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300 Alabama National Guard troops prepared for Election Day unrest

Deployment Ceremony for the Alabama Army National Guard 128th Military Police Company leaving for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Bob Gathany/HVT/TNS)
November 03, 2020

About 300 Alabama National Guard troops are currently on alert as the nation prepares for Tuesday’s election and its aftermath.

The Air Force Times said the troops in Alabama are being coordinated in a nationwide readiness for tasks such as assisting with cyber defense, working the polls, and standing-by in case of post-election civil unrest.

There was a new round of Guard activations today, including 1,000 troops in Massachusetts, 300 in Arizona, and an undisclosed number in Oregon and Illinois.

The Alabama National Guard had previously announced the move in Alabama, where the troops, which are not yet activated, will fulfill the routine National Guard Regional Response mission for the eastern part of the country. That mission is to be ready to rapidly deploy forces anywhere in the nation in the event of civil unrest requiring additional law enforcement or security support.

But this is apart from election security and part of a mutual aid compact signed by governors across the country so that Guard members can assist as requested while remaining under state control, as opposed to federal control.

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“The Alabama National Guard has been selected to support the National Guard Regional Response Unit effort,” the Alabama Guard said in a statement. “These National Guard members work in cooperation with local law enforcement in a supporting role.”

The statement noted that Alabama had the military police and airlift capacity necessary to respond quickly, wherever needed around the country.

At least 3,371 Guard troops have been committed to the effort. The size of the authorized deployments ranges from 1,000 in Texas and Massachusetts to a single soldier in Wyoming. Some states have yet to determine how many troops will be activated, and many states have merely alerted selected units in anticipation of possible post-election unrest.

The National Guard is unlikely to federalize for the election and go under President Donald Trump’s control, senior Guard officials from Nebraska, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

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(c) 2020 Alabama Media Group

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.