Pentagon extends National Guard presence at Capitol through May 23

Source: The Hill | March 9, 2021 | Rebecca Kheel

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved keeping nearly 2,300 National Guardsmen at the U.S. Capitol through May 23, the Pentagon said Tuesday evening.

The move extends the Guard’s deployment more than two months past when it was supposed to end this week. The number of approved troops is about half of the 5,100 currently stationed at the Capitol.

“This decision was made after a thorough review of the request and after close consideration of its potential impact on readiness,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

During the extension, Pentagon officials will “work with the U.S. Capitol Police to incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow,” Kirby added.

“We thank the National Guard for its support throughout this mission, as well as for its significant efforts across the nation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

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