WASHINGTON — Governors in multiple states moved Thursday to activate National Guardsmen to bolster security in their own jurisdictions through Inauguration Day, adding new wrinkles to a sprawling nationwide security plan spawned by the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.

Some governors have put their guardsmen on standby status to deploy only if there is an emergency, while others have promised that troops will be on the streets alongside police officers.

“It’s not a newfound concern for security. We’ve always had a concern for security,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, who announced that about 500 guardsmen will be in uniform, mostly in downtown Columbus. “We also, though, have seen what happened at the nation’s capital.”

The activations came as defense officials said Thursday that a current member of the Virginia National Guard, Jacob Fracker, 29, is among those facing charges in connection with the riot at the Capitol.

Fracker, a member of the police department in Rocky Mount, Va., and Thomas “T.J.” Robertson, 47, another member of the force, were charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a federal criminal complaint.

The discussions in the Pentagon are continuing after the arrests of several veterans in connection with the Capitol riot.


Fracker, who also served in the Marine Corps, and Robertson, an Army veteran, were charged after they discussed their presence in the Capitol building on social media. Their military affiliations were first reported by Military.com.

Robertson wrote that “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business,” according to a Justice Department news release. He added on Facebook that he was “proud” of a photograph of him in the Capitol because it showed he was “willing to put skin in the game,” the release said.

Fracker addressed people who saw the photo of him in the Capitol directly on Facebook, the Justice Department said.

“Sorry I hate freedom? … Not like I did anything illegal … y’all do what you feel you need to,” Fracker wrote, the department said.

The post was later deleted.

The new National Guard activations were announced amid concerns that not enough District of Columbia National Guard members were available to deploy immediately as violence erupted at the U.S. Capitol.


District officials have blamed the Pentagon for being slow to respond in an hour of need, while defense officials have said their ability to do so was hamstrung by a desire among District officials ahead of time to keep the military presence small.

The riot prompted the House to impeach President Trump for a second time.

Federal officials have since moved to establish a much larger military force to augment police. More than 7,000 guardsmen were on duty in the District as of Thursday, with the number expected to climb to 10,000 by Saturday. Federal authorities have authorized the deployment of more than 21,000 guardsmen, who will come from at least 13 states, defense officials said.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Thursday that about 450 guardsmen will be on duty through the inauguration.

“I will not allow what happened at our nation’s capital to happen here,” Wolf said. “That is why I am taking the necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety and security across our great commonwealth.”

In Richmond, Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said that he will have guardsmen on standby in his capital from the weekend through Inauguration Day, while the Virginia National Guard also provides a significant amount of personnel in the District. State officials are particularly concerned about security around a gun rights rally in Richmond scheduled for Monday.


“I am pleased to be able to offer their services, but I regret that we have over 2,000 of them in Washington, D.C., right now protecting our nation’s capital from Americans,” Northam said. “That should bother everybody. It should bother everybody when you walk out of this building and see boards across the doors of our state capitol.”

Northam said that there are a lot of other things the guardsmen “could or should be doing right now,” and he noted that they have been involved in responses to everything from protests to the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. State officials said that some 2,400 Virginia guardsmen are now in Washington.

Similar discussions were underway in other states.

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has sent about 800 guardsmen to the District, while also activating a standby force that could respond in Annapolis, Md.

“To be clear, no troops are being deployed at this time, but standing ready to respond in the event they are needed,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, the top officer in the Maryland National Guard.

Other states that have mobilized troops or placed them on standby include California, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Washington.


As the Defense Department has mobilized to prepare for the inauguration, it also is preparing to do more to address extremism in the ranks.

Acting defense secretary Christopher Miller ordered a review on the subject in December, a senior defense official told reporters Thursday. The study, expected to be concluded in the early months of the Biden administration, will provide recommendations about how the Pentagon can “more effectively prohibit extremists or hate group activity,” the official said.

The Pentagon takes a variety of steps to address white supremacy and white nationalism among current and former military personnel, including screening tattoos of potential recruits and coordinating with the FBI on investigations into extremism among current and former service members, according to Pentagon officials. But they acknowledge they have not been able to reverse a rising extremist tide, which they see as part of a larger trend in American society.

“As a volunteer force, as a slice of our society, all those issues that exist in society have potential to exist within the military,” the official said.

On Thursday, the Pentagon’s inspector general’s office announced that it was launching a review to determine whether the Defense Department had put in place measures that “prohibit active advocacy and active participation related to supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes by active duty military personnel.”


The Washington Post’s Alex Horton and Dan Morse contributed to this report.

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