The South Carolina National Guard was activated beginning May 31, 2020, to assist law enforcement in maintaining citizen safety and peace at protests taking place throughout the state.
“The federal authorities are on alert. The state authorities are on alert. All of the county authorities are on alert. The city authorities are on alert…The National Guard of South Carolina is also on alert and will be available around the state as needed,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster during a press conference held May 31.
The South Carolina National Guard will mobilize approximately 500 Soldiers and Airmen in state active duty in preparation to assist law enforcement personnel, as needed. As of June 1, the South Carolina National Guard had provided approximately 45 Soldiers to support police departments in the lowcountry conducting patrols. Additional missions will be based on the needs and requests of the cities and counties in the state.
“The South Carolina National Guard is mobilized at the direction of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster in State Active Duty in support of state and local law enforcement in response to potential unrest during protests held throughout the state,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, the adjutant general for South Carolina. “Civilian law enforcement personnel will continue to be the lead organization, with the South Carolina National Guard assisting with crowd control, general security, and patrols, as needed. Our Soldiers and Airmen will augment these civilian entities to enhance law enforcement agencies’ ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security to allow citizens to peacefully protest.”
The South Carolina National Guard remains ready to support the counties, state and local agencies, and first responders with requested resources for as long as needed in support of protest response efforts in the state. The South Carolina National Guard has also been activated in support of COVID-19 response efforts since March 13, 2020 and continues to work in support of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and healthcare personnel at mobile testing sites throughout the state.