Hundreds of National Guard troops have been activated to be in the nation’s capital Tuesday to provide security during President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address, but Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that members of the Florida National Guard will not be among them.
“Last week, the Biden administration requested the assistance of State National Guards to deploy to Washington, D.C.,” DeSantis posted on Twitter. “I have rejected this request — there will be no @FLGuard sent to D.C. for Biden’s State of the Union.”
NBC-4 in Washington, D.C., reported 700 National Guard members have already been activated before Biden’s speech, which comes amid truck convoy protests heading to the capital. Of those, 400 are from local troops who were activated after a request from the D.C. Emergency Management Agency to enhance security and provide traffic control.
The other troops are from outside the D.C. area and were approved after requests from the U.S. Capitol Police, including about 100 Vermont Army National Guard soldiers; another 100 from the New Jersey National Guard; and around 80 from the West Virginia National Guard.
The troops have been approved to stay on duty through just before noon March 7. The approvals do not allow the troops to use helicopters or other aircraft, to share equipment with local law enforcement agencies, or to carry firearms, reports NBC. The Guard members also will not participate in law enforcement efforts or domestic surveillance activities.
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