Defense Department officials are scrambling to call governors and asking whether they have any more National Guard troops they can send to Washington to help protect the Capitol and the city.
A defense official familiar with the discussions says law enforcement leaders and other authorities have now determined that they’ll need about 25,000 National Guard troops. And they say that number could still grow.
As of Friday morning, officials had commitments from states for close to 22,000 members of the Guard. That’s according to the official, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In recent days, defense and military leaders have said they understand that states are also facing their own looming protests and the first priority of the governors is to protect their own capitals.
The number of Guard officials are seeking to help protect the District of Columbia in the run-up to Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden has increased almost daily.
Defense and law enforcement authorities have been revising the numbers as they go through rehearsals and other drills to determine how many and where they need the Guard reinforcements to help lock down Washington.
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