Pentagon Chief Austin Now Sole National Guard Director in DC

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonIn this Aug. 18, 2021, photo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.
In this Aug. 18, 2021, photo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be the sole and centralized authority to approve the deployment and to direct the use of the National Guard in Washington, DC, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby announced on Thursday.
"Secretary Austin directed actions to improve [the Department of Defense]’s preparedness to support civil authorities in the NCR [National Capital Region], including formally clarifying the process by which Federal and local partners request assistance for both pre-planned and time sensitive events," Kirby said in a statement.
Austin has established the Defense Department Executive Secretariat as the single entry point for these requests, Kirby said.
"By clarifying and refining the request process, including outlining the required information needed to assess requests from Federal and local partners, the [Defense] Department will be able to respond to requests efficiently, quickly, and effectively," Kirby added.
The new announcement came less than two weeks before the first anniversary of the protest that breached the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 as the House of Representatives was confirming President Joe Biden's victory over his predecessor Donald Trump in the November 3, 2020 presidential election.
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