The Pentagon approved a request to deploy 700 National Guard troops and 50 tactical vehicles to Washington, D.C., ahead of State of the Union next week. The move comes as multiple trucker convoys are vowing to make their way to the nation’s capital and create gridlock to protest vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 prevention measures.
The troops will not be armed or authorized to conduct law enforcement or survivance-related activities. Instead, they will be tasked with providing assistance to D.C. police at traffic points throughout the city and help with command and control functions.
The tactical vehicles will be placed at strategic points across the city by Saturday afternoon.
The Pentagon said the deployment will last until March 8, one week after President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress.
One convoy of truckers was preparing to leave from Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday (February 23) morning. They will be making stops in Harrisburg and Baltimore before heading to D.C., where they are threatening to shut down roadways.
“I’ll give you an analogy of that of a giant boa constrictor,” convoy organizer Bob Bolus told WTTG. “That basically squeezes you, chokes you, and it swallows you, and that’s what we’re going to do the D.C.”
Another convoy is expected to leave from California and make a ten-day trek across the country.
It is unclear how many truckers will participate in the convoys or if they will gridlock the streets in Washington, D.C., like their Candian counterparts did in Ottowa earlier in the month.