Pentagon extends National Guard protection at US Capitol, reduces number of troops

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The Pentagon has agreed to keep nearly 2,300 members of the National Guard at the US Capitol until at least late May — a nearly 50 percent reduction from the current force protecting the area.

“This decision was made after a thorough review of the request and after close consideration of its potential impact on readiness,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a Tuesday night statement announcing the move.

The extension, requested by Capitol Police, lasts until May 23.

Kirby said during that time officials may continue reducing the National Guard presence “as conditions allow.”

The National Guard has maintained a heavy presence at the US Capitol since the Jan. 6 riot that killed five people — including a Capitol police officer.

The troops were set to go home on March 12.

The agency recently ramped up security after the Capitol Police said a militia group planned a “possible plot to breach the Capitol” on Thursday, which never happened.

The Capitol Police made the request to the Pentagon last week amid concerns about ongoing threats.

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