Alaska National Guard to provide assistance for presidential inauguration
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Airman and Soldiers in the Alaska National Guard are going to be headed to Washington D.C. ahead of the presidential inauguration in order to assist the District of Columbia National Guard and federal civilian authorities.
Approximately 80 Alaska Guardsmen 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.
“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.”
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 ensures the safety and well-being of their fellow Americans.
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