Washington D.C: National Guard to Remain until 23rd of May

On Tuesday, the US Department of Defence agreed to further fortify the Capitol by keeping up to 2,000 troops in Washington D.C until the 23rd of May. The security mission which initially deployed 5,200 troops to the Capitol in the aftermath of the January 6th riot was due to end on the 12th of March.

In yesterday’s US Department of Defence (DOD) press release, it was confirmed that the Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III had approved a request by the Capitol Police for “continued National Guard support [until] May 23, 2021”.

Capitol Police acting chief Yogananda Pittman submitted the request at the beginning of the month after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to security services titled “National Capital Region Remains Attractive Target for Domestic Violent Extremists”. The bulletin warned that "Domestic Violent Extremists" or "Militia Violent Extremists" posed a high overall threat after being “emboldened” by the events of January the 6th.

The DOD stated that Nearly 2,300 National Guard personnel will remain in Washington D.C to “continue [to] support [the] mission” and “this represents a reduction of nearly 50 per cent of the current support force”. The DOD committed to working with the U.S. Capitol Police to “incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow” and thanked the National Guard for its “support throughout this mission, as well as for its significant efforts across the nation in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic”.