The United States spent nearly $500 million to deploy National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, military officials said according to a Thursday report.
The cost includes transporting the troops from various states to D.C., health benefits, housing, and other essentials, U.S. military officials said according to the Associated Press. The expenses cover the price of keeping between 5,000 and 7,000 troops in D.C. through March 14. (RELATED: REPORT: National Guard Had Zero Confrontations With Protesters During Biden Inauguration)
Around 26,000 National Guard troops from all 50 states and four territories were deployed to D.C. after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building. The troops were located across the city to protect the city from reported threats of violence. After the Jan. 6 riot, the Department of Homeland Security warned against further violence in a terrorism bulletin, the Associated Press reported.
Roughly 5,000 troops were abruptly ordered to leave Capitol grounds on Jan. 21 and were seen sleeping in a parking garage with one bathroom.
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage …” one Guardsman said https://t.co/2QneUNtBDe pic.twitter.com/Q8lZzP7hHV
— POLITICO (@politico) January 22, 2021
Some soldiers said that they were not informed of a specific threat or security concern as a reason for remaining in D.C. through mid-March. (RELATED: ‘This Is What A Hero Looks Like’: National Guard Sergeant Teaches Elementary Schoolers While Deployed In Washington)
“There is no defined situation, or mission statement,” a soldier who served in Afghanistan told Politico. “This is very unusual for any military mission.”
Governors of a few states, including Montana, Florida, Texas, and New Hampshire, have ordered their troops to return home, reducing the number of Guard members remaining in D.C. after the inauguration, Politico reported.