Friday, March 05, 2021

Idaho National Guard activated to Washington, D.C.

by CONNOR SWERSEY Contributing Writer
| January 16, 2021 1:00 AM

The Idaho National Guard is deploying 300 soldiers and airmen to Washington D.C. to assist during the transition of power from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration.

After a Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C., with many breaking into the Capitol after forcing their way through security, much of the country is on high alert.

With the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden coming up on Jan. 20, no one knows what might be coming. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned lawmakers, security, police, and citizens of plans for possible armed protests in all 50 state’s capitols on Inauguration Day.

Lt. Col. Christopher Borders, public affairs officer for the Idaho National Guard, said they have not yet been requested to provide any support to Boise on Inauguration Day.

“We maintain a capability to respond to multiple emergencies simultaneously whether here in Idaho, or across the country,” Borders said. “We are sending approximately five to six percent of our force to Washington, D.C., to support the inauguration.”

With just five or six percent of the Idaho Guard going to D.C. Borders says that there will still be sufficient personnel in the state if they are called upon on Jan. 20.

“Any time we send our personnel out, the protection of our force is always a concern,” Borders said. “We will take the normal precautions that we would anytime we mobilize around the country or the world.”

Borders said that the most recent mobilization similar to the current deployment was in June 2020 when the Guard was deployed to Washington, D.C.

“We are there to support the Secret Service, the lead federal agency for the inauguration,” Borders said. “We want to see a smooth transition of national power from one government to the next.”

Connor Swersey is an intern with the University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research and the UI JAMM News Service.