engage in violence.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking, and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

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Hundreds of National Guard troops hold inside the Capitol Visitor’s Center to reinforce security at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 13, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

There were rumors on social media that the National Guard was moving to implement a nationwide lockdown or quarantine, but the South Carolina National Guard, among others, said that this claim is false.

“The rumors that the South Carolina National Guard is supporting a statewide or nationwide lockdown or quarantine are not true,” the South Carolina National Guard post said. “Rumors like this can create confusion and anxiety in the organization and our communities.”

“If you hear or see something that seems unfounded, do not continue spreading the information. Verify that information with one of the official sources pertaining to the National Guard Bureau, the South Carolina National Guard, and the state of South Carolina.”

In D.C., the perimeter of a fence surrounding the Capitol was pushed out to encompass the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. Roads and other access points were closed, and some businesses said they would shut down.

The National Park Service has closed the Washington Monument to tours and Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked visitors to avoid the city.

Reuters contributed to this report.