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Homeland Security

American Forces Press Service

National Guard Prepares for Presidential Inauguration

From a District of Columbia National Guard News Release

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012 – The District of Columbia National Guard is well under way in planning for January’s presidential inauguration.

More than 6,000 National Guard airmen and soldiers from at least 11 states and two territories are expected to provide support that includes 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 interagency partners for the inauguration," said Army Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters. "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 personnel with crowd management and traffic control, the National Guard will provide medical evacuation support; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive detection; and around-the-clock 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 Army, the National Guard and Revolutionary War veterans escorted President George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony. The D.C. National Guard has participated in every inauguration since President Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration, where Lincoln received his first salute from a D.C. Guardsman.

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