The National Guard has mustered a new unit to respond to election-related unrest, the Washington Post reports.
The new units were first created in September as a “rapid reaction force.” But that militaristic phrasing has been exchanged for the less belligerent “regional response units.”
The Post’s story suggests that the regions in which this unit will respond is disparate. It is reportedly composed of 600 national guard members between Alabama and Arizona.
Though the units could be deployed to the federally controlled District of Columbia, other states would need to request their presence.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard, said that the states “determine how we are used in support of their efforts to address those kinds of situations,”
“The bottom line here is we are not in charge,” he added.
Some states have already begun preparations for using the National Guard to supplement their own police forces in anticipation of unrest around the election.
The Tennessee National Guard has said that it would use its soldiers as “backfill” for local police, while the Wisconsin National Guard has said that its members will only be used as supplemental poll workers, and that any civil unrest “will go through the normal 911 channels.”