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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Visits National Guard Troops at Capitol to Personally Thank Them

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin paid a visit to National Guard troops stationed outside of the U.S. Capitol to thank them for their service just weeks after rioters stormed the location.

“I wanted to just come by and say thanks for what you’re doing and I know it’s a little chilly out here. I know we’re going to do the right thing to take care of you so make sure you talk to your chain of command if you need anything,” Lloyd said.

He continued, “I want to tell you we’re really grateful for your service and we know it’s not easy to leave home and come out here and help us out, but you’re doing a great service on behalf of your country and protecting the Capitol so that lawmakers can rest at ease and do the work that they got to do on behalf of this country.”

Austin reassured the troops, “The Department of Defense is behind you.”

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Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman advocated in a statement on Thursday for additional safety measures to be implemented at the Capitol, as IJR reported.

“In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol,” Pittman said.

She added, “I look forward to working with Congress on identifying the security improvements necessary to ensure the safety and security of the Congress and the U.S. Capitol.”

Pittman received harsh criticism from the Capitol Police Officers’ Union after she failed to inform them of the potential danger on Jan. 6, as IJR reported.

Gus Papathanasiou, the chairman of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, said the “entire executive team failed us.”

Pittman apologized earlier this week and said “the Department should have been more prepared for this attack.”

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