The guards stationed at the state agency will also carry helmets, gas masks and Kevlar armor.
She stressed that Guard members were trained to “do anything to reduce the threat of escalation before arming and using it” as part of the civil unrest.
Department Secretary Ryan McCarthy approved a request by federal and local government agencies for the Armed Guards to support law enforcement to protect government entities on Tuesday, Johnson said.
Defense officials and civilian agencies are weighing up on how to arm 15,000 guards from across the country expected to send to Washington in response to violent protests ahead of the launch.
Prior to Wednesday̵7;s government attacks by Trump supporters group, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser tried to limit the military’s role in the city’s response to the planned protests. She asked the guards who were deployed to the scene unarmed.
But that calculus has changed in recent days as law enforcement has been a credible threat to the armed forces planning to move to government agencies in the days leading up to admission. The Jan.20 position, especially if the House votes to impeach Trump a second time on Wednesday.
“We want our people to have the right to defend themselves,” National Guard chief general Daniel Hoganson told reporters ahead of Monday’s decision. Appropriate to participate, that’s what we will do. “