The Nebraska National Guard is sending 200 additional personnel to Washington, D.C., to provide security during the presidential inauguration next week, Guard officials said Wednesday.
The security personnel who will deploy to Washington are still being identified and notified, said Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, a Nebraska Guard spokesman. They are being drawn from several units in both the Army and Air National Guard.
Gov. Pete Ricketts authorized the deployment of additional troops Tuesday, and it was approved late in the day by Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, the state’s adjutant general.
The soldiers and airmen are expected to leave this weekend, possibly aboard military transport aircraft, Ingalsbe said. They are in addition to 30 personnel who had already committed to serve during the inauguration, providing communications, food service, administrative and religious support. Many of those airmen have already deployed.
The extra personnel are being sent in response to a request by the District of Columbia National Guard earlier this week. D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said Wednesday that at least 20,000 Guard troops had been authorized to provide security for the inauguration.
National Guard units from around the country routinely deploy to help with inaugural events. But the number of troops has increased this year following the Jan. 6 armed 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.
Some of the groups behind last week’s Capitol invasion have also threated to attack the inauguration.
“The forefathers of today’s National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been a part of every inauguration since,” Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington, said in a statement. “We stand ready to support this national event.”