Pentagon set to OK extending Guard deployment at Capitol

The request to extend the deployment met resistance last week as some governors expressed reluctance or flatly refused to deploy their troops in the city for any more time. There now seem to be enough states ready to provide guards for the mission, said the defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal considerations.

Army leaders had also initially questioned whether the Capitol Police had exhausted all other means to meet the need, such as asking other federal law enforcement agencies for security. But officials said military leaders felt it was important to find ways to find out the details.

It was unclear Tuesday whether the guards currently in Washington would have to stay an extra day or two while the new forces arrive and train and settle in.

The threat was linked to the far-right conspiracy theory advocated by QAnon supporters that former President Donald Trump would return to power on March 4, the original date of the president’s inauguration. That day passed without a hitch, but law enforcement has stated the threat to the buildings and staff remains.

The operation of the guard at the Capitol was troubled. Early on, the members of the guard were briefly forced to rest and take meals in a nearby cold garage, which sparked outrage within the Biden administration. Officials quickly found new rooms within the convention building for duty breaks.

In addition, guards complained of bad food, including some who said they had gotten sick. On Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that of the 26,000 sent to Washington, about 50 guards had been treated for gastrointestinal problems. He said six were seeking outpatient medical treatment while the rest were being treated at aid stations set up for the Capitol Hill mission.

Kirby said General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited and dined with troops several times a week to make sure they were getting good food.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman moved to keep the Guard and initiated a series of talks with the Pentagon and National Guard leaders.

U.S. military officials have stated that the cost of deploying approximately 26,000 guards to the U.S. Capitol shortly after the January 6 uprising through Friday was nearly $ 500 million. No estimate has been published for the next two months. The cost includes accommodation, transportation, salaries, benefits, and other essentials.

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