The Idaho National Guard has sent several hundred Soldiers to Washington D.C. to control George Floyd protesters.
In a release late Friday, National Guard said that it sent approximately 400 Soldiers on June 5 to assist with guarding federal monuments, buildings and other property. The Soldiers will augment the D.C. National Guard and serve in support of the United States Park Police and Metropolitan Police Department.
The Soldiers will augment the D.C. National Guard and serve in support of the United States Park Police and Metropolitan Police Department. Soldiers departed from Gowen Field, Pocatello and Spokane less than 25 hours after the mission was approved by Gov. Brad Little. Idaho is one of 11 states to send additional support to the nation’s capital.
“Whether responding to a crisis in Idaho or another state, the principles of the Idaho National Guard remain the same: to help local jurisdictions, city governments and state agencies ensure public safety,” Idaho National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak said. “Regardless of where we are in the U.S., our role is to support civilian authorities and our personnel are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people’s right to peacefully demonstrate.”
As Washington Post previously reported, the Pentagon has told National Guardsmen deployed to the nation’s capital not to use firearms or ammunition.
The Idaho National Guard has provided hundreds of soldiers and airmen over the last decade in response to national emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, wildland fire suppression in Oregon and Washington in 2015, and Hurricane Maria recovery support in Puerto Rico in 2017. More recently, the Guard provided state emergency relief in Idaho during the COVID-19 pandemic.