National Guard Members Head To D.C. To Relieve Fellow Members

A soldier awaits departure to Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy Staff Sgt. Jorge Morales, 44th IBCT PAO)

  TOMS RIVER – Seventy citizen-soldiers departed one recent morning from the Toms River armory to replace other New Jersey National Guard members leaving Washington D.C. as part of the continuing security mission there.

   According to New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans /National Guard Public Affairs representative Kryn Westhoven, “the National Guard Bureau is coordinating with federal law enforcement to meet any continuing needs in Washington, D.C. while simultaneously working the logistics to return Guard members to their home states, families, and employers.”

  “The New Jersey National Guard anticipates redeployment of many Guard members back to their home stations by the end of this week,” Westhoven added.

  Approximately 7,000 National Guard personnel from the 54 states and territories will remain in D.C. to provide security, communications, and logistical support to D.C. and federal law enforcement agencies.

Photo courtesy Staff Sgt. Jorge Morales, 44th IBCT PAO

  “The NJNG will support this effort with approximately 300 personnel through mid-March,” Westhoven said.

  Security in the nation’s capitol increased after rioters invaded the Capitol Building on January 6. One Capitol Police officer was killed by rioters, and four rioters died during the attack. Two Capitol Police officers have since committed suicide.

  According to the National Guard Bureau, more than 25,000 personnel were initially sent to support the inauguration. They had been requested by the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Park Service, and U.S. Capitol Police

  Outside D.C., 6,565 members of the National Guard were also protecting state capitals around the country.