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NASHVILLE (January 17) — On Sunday, in the wake of the recent unrest in Washington, D.C., the Tennessee National Guard was activated with several of its members being deployed to the …
NASHVILLE (January 17) — On Sunday, in the wake of the recent unrest in Washington, D.C., the Tennessee National Guard was activated with several of its members being deployed to the nation’s capital. With growing concerns of possible domestic terrorism and violence the state guard, at the request of the federal government, was sent for added security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Local members of the guard along with units from West Tennessee, including McKenzie, arrived in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. Currently, 15,000 National Guard members are at the capitol. The Tennessee Department of Safety requested support from the guard asking for “Soldiers and Airmen to support the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the State Capitol.”
FBI Memphis Field Office Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Clement informed the news media, “Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity.” She added, “Between now and the presidential inauguration on January 20, we will be maintaining a heightened posture to monitor for any emerging threats to the region.”
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Messina, director of the Tennessee Department of Military’s Joint Strategic Communications Office provided the following statement, “The Tennessee National Guard is preparing to send soldiers and airmen to support the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. scheduled for Jan. 20. These Tennessee National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be providing communications, logistics, food service and religious support. All units will support the District of Columbia National Guard as part of a task force of Army and Air National Guard members from across the country. This mission to support the Presidential Inauguration in our Nation’s Capitol will not impact our ongoing COVID-19 mission to support the Tennessee Department of Health with testing and the administration of the vaccine, nor our ability to support other missions within our great State -- this is why our more than 12,000 Soldiers and Airmen wear the uniform. The Tennessee National Guard received a request from the Department of Safety to provide soldiers and airmen to support the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the State Capitol.”