Thursday, October 25, 2012

National Guard will bolster inauguration with more than 6,000 Airmen and Soldiers

WASHINGTON  - The District of Columbia National Guard is well underway in the planning for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. More than 6,000 National Guard airmen and soldiers from at least 11 states and two territories are expected to provide critical support to include crowd management, traffic control, communications, emergency services and ceremonial duties. “The National Guard is home to a wide variety of capabilities, which can seamlessly integrate with our inter-agency partners for the inauguration,” said Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard. “We are proud to support the peaceful transition of power and ensure safety and the well-being of our fellow Americans during this nationally symbolic event.”

In addition to supporting local law enforcement with crowd management and traffic control, the National Guard will provide mission critical capabilities including medevac support, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive detection and 24/7 F-16 fighter alert over the National Capital Region.

Military involvement in the Presidential Inauguration dates back to April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, National Guard, and revolutionary war veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony.

The D.C. National Guard has participated in every inauguration since the 1861 Abraham Lincoln inauguration, where President Lincoln received his first salute from a D.C. Guardsman.

Military support to the inauguration honors the commander in chief, recognizes civilian control of the military and celebrates democracy.