National Guard troops leave Washington on Monday after protecting the U.S. Capitol for nearly five months after the Jan. 6 deadly attack.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin thanked the soldiers and airmen for helping Capitol police and local authorities strengthen security in the wake of the violent event.
“These aviators and soldiers protected not only the land, but also the legislators who worked on that land, ensuring that people’s businesses could continue unabated. They lived in a very tangible way the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution, “Austin said Monday.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told Pentagon reporters that about 1,000 troops will leave in the coming days.
Sunday was the last day of the protection mission, retired lieutenant general Russel Honore told CBS on John Dickerson on Face the Nation, who conducted a security check after the Jan. 6 riot.
Although Honore had suggested maintaining a rapid reaction force to aid in possible future attacks, Kirby said Monday that the Pentagon had no plans to leave that force in place.