By Cotton Puryear, JFHQ Public Affairs
/ Published January 23, 2021
Virginia National Guard soldiers stand guard in Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2021. National Guard soldiers and airmen from several states have traveled to Washington to provide support leading up to Inauguration Day.
RICHMOND, Va.— Approximately 1,000 Virginia National Guard personnel will be among more than 7,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from dozens of states remaining in Washington, D.C. following the 59th Presidential Inauguration to provide enduring support to local and federal authorities, according to an announcement made Jan. 23, 2021, by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia.
“Virginia National Guard personnel are remaining on duty following the presidential inauguration at the request of local and federal authorities, and they will remain on duty until those agencies no longer require our direct support,” Williams said. “We expect our troops to conduct security-related missions to include crowd control, traffic control and assisting with entry and exit points. We are incredibly proud of the professionalism and dedicated service they have demonstrated throughout this mission, and they will continue to play an important role in helping keep their fellow citizens safe.”
The VNG had approximately 2,400 personnel on the ground in Jan. 20 assisting civilian law enforcement in protecting property and keeping people safe at the inauguration. The personnel not remaining on duty have begun the process to end their duty orders and return home over the coming days. An exact schedule for their return home has not been finalized.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam authorized the initial VNG support after a Jan. 6 request from the mayor of Washington, D.C. Department of Defense and National Guard Bureau officials asked multiple states to identify units able to support law enforcement and the D.C. National Guard. They remain under the control of the Virginia Governor under Title 32, 502 (f) orders for up to 31 days.
The majority of VNG personnel provided security assistance, but additional personnel are provided communications, medical, chaplain, logistics and public information support to their fellow troops and to district and federal agencies.
The VNG also had additional Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force on duty providing mission command, logistics, administrative, finance, medical, chaplain and public information support in Virginia.
As VNG personnel supported the security effort in the nation’s capitol, additional Soldiers and Airmen continued supporting COVID-19 testing across the state and assisting the Virginia Department of Health with planning for administering COVID-19 vaccines.
Col. Christopher G. Batterton
Command Chief Master Sgt.
Richard A. Roberts