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From left, Army Sgt. Gio Carter, Sgt. Aaron Hampton, and Pvt. Cody Harrison, all with Forward Support Company, 507th Engineer Battalion of the Michigan National Guard, provide security with U.S. Capitol Police officer Mitchell Dunay near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 3, 2021.
From left, Army Sgt. Gio Carter, Sgt. Aaron Hampton, and Pvt. Cody Harrison, all with Forward Support Company, 507th Engineer Battalion of the Michigan National Guard, provide security with U.S. Capitol Police officer Mitchell Dunay near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 3, 2021. (Capt. Joe Legros/Army National Guard)

WASHINGTON — About 1,000 National Guard troops deployed to Washington after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building remain in the region a day after the mission ended, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

The remaining troops are preparing to return home after the monthslong mission to protect lawmakers and the Capitol grounds ended Sunday, Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon. About 2,150 National Guard troops had been in the vicinity of Washington as recently as Wednesday, Kirby said last week.

In a statement thanking the troops Monday, Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin said the Guard “provided critical capability to the Capitol police and local authorities.”

“These airmen and soldiers protected not only the grounds, but the lawmakers working on those grounds, ensuring the people’s business could continue unabated,” Austin said in the statement. “They lived out in very tangible ways the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution.”

There are no plans to leave behind a quick-reaction force for possible emergencies in the future, Kirby said. However, a bill that passed in the House on Thursday by a 213-212 vote would create a standing force in the D.C. National Guard dedicated to crisis response.

The Capitol security funding bill, which would also reimburse the National Guard, Capitol Police and the District of Columbia for costs incurred in the response to the riot, allocates about $200 million for the force.

doornbos.caitlin@stripes.com

Twitter: @CaitlinDoornbos

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Caitlin Doornbos covers the Pentagon for Stars and Stripes after covering the Navy’s 7th Fleet as Stripes’ Indo-Pacific correspondent at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Previously, she worked as a crime reporter in Lawrence, Kan., and Orlando, Fla., where she was part of the Orlando Sentinel team that placed as finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Caitlin has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Kansas and master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.
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