Indiana National Guard troops join Inauguration Day security

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Authorities have been ramping up security for the inauguration Wednesday since the attack on the Capitol back on January 6.

That includes 25,000 National Guard troops patrolling the Washington D.C. area. Indiana sent hundreds of troops for support. 

Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson with the Indiana National Guard is in charge of the task force of about 640 Hoosier troops who arrived over the weekend. 

He says they’ve been helping D.C. National Guard with things like crowd and traffic control at the National Mall near the White House. 

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson says he doesn’t think what we saw at the Capitol will impact what they will see at the inauguration because things so far have been peaceful. 

“The environment here right now is very calm in my particular area of operations which is not far from the White House and part of the National Mall, actually,” Lt. Col Barry Johnson said. 

“Our environment is very calm and we haven’t seen anything that concerns us at this point.” 

While the National Guard usually provides support on Inauguration Day, this year’s presence is larger than any other year.   

“It is different but it’s also something that we’ve done time and time again, so from a guard perspective, we’ve expanded our operation. But it’s really the same kind of operation that we’ve done before, just in a bigger sense.” 

Lt. Col. Johnson says it’s an honor to be able to take part in. 

“It’s a huge honor to me not just to be from Indiana, to be representing Indiana, but to be here with such amazing young men that could, in a matter of a couple of days transition from their civilian lives, prepare their families and then show up out here in Washington DC because the country asked them to.” 

Former FBI Special Agent Doug Kouns, who worked in D.C., says at this point everyone is pulling out all the stops trying to be as prepared as possible.  

“Just trying to be over-prepared. And a show of force with National Guardsmen and show of police and other law enforcement will act as a deterrent and force equipped to deal with something if it did happen,” said Kouns. 

The FBI has even gone as far as to vet the National Guard Troops responding to D.C. 

At least a dozen have been removed from presidential inauguration security for ties to right-wing militia groups. 

Kouns also says the arrests that were made from the Capitol attack could serve as a deterrent to keep anyone from doing anything on Inauguration Day. 

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