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Virginia National Guard members to remain in Washington for 'security effort'

Adjutant General: 'Special thanks to our families and employers'
Virginia National Guard Soldiers
Posted at 7:05 PM, Jan 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-09 23:20:25-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Authorities said additional personnel will join the 1,000 members of the Virginia National Guard already deployed to Washington after a mob of pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead and briefly delaying the Electoral College tally.

Officials with the Virginia National Guard said 6,200 National Guard soldiers and airmen from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Virginia are expected in the nation's capital by the end of the weekend to aid in "protecting property and providing a safe environment for citizens to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest."

Those guard members will "assist civilian law enforcement with security operations" through Wednesday, Jan. 20 -- the day of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, according to officials.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam deployed 200 state troopers and members of the Virginia National Guard to the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon following a request the mayor of Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Adjutant General of Virginia Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams said soldiers and airmen left their jobs and families "to answer the call of duty."

“I am incredibly proud of how quickly and safely our personnel responded, and they have effectively integrated into supporting the civilian law enforcement security plan," Williams said.

Williams also thanked their employers and families since "we couldn’t conduct our mission without their support.”

Additionally, officials noted that guard members continue aiding the Virginia Department of Health in the COVID-19 crisis via testing and the administering of vaccines.