Arizona’s governor will not ‘hesitate’ to deploy troops if civil unrest follows the election

Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 17:28:35-05

PHOENIX — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey addressed potential civil unrest following the election, saying he will not ‘hesitate’ to deploy troops with the Arizona National Guard.

On Thursday, ABC15 was able to get the governor on the record about the role he will play to deploy military police to states on the west coast if a governor requests aid.

“But, our planning and hope would be that we're not going to have civil unrest but if we do the National Guard's at the ready, and we won't hesitate to call them out,” said Ducey.

Arizona and Alabama are two states that are preparing to activate units with 300 citizen-soldiers if there is civil unrest as part of the federal Rapid Response Force.

The two response teams are for geographical reasons — Arizona would respond to the West, and Alabama would respond to the East. Governor Doug Ducey will play a key role in the activation of these teams as the request for soldiers would come directly to Ducey from a governor at another state on the west coast.

ABC15 asked him what circumstances he is okay with sending potentially armed troops out into the streets, “it’s our hope and expectation that there will not be civil unrest, that we’ll have a peaceful outcome,” said Ducey, “while it may take some time to figure out exactly where all the chips fall, that would be the expectation.”

ABC15 has requested on-camera interviews with Major General Michael McGuire as he is the Adjutant General for Arizona’s Army and Air National Guard, but have not been able to speak with him directly.

On Thursday, ABC15 tried to speak with McGuire again, but the governor’s office stepped in, saying they prefer us to give questions in writing.

Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the Arizona National Guard told ABC15 in an email that they can't speculate where a request will be made or where units will be deployed.

As far as training, ABC15 asked if the units have been training for potential civil unrest after the election.

In a statement, a spokesperson wrote, “The Citizen-Soldiers of the 850th Military Police Battalion receive annual civil disturbance training that focuses on peaceful and non-lethal de-escalation techniques, tactics, and procedures. Training is the cornerstone of all that we do in the National Guard, and we focus year-round to become capable and efficient to meet the needs of our communities.”

As far as what roles will the units provide, duties may include, but are not limited to: point/area security, manning traffic control points, directing foot traffic, providing security and escort for emergency personnel/equipment.