National Guard readiness will ‘begin to erode’ without Capitol riot reimbursement, Defense secretary says
“I think you’ve heard me say before, that if we don’t resource the Guard, what will happen is it’ll begin to erode readiness. It will disallow them to conduct training in accordance with the schedules that they should be on,” Austin testified at a House Armed Services hearing. “And so this is very, very important to us. And I would encourage and ask for your help in providing those resources.”
“Without that, those resources, the Guard for example, and this is in states all around the country, will find themselves with training issues that are going to affect both their aviation readiness, for example, their ability to have readiness with their ground vehicles,” Wormouth testified at a Senate Appropriations hearing.
That message was echoed by National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, who told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday the Guard would need to be reimbursed to “meet our training and operations and maintenance requirements for the rest of the year.”
Hokanson said if they were not reimbursed, they would have to completely eliminate or drastically reduce “drill weekends, and annual training, as well as our operational maintenance.”
They can perform law enforcement actions when under the command of state governors, unlike the active-duty military, which is forbidden by law from doing so unless the president invokes the Insurrection Act.
A relatively small number of guardsmen were in DC on January 6 to assist the city’s police force with traffic control in an effort to allow the local authorities to focus on anything related to demonstrations planned in the city.