National Guardsmen working a 24-hour rotation to protect lawmakers against further threats of violence have been forced to sleep in the hallways of the Capitol.
Pictures of the guardsmen sleeping in any spot they could find with their weapons nearby as lawmakers walked past circulated online Wednesday morning.
I try to stay clear of politics. However I am enraged to see photos of our National Guard people who give their lives to defend us sleeping on the floor to protect our elected officials that whine and complain about going through metal detectors. Seriously! pic.twitter.com/DnlE98H9tr
— Laura Larson-Greiert (@SuzLGreiert) January 13, 2021
The troops were reportedly taking their breaks and trying to nap during a 24-hour rotation of troops stationed along Pennsylvania Avenue, ABC News reported.
They are stationed in Washington, D.C., to prevent a repeat of the incursion of the Capitol that happened last week. However, many online were not pleased that the guardsmen were not provided more comfortable sleeping arrangements.
“As a former Guardsmen who got called up for the L.A. riots, I have to say, floors like that are as hard as they look,” Scott Shuey tweeted.
“If you see these guys when this is over, buy ’em a beer – at least.”
As a former Guardsmen who got called up for the L.A. riots, I have to say, floors like that are as hard as they look. If you see these guys when this is over, buy ‘em a beer – at least.
— Scott Shuey (@ScottShuey) January 13, 2021
Another commenter asked, “How about some beds or cots for these protectors????!!!!” according to the New York Post.
An additional 5,000 members of the National Guard are expected to arrive to support security measures taken in the lead-up to Inauguration Day, The Washington Post reported.
“I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia,” Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said at a news conference.
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Defense officials are still discussing a plan to provide security support, but have said 10,000 forces will be in place by the weekend.
“Right now [Jan. 11], we have approximately 6,200 National Guard soldiers and airmen from six states and the District of Columbia on the ground in the NCR supporting civilian authorities,” Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in a news release.
“We have received support requests from the Secret Service, Capitol Police, and Park Police, and have been authorized to provide up to 15,000 Guard members to meet current and future inauguration support requirements.”
The Washington Post reported the National Guardsmen who were deployed to the capital last week were drawn from emergency mobilization units, according to defense officials.
Troops have been pulled from Virginia and Maryland, but defense officials have expressed concern about balancing the security support needs with the needs of individual states.
“We’re not going to pull too much out of their states and put them at risk, so a very delicate risk management process is underway,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
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