President Trump activated the full D.C. National Guard on Sunday afternoon to protect life and property, after rioting throughout the weekend, the defacement of monuments, and the setting fire to a historic church near the White House.
A spokesman for the D.C. National Guard said “hundreds” of National Guardsmen — soldiers and airmen — are now added to other D.C. National Guard units that had been activated over the past four days.
Trump was able to activate the National Guard forces versus a governor doing so, as D.C. is not a state and there is no governor to act as the approving authority. He activated them on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
D.C. National Guard Commanding General Army Maj. Gen. William J. Walker will command the Guardsmen. He will decide how to deploy and disperse them around the city to protect personnel and property, according to the spokesman.
The Guard will be working with the U.S. Park Police, the federal police force for the district’s federal parks and monuments.
They are working “24/7,” said spokesman Air National Guard Capt. Edwin Nieves, Jr.
Nieves said the National Guardsmen may be armed by the order of the President for personal protection since they are not acting in a law enforcement role. They will also be wearing personal protective equipment and using crowd control equipment such as shields.
The tasking for the National Guard across the country comes amid their mission to also assist with the fight against the coronavirus.