MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Wednesday night, National Guard troops were stationed on the grounds of the nation’s capital, wearing riot gear, unarmed and there to prevent the events that happened earlier on Wednesday.
“In 30 years, I have not seen any National Guard formation engaged anywhere to any type of level that we have seen today in my lifetime,” said Col. Thomas Tyler, director of military support for the Alabama National Guard.
Tyler describes what happened in Washington, D.C. as unprecedented.
The National Guard serves in a support role assisting the requesting agency.
In this situation they’re assisting federal law enforcement.
Tyler says disturbance operations serve as a challenge in protecting government building, deescalating situations, and making sure people are safe.
“Things can happen quickly and we have to be prepared and have a plan,” Tyler said.
Tyler also says the riots seen over the summer and Wednesday bring great concerns due to the violence and destruction.
He says while the National Guard is responsible for preserving communities, they must do it carefully.
“We’re not some foreign occupying army that just shows up and establishes order and leaves we live here so it’s very important that we establish stability for everyone,” Tyler said.
No National Guard officer from the state is assisting or is currently in our nation’s capital protecting the Capitol building, but there were troops from Virginia who assisted troops in D.C.