CHICAGO – Approximately 500 Illinois National Guard members have been activated Governor J.B. Pritzker to continue supporting security concerns in Washington D.C.
“The U.S. Department of Defense has asked Illinois to assist federal and local agencies in this continued effort, and Major General Neely and I are ready to ensure that the state of Illinois continues its proud legacy of protecting our democracy,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Ultimately, we must root out the dark forces of racism, white supremacy and disinformation that have created this moment, but until we do that, our extraordinary troops will deploy with honor.”
Guardsmen returned from supporting the 59th Presidential Inauguration earlier this week. President Trump’s Impeachment Trial is cause for the new security concerns, motivated by domestic terrorism concerns following the January 6th Insurrection on the Capitol Building.
Trump’s 2nd Impeachment trial is set to begin the week of Feb. 8th.
The State says the deployment will not affect vaccine distribution efforts supported by the National Guard. At least 50 members of the first deployment have volunteered to return to the Capitol while members of North Riverside-based 198th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion will provide the bulk of the support.
“We are deploying these forces in support of civilian law enforcement based on threat-levels against the U.S. Capitol. These threats were assessed by the FBI and other federal agencies,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “Our soldiers and airmen are committed to the defense of both our nation and our state. We have asked a lot of them in the last year and each time these men and women have answered the call and upheld their oath to defend and support the U.S. Constitution. I could not be more proud of these Soldiers and Airmen.”