HONOLULU (KHON2) — An estimated 200 members of the Hawaii National Guard will be deployed to Washington D.C. to aid with security measures ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Gov. David Ige announced he would send national guardsmen after the National Guard Bureau requested additional aid in the area.
[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]
“The Hawaii National Guard is prepared to support the effort in Washington, D.C., to ensure a peaceful transition of power and a smooth Inauguration Day following a free and fair election. I thank our Guard members for their dedication to protecting our democracy during these challenging times, ” said Gov. Ige.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara said, he got the e-mail on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 13,that additional troops from Hawaii were needed. He got approval from Gov. David Ige and started planning a course of action.
“Last night, we had already notified all the soldiers. Every single one of them showed up today. We scheduled the Air National Guard aircraft that will be flying and deploying the soldiers to D.C. in less than 24 hours. (It’s) truly remarkable.”Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara
The national guardsmen will be likely screening people and providing crowd and traffic control at entry and exit points. He said, the amount of national guardsmen going to the inauguration is much more than previous years.
“We’ve provided small numbers before on a primary from our civil support team each year, but never in the numbers, right, obviously with what happened recently, and all the concerns with security, that’s why this is probably the first time that all 54 states and territories will be contributing,” Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara
Hara said, it was asked that the troops be armed when they get to Washington D.C.
Roughly 800 guardsmen are still activated for COVID-19 support in the state. Gov. Ige said, the deployment of these members will not impact those efforts.
For security reasons, specifics about the deployment have been limited.