By Maj. Holli Nelson, West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Approximately 80 Soldiers and Airmen from various units in the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard will depart this week to Washington, D.C. to support security operations for the U.S. Capitol Police.
“Our National Guard is just phenomenal and we owe them everything for what they do to help our state and nation during times of need,” said Governor Jim Justice. “This is just another example of how truly great these men and women are and I know they will represent the Mountain State well in any given mission.”
West Virginia Soldiers and Airmen join nearly 600 National Guard service members deployed to conduct traffic control operations including the observance, monitoring and restricting traffic at designated posts in support of U.S. Capitol Police law enforcement activities, including by providing security at major points of entry to the U.S. Capitol Complex. The public’s safety is the top priority of the National Guard.
“Once again, our West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have stepped up to the plate to provide support to our partners, just as we have in years past, ” stated Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, West Virginia’s adjutant general. “Because our Guard remains a flexible and professional force, we are able to quickly respond when asked to provide assistance. I have no doubt that our men and women, in conjunction with our neighboring National Guard states, will carry out their mission successfully, with pride and professionalism.”
The Department of Defense authorized the request for assistance to the USCP Feb. 20, which authorizes personnel from outside the District of Columbia National Guard to assist at designated traffic posts and select Capitol entry points starting no later than 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26.
As WVNG personnel are supporting the security effort in the nation’s capital, nearly 550 Soldiers and Airmen continue to support COVID-19 response efforts in West Virginia. Also, a team of approximately 125 Soldiers and Airmen from the 35th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) will provide assistance to the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services and 33rd Civil Support Team in consequence management for the President’s State of the Union Address on March 1, 2022.
Guard members will not carry firearms or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities as a part of this mission.