Officials expect 20,000 National Guard members to be involved in securing Washington, D.C., for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, NPR reports. That is an uptick in National Guard troops that will be deployed to the area after a report that 15,000 National Guard members might be sent. Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the inauguration has been designated as a “national special security event.” The exact number to be deployed is still being worked out by the Secret Service, the lead agency on inauguration security. The troops will be coming from nearly all states, with only those who are either military police or have law enforcement experience to be armed.
Presidential inaugurations are always massive security operations, but Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 is facing heightened security concerns after last week’s breach of the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. The security moves come as the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump a second time, charging him with “incitement of insurrection.” National Guard troops are already patrolling the hallways of Congress, some carrying military assault rifles. Since the siege, some members of Congress, including Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, have requested that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy review backgrounds of any National Guard troops involved in inaugural security. Crow tweeted that he spoke with McCarthy and expressed “concerns about reports that active duty and reserve military members were involved in the insurrection.”