U.S. Defense Department Approves National Guard Deployment Ahead of Truck Convoys in Washington, D.C.

The United States Defense Department approved requests to deploy hundreds of unarmed National Guard troops in Washington, D.C. ahead of a truck convoy protest.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved requests made by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) for assistance from National Guard personnel, Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said.

About 700 troops and 50 vehicles will be deployed from Feb. 26 to March 27 “for traffic support in anticipation of potential challenges to traffic here in the D.C. area surrounding some potential protest activity,” Kirby said.

Authorities said the troops will arrive “no later than Feb. 26.”

Several truck convoys were planning to converge in the D.C. area to protest against COVID-19 pandemic restrictions around the time of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

The truck drivers were planning to replicate the recent trucker convoy protests in Canadian capital Ottawa.

“The people who live, work, and visit the District are part of our community, and their safety is our first mission priority,” Major General Sherrie McCandless, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, said in a statement.

“Our MPD and USCP partners have asked for our help in ensuring people can demonstrate peacefully and safely, and we stand ready to assist,” McCandless further said.

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