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Minnesota National Guard troops heading to D.C. for inauguration

By Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune About 100 troops from the Minnesota National Guard will head to Washington, D.C. to provide security and crowd control ahead of next week's inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. The Minnesota troops will be part of a large security presence in the nation's capital since last week's siege of Congress by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump. The rioters violently forced their way into the Capitol building as Congress voted to certify Biden's election victory. A beefed-up National Guard presence has been activated in Washington, D.C. since last week's violence. Defense officials had activated 6,000 National Guard troops in the city as of Monday, according to news reports, and up to 10,000 will be activated by Saturday. Up to 15,000 National Guard troops will be activated in the city for Wednesday's inauguration. The roughly 100 Minnesota troops are a relatively routine number for any presidential inauguration, said Lt. Col. Scott Hawks, state public affairs officer for the Minnesota National Guard. It's part of a rotational assignment, he said. For some presidential inaugurations, the Minnesota National Guard has sent zero troops; for others, the Minnesota National Guard has sent as many as 350. "This is not unusual," he said of the number of Minnesota National Guard members who are making the trip.