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Homeland Security

Alaska National Guard to provide assistance for presidential inauguration

By Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead, Alaska National Guard January 17, 2021

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Airmen and Soldiers of the Alaska National Guard are scheduled to depart here on Jan. 17, headed to the National Capital Region to assist the District of Columbia National Guard and federal civilian authorities with the 59th Presidential Inauguration.

Approximately 80 Alaska Guard members volunteered, and most of them will be transported by a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Alaska Air National Guard's 168th Wing, Eielson Air Force Base on a direct seven-hour flight to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from across the states and territories will augment the District of Columbia National Guard to provide crowd management; traffic control in and around the Capitol, National Mall and White House; as well as communications, logistical, medical, and public affairs support.

Enduring partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, built on trust and performance, directly contribute to the National Guard's success in homeland response.

"This is about ensuring the safety and security of all Americans attending next week's presidential inauguration," said Governor Mike Dunleavy. "A contingent of Alaska's National Guard volunteered to join their fellow Guardsmen from around the country, in the nation's capital, to help ensure a peaceful transition."

Activating volunteers and scheduling aircraft to deploy to the East Coast from Alaska requires extensive logistical planning and coordination, and this request to support was expedited in only two days.

"Our Soldiers and Airmen are ready to come to the state's or nation's call," said Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, and commissioner for the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "Always ready, always there is ingrained in us; we are ready to serve in times of need."

The National Guard is home to a wide variety of capabilities that can seamlessly integrate with interagency partners to enhance inauguration support capabilities.

Military involvement in the Presidential Inauguration dates back 232 years to when members of the U.S. Army, local militias (the modern-day National Guard), and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to New York City -- the seat of government for his inauguration ceremony. The National Guard and other military units have continued this tradition of inaugural support ever since.

Volunteer Guard members will be part of an event that supports the peaceful transition of power and ensure the safety and well-being of their fellow Americans.



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