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Kansas to send 300 guardsmen to DC for inauguration

Kansas National Guard.jpg
Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 18:34:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced plans Thursday to send 300 members of the Kansas National Guard to Washington, D.C., for next week’s presidential inauguration.

Kelly’s office said in a statement that the deployment comes after “a request for support from the District of Columbia National Guard.”

“The presidential inauguration is a collaborative event, requiring extraordinary support from many federal and state agencies,” Kelly said in a statement. “The National Guard has supported presidential inaugurations since the founding of our nation. I'm incredibly thankful for everything they do, and this is just the latest example of our Kansas National Guard being always ready to answer the call for our state and nation."

Approximately 20,000 National Guardsmen are expected in D.C. from across the country as Joe Biden is sworn in Jan. 20 as the 46th President of the United States, according to Kelly’s office.

The request for beefed-up security comes less than two weeks after a deadly riot by supporters of President Trump on Jan. 6 at the Capitol interrupted proceedings as Congress certified Biden's Electoral College victory.

Soldiers and airmen from the 1st Battalion, 635th Armor Kansas City, Kansas; the 169th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Olathe; the 250th Forward Support Company in Ottawa; the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation and 190th Air Refueling Wing, both in Topeka; the 891st Engineer Battalion in Iola; the and 772nd Engineer Company in Pittsburg; will be flown from the Kansas capital to the nation’s capital next week.

The decision marks a change from Wednesday when the Kansas National Guard said it wasn't sending any soldiers or airmen for the inauguration.

The Missouri National Guard also is sending support for the inauguration, but wouldn't confirm how many soldiers were being deployed.

"Due to operational concerns, we cannot give specific numbers of troops involved in ongoing efforts," the Missouri National Guard told 41 Action News. "The Missouri National Guard stands ready to support the D.C. National Guard as long as needed. The current authorization is up to 31 days."