OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Approximately 400 Oklahoma National Guard members will be sent to Washington, D.C. to provide support during the Presidential Inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Oklahoma Guardsmen will join National Guard soldiers and airmen from 43 other states to support the District of Columbia National Guard in assisting law enforcement with crowd management, traffic control in around the U.S. Capitol, National Mall and White House, communications and logistical and medical support, according to an Oklahoma National Guard news release.
“When people see the National Guard, they know we are there to help,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “The men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard who will be supporting the inauguration are the same Guardsmen who have been there time and time again for Oklahoma communities.”
Oklahoma Guard members are expected to head to Washington, D.C. later this week and remain on-station in the nation’s capitol for seven to 10 days.
A violent mob of President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempted insurrection.
The mob of Trump supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol Complex as Vice President Mike Pence and a joint session of Congress were counting Electoral College votes during the process to confirm the election of President-elect Biden.
A Capitol officer who tried to stop the mob died later in a hospital. He was beaten on the head with a fire extinguisher during the mob attack. Four mob participants died as well.
The Capitol Building was ransacked, sustaining extensive damage.
National Guard presence in presidential inaugurations dates back to April 30, 1789, when local militias, pre-cursors to the modern National Guard, accompanied Army and Revolutionary War veterans in escorting George Washington to New York City – the government seat for his inauguration ceremony, according to the news release.
“The National Guard has a long and proud history of inauguration support. The forefathers of today’s National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been part of every inauguration since,” said Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We stand ready to support this national event with our interagency partners.”