75th NATO Summit kicks off in DC

The 75th NATO Summit kicked off in D.C. Tuesday, bringing with it world leaders, traffic and massive security.

Fencing went up overnight and the many road closures in the area have caused backups all around downtown D.C., so be prepared.

The Secret Service tells FOX 5 that they know it's inconvenient for people but they're trying to make it as painless as possible.

FOX 5 asked Secret Service Special Agent In Charge for the Washington Field Office Matt Stohler if there is anything specific to D.C. that has presented challenges, considering that this is only the fourth time the U.S. has hosted the Summit. 

"I don't think so. This is the 75th anniversary signing into existence of NATO, so as such, one of the buildings behind us is where one of the treaties was signed, so this is what makes this so important for the venue," Stohler said. "But obviously, it means all eyes are on D.C. for this."

It’s been 25 years since D.C. last hosted the summit. There are street closures around the White House, the Convention Center and Mellon Auditorium, as well as secure areas where you'll have to show ID to get through, and some sidewalk closures as well.

There are 37 world leaders here for this NATO Summit, along with their teams and delegations.

The Secret Service told FOX 5 they've been formally planning since February. There are 22 subcommittees that cover things like airspace security, communications and transportation, just to name a few.

NATO Summit 2024: DC road closures, parking restrictions, and other impacts

FOX 5 also had a chance to see inside the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security where analysts and technicians are monitoring every moment in and around the areas where dignitaries and events will be this week.

The Diplomatic Security Service protects the Secretary of State, foreign dignitaries visiting the United States, foreign ministers, former heads of state, members of the British royal family, as well as U.S. citizens, athletes, corporate sponsors and media during major international events like the Olympic Games, Pan Am Games, and the World Cup. The agency has more than 100 years of protection and security experience.

They have been training and planning for this for about six months now, before they head off to Paris to do the same thing for the Olympics.

"We're part of the overall security package for the summit so we work hand in hand with the Secret Service when you see all those motorcades cutting across the city, chances those are diplomatic security motorcades," said Scott Kim, Director of Diplomatic Security Service Office of Protection.

D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith also discussed how they’ve been preparing for the events. 

"Anytime you have these types of events the challenges are always personnel and making sure we have the appropriate resources which is why we've been joined at the hip if you will with the Secret Service and our federal partners," Smith said. 

The Secret Service tells FOX 5 they did advise the Office of Personnel Management to maximize telework for those who come into the District this week.

Fencing will be taken down as events take place — some Tuesday night, some Wednesday, and hopefully most of it around the Convention Center will be gone by Friday.