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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has authorized an order to mobilize as many as 700 D.C. National Guard members ahead of an upcoming trucker convoy to the nation’s capital.

The National Guard said in a press statement that Austin approved requests from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) for D.C. National Guard assistance with traffic control during “First Amendment demonstrations expected in the city in the coming days.”

“The people who live, work and visit the District are part of our community, and their safety is our first mission priority,” said Maj. Gen. Sherrie L. McCandless, DCNG commanding general, in the statement.

“Our MPD and USCP partners have asked for our help in ensuring people can demonstrate peacefully and safely, and
we stand ready to assist,” she said.

Austin approved approximately 400 National Guard members to provide support to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) at designated traffic posts, provide command and control, and cover sustainment requirements along with 50 large tactical vehicles to be placed at those designated traffic posts on a 24-hour basis starting no later than 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 26, or as “soon as logistically possible.”

The mission is approved through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 7, as Breitbart News previously exclusively reported.

Austin also approved a request from the USCP for assistance for up to 300 National Guard troops from outside D.C. to assist at designated traffic posts and select Capitol entry points starting no later than 7 a.m., on Saturday, February 26.

The statement said Guard members will not carry firearms or take part in law enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities.

The approval does not allow for the use of helicopters or other aircraft by the National Guard or the sharing of equipment with law enforcement agencies, it said.

The DCNG will provide command and control for both missions, although units from outside the District will remain under operational and administrative control of their respective governors.

Breitbart News is told that the states sending National Guard members include West Virginia, Vermont, and New Jersey.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

Source: Breitbart

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