Biden inauguration: 20,000 National Guard troops expected to be in Washington

Contee’s announcement also came as the US Secret Service on Wednesday officially took charge of security for Biden’s inauguration as authorities warn of new threats across the country and unfold a massive security presence in Washington after last week’s violence at the US Capitol.

There are already significantly more US troops deployed on Capitol Hill than in Afghanistan and Iraq combined, a staggering statistic that underscores just how massive the security presence already is.

The physical security perimeter around the Capitol and other key buildings also continues to expand. Road blocks and steel barriers are extending many blocks from the Capitol. Road blocks are also being set up further out from the White House and the National Naval Observatory, where the vice president lives.

The Secret Service is leading the overall security effort working in coordination with federal law enforcement agencies and the Pentagon. Multiple senior defense officials told CNN that there is a major interagency “requirements” meeting Wednesday to discuss in depth security requirements.

Asked if he’s ever seen this much law enforcement reinforcement coming to the District, the newly installed Chief Contee, who is a veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department and a lifelong DC resident, answered, “not at this level, no.”

Multiple defense officials tell CNN that the total request for National Guard is close to 30,000 guardsmen to support US Capitol Police, Park Police and Washington Metropolitan Police Department but officials believe that the actual number needed is closer to 20,000. The final numbers will be provided by the Secret Service.

The officials added that there is no concern that there will be any shortage of Guard forces to meet requirements from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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