The US Department of Defense (DOD) is reportedly developing plans to restructure the District of Columbia (DC) National Guard. The moves are intended to address issues that were highlighted by the response to the post-election riots that occurred in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, following the Presidential election and another incident that occurred in 2020.
The changes being discussed could see DC Air National Guard (ANG) units, including the 113th Wing, realigned as part of the Maryland ANG. Based at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, the wing is responsible for the F-16C Fighting Falcon-equipped 121st Fighter Squadron (FS) ‘Capital Guardians’ and the 201st Airlift Squadron (AS) ‘Hoku’, which operates the C-40C Clipper. Likewise, consideration is being given to assigning the DC Army National Guard’s (ARNG’s) aviation units to the Virginia ARNG. Based at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the ARNG’s four flying units are responsible for more than 12 helicopters and a single fixed-wing aircraft.
In each of the 50 US states and three territories, governors control the deployment of their assigned National Guard units in response to local natural or man-made disasters and other requirements. However, responsibility for the DC ANG and ARNG units currently rests with the US President. It remains unclear if that arrangement will change or whether the responsibility for the DC ARNG will be assigned to US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which is responsible for homeland defence missions and providing defence support for civil authorities.