At the request of federal authorities, members of the Massachusetts National Guard, alongside National Guard members from other states, will provide additional assistance in Washington, D.C., to support the United States Secret Service beginning this week.
Governor Charlie Baker today signed an order approving up to 700 Massachusetts Air and Army National Guard personnel for the mission, which was requested by the Department of Defense, National Guard Bureau, and Secret Service. These guard members will be traveling to Washington in the coming days and are expected to return to the Commonwealth on February 23.
This mission is separate from the 500 personnel who served last week in DC in support of inauguration events and returned home to Massachusetts over the weekend.
The Massachusetts National Guard will ensure all appropriate force health protection measures are implemented leading up to, and throughout, the mission. This includes pre-departure screenings, COVID-19 testing, and mandatory mask wear. Additionally, Soldiers and Airmen will have individual rooms while deployed to the D.C. area to further reduce risks during this pandemic.
Today’s activation will not interfere with the Massachusetts National Guard’s ability to respond to and assist in emergencies within the Commonwealth.
The Massachusetts National Guard trains regularly with military, law enforcement, and civilian agencies to provide a broad spectrum of services in support of security, logistics, disaster relief, and other missions. The Guard has a proven track record of success supporting civilian authorities and their frequent side-by-side training with state and local first responders makes them well-suited for this mission.