DC Ups Defenses for Inauguration

No specific threat, says general in detailing January plans
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2008 1:57 PM CST
DC Ups Defenses for Inauguration
With the White House in the background, workers continue to build the Presidential inauguration reviewing stand.   (AP Photo)

The Pentagon plans a dramatic expansion of the military presence in Washington to coincide with Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration, the Los Angeles Times reports. About 4,000 National Guardsmen and 7,500 active-duty troops will augment local police and security forces, while air patrols will be increased. No threats have been reported, but “it is prudent to plan for the possibility,” the commanding general said.

“It would make news for a terrorist element or rogue element to interrupt that event,” said Victor Renuart, the Air Force general in charge of North American security. The Secret Service is heading up security preparations for the event, but will have the trained troops on hand to respond to medical emergencies and possible chemical attack.
(More President Obama stories.)

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