A National Guard official, who was anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the new name was more accurate about their mission. But changing the language used during the war also shows the complicated situation the National Guard might face, as President Trump signaled that he might not accept the election results if he loser.
Members of the National Guard, organized in individual states and territories and often commanded by their governors, may be called upon to exercise crowd control, secure landmarks safe or carry out curfew, based on the role they̵7;ve had this year. Some of them could also be deployed to the nation’s capital, should Trump decide to repeat his plans from June and amass a military force in Washington, teamed up with law enforcement. federal and local law.
The new reactor, with a total of about 600 members split between Alabama and Arizona, is not large enough to give the same response as the unit Washington saw in June. First reported by the AP this month, it could provide an additional initial wave of support in states where there is unrest or be used in the nation’s capital, where the Trump administration has authority. Greater control due to the city’s status as a federal jurisdiction.
“As governors across the country continue to ask for law enforcement assistance, they often turn to the National Guard,” said Wayne Hall, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau, in a statement. “A National Guard Area Response Unit has been created to rapidly provide additional Military Police to the state or territory to strengthen their own response units.”
The National Guard has long sought to present themselves as civilian soldiers as neighbors. But convincing people about that is not always easy, especially the involvement of the National Guard in the response to instability that has become the focus of attention.
In Washington, the DC National Guard helicopters flew in June in an apparent attempt to disband the protesters, prompting an investigation to discover, two defense officials said. the plane did not have the license they needed to stay there, two defense officials said. on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Officials say the investigation found that Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Wingblade, the aviation overseer for the DC National Guard, also did not receive the special approval needed to use a medical helicopter. practice, a Lakota trimmed in red and white. crossing over, in a non-medical mission. The details were first reported on Friday by Defense One.
The results of the investigation have not been announced as the Office of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Defense has received the case for private consideration. That examination is still inconclusive, and is evaluating poor communication between the National Guard officers that night and whether any more high-ranking officers should be discovered, one of the defense officials said.
The flights arrive when members of the National Guard from several states are dispatched to Washington amid unrest to perform crowd control functions. Along with law enforcement, that eventually included the forced release of protesters in Lafayette Square outside the White House, which sparked a wave of protests against the use of pepper spray and shields. and sticks.
In Louisville, a Black restaurant owner, David McAtee, was killed in June as police and the National Guard attempted to enforce curfew during police protests over Breonna Taylor’s murder. State officials said McAtee shot a handgun and was killed by a series of rifles by a National Guard member. The McAtee family filed a false lawsuit in September, alleging that authorities used excessive force, including firing tear gas bullets – which may not be distinguishable from other types of ammunition – into the restaurant. by McAtee.
Other interactions between members of the National Guard and the public during the demonstrations took place in peace. Members of the National Guard once lowered their shields at the request of protesters in Nashville and danced in the streets with protesters in Atlanta.
In a conference call with reporters this week, the National Guard generals in the four states detailed the tasks their members must undertake before the election, including stopping network intrusion and, in some cases, prepare to assist as an unarmed probe in civilian clothing.
The officers said it was unlikely the National Guard would be placed under federal control if there was turbulence following the election. If members of the Guard were sent out, it would probably be by their governor, they said.
“They define how we are used to support their efforts to resolve those situations,” said Air Force Maj. General Daryl L. Bohac, an assistant general to the Nebraska National Guard. “The bottom line here is that we are not responsible.”
Bohac said senior National Guard officers had discussions of the plan with the Nebraska police, but nothing was typical.
Army Major General Jeff Holmes, an assistant general to the Tennessee National Guard, said the duties of members of the Guard in his state on Election Day would include efforts to “fill” the staff. traffic, allowing more police if any. unrest.
National Guard members working on polls will not be tasked with responding to any violence, Army Brig said. General Robyn Blader, assistant general of the Wisconsin National Guard.
“If there is any civil unrest, it goes through normal 911 channels,” she said.
Lindsay Cohn, professor of civil-military relations at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, says that if there is unrest after Election Day, National Guard officials are likely to are concerned about what the governors are asking them to do, especially if it involves crowd control or the suppression of what appears to be political speech.
“The more political and violent these things, the more the Guard did not want to have to do with them,” she said. “But the bigger or more violent the situation, the more likely it is that the state will need the support of the Security Force.”
The situation in Washington was even more fluid.
In June, Trump may again ask “sympathetic nations” to provide National Guard members to complement any efforts by the District of Columbia National Guard, which is located under federal control, Cohn said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see something similar to last summer, especially since DC’s ability to be the center of rallies almost no matter what happens,” she said. to speak.