Pentagon extends National Guard deployment on Capitol Hill

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Pentagon extends National Guard deployment on Capitol Hill

But the number of military personnel will be reduced by almost half

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved a Capitol Police request to extend the deployment of National Guard troops in the Washington area of ​​Congress until May 23, 2021, the Pentagon said.

However, their numbers will be reduced.

Around 2,300 troops will continue to carry out the support mission, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said.

“This is about a nearly 50 percent reduction in the current support force,” Kirby said. “The decision was made after careful consideration of the request and careful study of its impact on combat readiness.”

During this period, Department of Defense officials will work with Capitol police to phase out the National Guard presence as far as the situation allows, Kirby said.

“We thank the National Guard for their support throughout this mission, as well as for their significant efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic across the country,” a Pentagon spokesman said.

About 5,000 members of the National Guard are still serving in Washington. They arrived in the capital after the storming of the Capitol on January 6.

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