BREAKING: Head of D.C. National Guard, military air protection, and riot control to be removed from post in middle of inauguration
Something's up. This is a National Special Security Event... nothing takes priority over an NSSE!
The U.S. Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration said Friday he will be removed from command effective Jan. 20 at 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz’s departure will come in the midst of the presidential ceremony — classified as a national special security event — and while thousands of his troops are deployed to help protect the nation’s capital during an inauguration he has spent months helping to plan.
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz would command not only the members of the D.C. Guard but also an additional 5,000 unarmed troops sent in from across the country to help. He also would oversee military air support protecting Washington during the inauguration.
“My troops will be on the street,” said Schwartz, who turned 65 in October. “I’ll see them off, but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”
Unlike in states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.