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Homeland Security

PNG mobilizes more members for support at home, in DC

By Brad Rhen | Pennsylvania National Guard January 17, 2021

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. -- More than 1,400 additional Pennsylvania National Guard members have been activated to support the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration and provide security in Pennsylvania.

About 1,000 of the Soldiers and Airmen will deploy to Washington for inauguration support, joining more than 1,000 PNG members who were activated on Jan. 7 to assist authorities at Wednesday's inauguration. Another 450 Guard members will provide security in Pennsylvania.

"As the number of Guard forces from around the country continues to build in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania is now sending an additional 1,000 of its Guard members to help ensure the safe and peaceful inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden," Gov. Tom Wolf said in a news release. "By having one of the largest Guards in the nation, the Pennsylvania Guard has the trained resources needed to respond to concurrent missions within our commonwealth, across our nation and overseas."

The PNG members placed on state active duty in Pennsylvania are supporting safety and security efforts in Harrisburg and elsewhere in the Keystone State.

"I will not allow what happened at our nation's capital to happen here," Wolf said. "That is why I am taking the necessary measures to ensure everyone's safety and security across our great commonwealth. The Pennsylvania National Guard's presence around our State Capital and surrounding community will enhance law enforcement's ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security during these unprecedented times."

Pennsylvania has the second-largest National Guard force in the country, with over 18,000 members in more than 80 armories and readiness centers statewide.

In addition to the more than 2,400 Soldiers and Airmen activated for inauguration support at home and in the District of Columbia, the PNG has more than 1,000 Soldiers deployed to the Middle East and about 300 members supporting COVID-19 missions in Pennsylvania.

"Assisting and supporting local authorities during times of need is one of the core missions of the National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania's acting adjutant general. "The men and women of the Pennsylvania National Guard are trained and prepared to ensure our citizens and infrastructure are safe and protected."

The Defense Department has agreed to provide up to 25,000 service members to support the inauguration. The National Guard is providing security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics and safety support to state, district and federal agencies through the inauguration.

"Our National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are set around the city to protect our nation's capital," said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. "At the same time, we have thousands around the country supporting COVID operations, Operation Warp Speed, and a multitude of Soldiers and Airmen are deployed overseas supporting combat operations."

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