It is unusual that the National Guard units were called into Ferguson, but they play different roles across the country.
NBC RIGHT NOW-- It is unusual that the National Guard units were called into Ferguson, but they play different roles across the country.
About 470,000 people are currently members of the Army or Air National Guard nationwide; most have civilian jobs and serve part time in the guard.
There are about 8,000 guardsmen in Washington State's Army and Air National Guard.
Some of the things they are ready and prepared to deal with are chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear or high explosive attacks as well as natural disasters in the state.
The next question is, "Where have they been deployed in Washington State?"
Currently they are out directing traffic in the state's fire zones.
So far in 2014, they have been deployed in the Oso landslide that killed 43 people on March 22nd.
The last time the Washington National Guard has been deployed in a case of civil unrest like in Ferguson was in Seattle back in 1999.There they supported the police during the protests and violence that surrounded the world trade organization meetings.
Members of the Washington State National Guard said they do all this to uphold their mission to safeguarding lives and property in Washington State.