Maine is planning to send between 175 and 200 National Guard members to Washington, D.C., ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, where they will join thousands of other guardsmen providing security after a mob supportive of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol last week.
Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, authorized the deployment after the National Guard Bureau requested states assist with security operations. The specialities of Maine’s guardsmen and role they would play in Washington were not immediately clear on Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re proud to join our brothers and sisters from across the country to support the peaceful transition of power and ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow Americans,” said Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Maine’s adjutant general, in a Wednesday news release Wednesday.
Law enforcement agencies and members of Congress raised security concerns after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week ended in the deaths of five people, including a police officer. Guardsmen from nearby states were deployed after several hours to help quell those riots.
As many as 20,000 National Guard members from across the country could be deployed to Washington for inauguration, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
State law enforcement agencies have also upped security around the Maine State House in Augusta following an FBI warning that armed protesters could target state capitals on or before inauguration day. The FBI has said there is no specific event planned at the state capital.