National Guard troops continued to pour into Washington D.C. on Thursday, bolstering the defenses already prepared around the city for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Up to 15,000 National Guard troops have been authorized to deploy in the city to support security measures ahead of the inauguration.
Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin tweeted, “Thousands of additional US National Guard just arrived at the US Capitol with racks of M4 rifles, gear. Never seen anything like this in our nation’s Capitol. Our video here.”
Rack of rifles can be seen being unloaded from the vehicle.
In a Wednesday statement, the D.C. National Guard said, “On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of congress and their staff . This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.”
Also on Thursday, CBS tweeted, “Crews added barbed wire to fences near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday (1/14). Special security measures are being put in place around Washington, D.C. ahead of the presidential inauguration next week.”
Racks of rifles and riot gear were seen being offloaded from trucks a day earlier. On Wednesday CNN reporter Josh Replogle tweeted, “@mkraju Racks upon racks of rifles and pistols. National guard gearing up at the Capitol,” with video of rifles and riot gear being offloaded from a truck outside the Capitol.
The D.C. National Guard (DCNG) was criticized for its response time during the storming of the Capitol last week. Only about 340 DCNG troops were active ahead of the incident and were unarmed. DCNG troops reportedly had to return to base to equip themselves with riot gear before they could respond to calls for assistance at the Capitol.
The Hill tweeted “National Guard troops place barriers and fencing to help secure National Mall” with additional footage of nonscalable fences around the mall.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was seen addressing troops on Wednesday, thanking them and calling them a “deterrent” to potential unrest.
The Sun tweeted, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanks National Guard soldiers outside the Capitol building” with a video of Pelosi addressing the troops at the Capitol.
Pelosi said “The fact that you are here will be a deterrent to those who have come to undermine our Constitution. So again, I want you to be safe, I want you to not take any risks, but we want the message to be clear the Capitol, our democracy, our Constitution are safe because of your patriotism.”
The Associated Press reported Washington D.C. has entered a state of lockdown and Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked people not to come to the city to attend Biden’s inauguration.