DES MOINES --- The Iowa National Guard plans to send 250 members to assist in security efforts in the nation’s capital during inauguration week, the Guard’s leader said Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Ben Corell said the U.S. National Guard requested assistance from all 50-plus U.S. states, territories and districts. Corell said the plan is for the 250 Iowa Guard members to travel to Washington, D.C., this weekend.
Corell said he could not elaborate on what assignments the Iowa Guard members will be given once they reach the capital.
Security efforts have increased ever since a citizen siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as supporters of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump tried to stop Congress from certifying the results of last November’s election, which Trump lost. Five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died during the raid.
“Because of events that have occurred, they’ve increased the security posture, which has increased the demand signal for not only law enforcement but National Guard,” Corell told reporters Thursday, just after completing his annual condition of the Guard address to the Iowa Legislature. “There are thousands of guardsmen, thousands of law enforcement professionals that are already in the area. They’re erecting barricades to protect critical infrastructure, and wherever the need is from the Iowa National Guard soldiers and airmen that moved to D.C., (local law enforcement officials) will probably put them in place.”