Guard deployment to secure DC will cost nearly $500 million

Political

National Guard troops reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The cost of deploying about 26,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 riot is nearly $500 million, U.S. military officials said Thursday.

The deployment brought troops in from all 50 states and four territories as law enforcement agencies tried to lock down the Capitol for the inauguration of the President Joe Biden. Thousands of Guard members poured into the nation’s capital and were stationed across the city to block traffic and protect lawmakers and landmarks.

Officials said the nearly $500 million includes the costs of transporting Guard troops from their states to Washington, their salaries and benefits, as well as housing and other essentials. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss internal figures and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Because the troops were activated by the federal government for more than 30 days, their health benefits are also covered, adding to the price of the deployment.

Officials say the money is expected to cover the costs of the Guard through mid-March, when the troops are expected to leave. Between 5,000 and 7,000 troops are scheduled to stay in Washington through March 14.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a terrorism bulletin warning about possible additional violence.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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