WASHINGTON, DC (KDKA) – Dennis Lejeck spent 20 years training American soldiers on how to face the enemy in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
But what the National Guard is supposed to do in the capital of our nation, the Guard troops have not seen in modern history.
While the guard has been on the front lines against protesters, this potential enemy is different.
“In this case, you have a group of people who believe so passionately that in some cases extreme terrorists are ready to die for that belief,” says the owner of Black Knight Security, a Pittsburgh-based security firm securing large facilities and special events.
According to Lejeck, preparations since the January 6 attack on the Capitol have overcome the numbers problem that emerged the day the police simply outnumbered.
The influx of more than 20,000 members of the National Guard has created a fortress around the Capitol.
Lejeck understands that Americans do not like the image of a fortified capital: “We are probably embarrassed by these images because this is America. This is supposed to be the land of the free, but that’s where we are right now, that’s the reality of it all. We left people to die as a result of the events at the Capitol and the security measures they put in place. Last week didn’t work. And so we can’t do the same thing, we have to do something different. “
See KDKA’s John Shumway report:
According to Lejeck, it is not easy to secure the inauguration outside on the west side of the capital: “When you have something outside that you want to secure, this is a far greater challenge. You need to establish a perimeter, and then all you have to do is try to secure the perimeter. “
For the men and women of the National Guard, this is far from securing a storm-ravaged city or filling sandbags to protect against flooding.
A little over a week ago, these soldiers were home living their private lives.
“Now they are suddenly activated. And at your point, you may be putting your life on the line, it’s a difficult thing. They all have undergone basic training and it’s pretty quick that they have to agree to that readiness: “This is real, I have a loaded gun, I have bullets in my gun, and you know that this is the only moment to hope for you You may have received the right training and are ready to deal with it and respond accordingly. “
In addition, the potential opponents are American citizens.
“But we also know that last week we had all the evidence we need about their threat to America.”
Lejeck says: “And they are a threat to these individual National Guards and also to their safety.”
Regarding the potential for the use of lethal force, Lejeck says, “I don’t think the conversation will take place, you must not use lethal force. I think the conversation will be. “Here are the different examples of when lethal force would be appropriate.”
And Lejeck doubts that this will end after Wednesday: “I don’t think that everything will go away after the inauguration, and I think that as Americans we would be stupid to believe that it will just go away.”