Esper orders remainder of active duty troops in Washington region back to home base

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 15: Mark Esper, US secretary of defense delivers a speech at the 2020 Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 15, 2020 in Munich, Germany. The annual conference brings together global political, security and business leaders to discuss pressing issues, which this year include climate change, the US commitment to NATO and the spread of disinformation campaigns. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has ordered the remainder of active duty troops who were brought to the Washington, D.C. area to return to their home base of Fort Drum in New York, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday.

CNN reported on Thursday that about 700 of the 1,600 active duty troops who were brought to the Washington area were returning to Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

A small active duty of the “Old Guard” based in Arlington, Virginia, remain on stand by for assistance, McCarthy said.

On Monday the Pentagon announced that 1,600 active duty troops were in the Washington region to be ready if called upon amid unrest over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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