NASHVILLE, TN — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is welcoming home Tennessee National Guard soldiers and airmen Friday after their mission in D.C at the U.S. Capitol.
The governor says he is very disappointed in overall treatment of the Nation Guard in D.C.
CNN says before Thursday morning, members of the Guard could take breaks from their shifts protecting the Capitol in several authorized "rest areas" throughout the Capitol Complex. Guardsmen told CNN that by Thursday morning, all those areas had been cleared out and their designations removed.
This news drew outrage from lawmakers who tweeted their concerns over the situation.
CNN reports the National Guard Bureau said earlier Thursday the troop relocation was temporary because Congress is in session.
"The National Guard continues to assist and support the U.S. Capitol Police. As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area. They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities. We remain an agile and flexible force to provide for the safety and security of the Capitol and its surrounding areas," the National Guard Bureau said in a statement.
The House Acting Sergeant at Arms, Tim Blodgett, said in a statement Thursday evening he will continue to "monitor the working and living condition of the Guard."
The Pentagon authorized up to 25,000 National Guard members for President Joe Biden's inauguration after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
CNN reports the Bureau says most of the Guardsmen who were brought to Washington will be sent home within five to 10 days, with around 15,000 troops returning home "as soon as possible," though the planning and process to begin moving them may take a few days.
Additionally, the National Guard Bureau says some agencies are requesting ongoing support, and around 7,000 Guardsmen are expected to stay through the end of the month.
Troops from all 50 states were sent to the Capitol for the inauguration, including nearly 800 members from the Tennessee National Guard, about 270 members from the Kentucky National Guard, and around 200 members from the Illinois National Guard. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also sent members of the Missouri National Guard, but did not publicly say how many he sent.