Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday morning ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard members from Washington, D.C., citing an “alarming” report that Guardsmen from across the country were forced to sleep in unheated parking garages.
“I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guardsmen and women from Washington DC,” Sununu said in a statement. “They did an outstanding job serving our nation’s capital in a time of strife and should be graciously praised, not subject to substandard conditions.”
The New York Times reported Thursday that National Guard troops brought in for President Joe Biden’s inauguration were forced to sleep in an unheated parking garage after being jettisoned from the Capitol. They were reportedly moved from the Capitol at the request of Capitol Police due to “increased foot traffic” as Congress returned to session.
The story didn’t specify what state the Guard troops were from, or if any New Hampshire soldiers were among those who spent the night in the garage.
Two anonymous Guard members told the Times that they had no power, heat or adequate restroom facilities. One soldier said 1,000 troops were forced to share one portable restroom.
By Friday morning, the National Guard said the soldiers had been moved back to the Capitol from the parking garage.
Five-hundred members of Massachusetts’ National Guard are traveling to Washington this weekend. They’ll join tens of thousands of soldiers in the Nation’s capital securing the city for President-elect Biden’s inauguration.
Approximately 50 National Guard soldiers and airmen from New Hampshire have been in Washington, D.C. since Saturday after Sununu approved a request for support last week.
In all, nearly 1,000 Guard members from across New England were sent to D.C. to help protect the Capitol during inauguration week, including 500 from Massachusetts, 200 from Maine, 100 from Connecticut and 100 from Vermont.
There is no word on exactly how many New England soldiers remain in Washington.