500 Wisconsin National Guard troops mobilizing to DC ahead of inauguration

Wisconsin Supreme Court Tosses Trump Election Lawsuit
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a member of Wisconsin's Electoral College, casts his vote at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.
Morry Gash

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers has announced roughly 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops will mobilize to the nation’s capital ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The news comes one week after pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building. The FBI has also warned of possible armed protests in D.C. and at all 50 state capitals leading up to Inauguration Day.

“We are once again thankful to the Wisconsin National Guard for always stepping up, not only for their friends and neighbors here in Wisconsin, but wherever they are needed,” Evers said in a statement. “I’m confident these members of the Guard will assist in any way they can to help maintain peace and security in our nation’s capital in the days ahead.”

The troops include soldiers from a number of Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard units, according to a news release. The members will support the thousands of troops from other states who have also been sent to D.C.

Guard members will arrive in Washington in the coming days.

“When our state or nation calls, the Citizen Soldiers and Airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard are always ready,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “Whether we’re serving overseas in a combat zone, responding to the pandemic, assisting at the polls, preserving public safety in our own communities, or helping secure our nation’s capital, our state and nation can count on our Soldiers and Airmen to be there during times of need.”

Evers has also authorized Guard troops to assist at the Wisconsin State Capitol in the event of armed protests in downtown Madison.

The Guard continues to play a role in the state’s response to the pandemic, with over 600 troops still on duty at COVID-19 testing sites across Wisconsin.