Pentagon moves 1,600 Army troops to National Capital Region, as protests continue

The Pentagon said 1,600 active duty U.S. Army troops have been flown to the National Capital Region and are standing-by as daily and nightly protests continue in Washington, D.C. over George Floyd’s death.

The troops are positioned on military bases in the National Capital Region, but are not in Washington, D.C., according to the Pentagon.

In a news release on Tuesday, the Defense Department said Secretary Mark Esper authorized the movement of the troops from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Drum, New York.

The troops arrived by military aircraft within a day of President Donald Trump saying he would deploy the U.S. military to to American cities if local leaders and police were unable to deal with violent and destructive protests.

“They are on heightened alert status,” according to the statement from Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, but as of now, “are not participating in defense support to civil authority operations.”

Tuesday’s protests in downtown Washington — which continued after the District’s emergency 7 p.m. curfew — were noticeably less tense and confrontational than the previous four evenings, which included sporadic violence and property destruction, amidst largely-peaceful crowds of protesters upset over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

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Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial monitoring demonstrators during a peaceful protest Tuesday. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Troops load up into personnel carriers to head into downtown D.C. along East Capitol Street near the Armory on Tuesday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mike DeAngelo got up on a lamppost and spoke to the crowd on Tuesday night. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

An aid station with milk, water and other items for protesters is set up on a corner just north of Lafayette Square. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette park accross the White House on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. - Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette park accross the White House on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. – Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, USA - JUNE 2: People hold banners during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States on June 2, 2020 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA – JUNE 2: People hold banners during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States on June 2, 2020 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Late Tuesday afternoon, protesters gathered at the newly installed fence around Lafayette Park.

Tuesday afternoon more protesters gathered north of Lafayette Park.

With the White House in the background, a line of police forms behind a fence in Lafayette Park as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

President Donald Trump visits Saint John Paul II National Shrine with first lady Melania Trump, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington.

A demonstrator sits in front of police as people gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

People including Kevin Antlitz, an Anglican priest, left, take a knee during a protest of the visit of President Donald Trump to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington.

Sister Quincy Howard, center, a Dominican nun, protests the arrival of President Donald Trump to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington.

Signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Killing Black People” hang on an overpass on North Capitol Street in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, following days of continuing protests over the death of George Floyd.

People hold signs as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s motorcade passes on their way to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A man walks past a boarded up shop after the unrest from the past few nights in downtown D.C. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Troops load up into personnel carriers to take them toward the city from the Joint Force Headquarters of the D.C. National Guard on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Protesters hold signs as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s motorcade passes on their way to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

D.C. National Guard vehicles are staged in front of the Ronald Reagan Building as the city braces for more demonstrations and protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A man holds a sign as he dresses as Abraham Lincoln during a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where President Donald Trump planned a visit, in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where President Donald Trump planned a visit, in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where President Donald Trump planned a visit, in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody as the motorcade of President Donald Trump leaves after his visit June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A sign is seen as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s motorcade passes on their way to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington,D.C.

A Wells Fargo Bank near the White House is boarded up, after the unrest from the past few nights, in downtown D.C. on June 2, 2020.

A member of a D.C. government cleaning crew cleans a street near the White House in the morning hours on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Secret Service agents arrest a man along Constitution Avenue near the White House in the morning as protests continue over the death of George Floyd in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

Ericka Ward-Audena, of Washington, puts her hand on her daughter Elle Ward-Audena, 7, as they take a knee in front of a police line during a protest of President Donald Trump’s visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington. “I wanted my daughter to see the protests, it’s really important. I’ve gotten a million questions from her because of it,” says Ward-Audena, “I think the most egregious statement was ‘when they start looting, we start shooting.’ That crossed a line for me.” Protests continue over the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

Workers carry large wood boards past the historical St. John’s Episcopal Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in the morning hours in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Security forces block the road as protesters gather near Lafayette Park ahead of President Donald Trump’s trip to St. John’s Church in Washington, on June 2, 2020.

Security forces block the road as protesters gather near Lafayette Park ahead of President Donald Trump’s trip to St. John’s Church in Washington, June 2, 2020.

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Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette park accross the White House on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. - Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - JUNE 2: People hold banners during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States on June 2, 2020 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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