Mass., NH National Guard Members Expected to Deploy to Washington

Gov. Charlie Baker said the state received a request to send "a few hundred" of its guard members to the capital for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden

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Massachusetts is expected to send "a few hundred" of its National Guard members to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

"We've had -- and I would imagine this is true for many states -- we have had an ask from Washington to support a fairly significant request for guard personnel in our nation's capital and we're currently processing that," the governor said Wednesday when asked about the possibility of violence locally in the days leading up to Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

He said there are still no credible threats involving the State House or any other Massachusetts locations. He said state officials are still discussing the request from Washington to send a few hundred Massachusetts National Guard members to D.C. for the inauguration.

Baker said Massachusetts could decline the request if it felt it needed the Guard members here at home. But he said the request was for "an eminently manageable number" so he doesn't think that will be necessary.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu also announced Wednesday that he has approved a request to send approximately 50 soldiers and airmen to Washington for the inauguration.

"Ensuring a peaceful and orderly transition of power is of paramount importance to our nation," Sununu said in a statement. "With this authorization, the men and women of our New Hampshire National Guard will be deployed to our Nation’s Capital to protect and defend democracy."

The Massachusetts and New Hampshire National Guard members will join National Guard troops from Connecticut and several other states that are being deployed for the inauguration in the wake of last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Authorities in all 50 states are on high alert after an FBI warning that there may be violent protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The head of the National Guard said at least 10,000 troops will be deployed in Washington, D.C., by Saturday, and an additional 5,000 could be requested from other states.

There are currently 6,200 Guard members in the city from D.C. and five nearby states. The increase in requests for Guard members this week comes as officials brace for more, possibly violent protests surrounding Biden's inauguration.

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters he has authorization to bring in up to 15,000 Guard members. He said the number of deployments is changing by the hour and day, based on requests from the Secret Service, the Park Police and the Capitol Police.

In Massachusetts, state police said they've received no specific threats at the State House or any other public venues after the FBI sent an alert to law enforcement agencies warning of calls for "peaceful armed protest" planned at all 50 states' capitols.

Additionally, a representative of the FBI's Boston office told NBC News on Monday that it “is not in possession of any intelligence indicating any planned, armed protests at the four state capitals in our area of responsibility. (ME, MA, NH, and RI) from January 17-20, 2021.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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