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National Guard Deployment to Grow to 20,000 Strong, Officials Say

National Guard Deployment to Grow to 20,000 Strong, Officials Say

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National Guard troops at the East Front of the Capitol on Wednesday.MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

National Guard troops at the East Front of the Capitol on Wednesday.MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

The number of National Guardsmen securing Washington ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration is expected to reach at least 20,000, two military officials said, more than three times the original planned. The increase reflects growing demands on the National Guard from various government and police agencies in charge of securing the city between now and Wednesday’s inauguration. Those requests are expected to lead the Pentagon to sign off on the new figure, the officials said. “You can except to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia,” acting chief of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Robert J. Contee III said at a news conference. Defense officials reached the new figure as roughly 6,500 Guardsmen already activated began positioning places like inside the Capitol Wednesday. Some of those guardsmen were armed. Others rested on the floor near the Capitol, some of them finishing 16-hour shifts.

Guardsmen from at least 20 states will comprise the 20,000 figure, the officials said. There are expected to be at least 10,000 Guardsmen in the city by this weekend, defense officials said. It is unclear when that figure would double. More on WSJ

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