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More National Guard troops authorized for inauguration, bringing D.C. total to 20,000

Guardsmen are already stationed in and around the Capitol building, which was breached last week

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National Guard
National Guard troops at the U.S. Capitol Building. Jan 12, 2021.
(Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
Updated: January 13, 2021 - 1:30pm

An additional 5,000 members of the National Guard have been authorized to support security efforts in Washington, D.C. around Joe Biden's upcoming inauguration – bringing the total to at least 20,000 for the Jan. 20 event in the nation's capital.

"I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of thee District of Columbia," acting D.C. police chief Robert Contee said Wednesday. 

At least 10,000 guardsmen will be in Washington by Saturday, many of whom are already stationed in and around the U.S. Capitol Building, which was breached one week ago. 

The Defense Department has reportedly authorized the troops guarding the building to be armed while on duty. 

Thousands of National Guardsmen generally stream into Washington, D.C. ahead of Inauguration Day events. In 2009, about 9,000 were stationed around the nation's capital for President Obama's first inauguration, and nearly 8,000 were present for President Trump's 2017 inauguration.