A Nebraska National Guard contingent departed Lincoln on Saturday with 270 personnel who will provide security in Washington for the upcoming presidential inauguration.
In total, about 300 Nebraska Guard members are deploying.
Seventy more troops are going than the 200 approved for deployment earlier in the week. They will join 30 personnel who had already deployed to serve during the inauguration, said Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, a Nebraska Guard spokesman.
Gov. Pete Ricketts and Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, the state’s adjutant general, approved the additional men and women because many volunteered for the deployment, Ingalsbe said.
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“Gen. Bohac was confident based on the response from our soldiers and airmen who volunteered for the mission that we could provide the additional 70 and still, as always, maintain our ability to respond here in the state if needed,” Ingalsbe said.
The soldiers and airmen departed Lincoln aboard military transport aircraft and will be sworn in by Washington law enforcement before Wednesday’s inauguration.
About 265 soldiers and airmen were mobilized from the Iowa Army and Air National Guard, as well.
Washington Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said Wednesday that at least 20,000 Guard members had been authorized to provide security for the inauguration.
National Guard units from around the country routinely deploy to help with inaugurations. But the number of troops has increased this year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by far-right supporters of President Donald Trump. They invaded the building, including the House and Senate chambers, to disrupt the counting of electoral votes and the smooth transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in November.
“There’s a lot of moving parts on this mission on very short notice,” Ingalsbe said, “but it’s truly impressive how everybody has responded and put together this support to our nation’s capital.”
Photos: National Guard troops deployed on Capitol Hill