WASHINGTON, DC -- To ensure the safety of the U.S. Capital on President-elect's Joe Biden's inauguration day, approximately 550 members of the New Jersey National Guard have been deployed to Washington D.C. The deployed National Guard Air and Army guardsman hail from across the state.
Lieutenant Colonel Barbara Brown, public affairs officer for the New Jersey National Guard, told TAPinto Hamilton and Bordentown that the initial mission for the units has been changing since early January and particularly after the riots and security breach at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Originally, 54 members of the Guard were deployed as part of "security support for civil disturbance" following the riots but their mission continues to morph including as security at the Capitol complex according to Brown.
The officers are currently serving as part of an "undisclosed mission" with no specific return date set.
Brown said that typically there is a request sent every four years for presidential inauguration security through the National Guard Bureau. The need for NJ National Guard has grown from the initial request of 43 officers.
There are currently an estimated 21,500 members of National Guard units from 54 states and territories stationed in Washington D.C. leading up to the inauguration
Additionally, the New Jersey National Guard also is in communication with state authorities on any potential threats to the state capital, Trenton. They stand ready with their "quick reaction force" to support local and state law enforcement in the event of unrest in the city.
There are two units of NJ National Guard: one is station at the Joint Base McGuire-Lakehurst-Ft. Dix and the other at Atlantic City airport in Egg Harbor Township.