Oklahoma sends National Guard troops to Biden's inauguration

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — About 400 Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen are expected to head to Washington, D.C. this week to assist with security during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Oklahoma guard officials announced in a press release that the guardsmen will join soldiers and airmen from 43 states to assist local law enforcement with crowd management, traffic control and logistical and medical support.

“When people see the National Guard, they know we are there to help,” Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma, said in a statement.

The FBI has warned of armed rallies in Washington and at all 50 state capitols in the days leading up to Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has said they plan to increase security at the state Capitol over the weekend, but Gov. Kevin Stitt has not activated the Oklahoma National Guard to assist with that effort.

The Oklahoma guardsmen are expected to be stationed in Washington for seven to 10 days.