By Mr. Cotton PuryearJanuary 20, 2017
SANDSTON, Va. -- Nearly 300 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will join a force of approximately 7,500 National Guard personnel from 40 states and territories supporting the 58th Presidential Inauguration Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, D. C. Virginia Guard personnel will assist with traffic control, crowd management, communications, medical and chaplain support, and additional personnel from the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force will conduct mission command and sustainment support in Sandston and other locations in the state.
"Supporting the presidential inauguration is another opportunity for the Virginia National Guard to build the partnerships that are so critical to success in domestic operations," said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. William, the Adjutant General of Virginia. "Working with other National Guard states and territories and area law enforcement to help make sure the inauguration events are a safe, positive experience for everyone who attends helps us prepare and gain experience that would be essential for effective response operations in the future."
Guard units will join the District of Columbia National Guard to supplement security, communication, medical evacuation and other support to civilian authorities during the inauguration. The National Guard is home to a wide variety of capabilities, which can seamlessly integrate with interagency partners to enhance inauguration support capabilities.
The Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group will provide mission command for the Soldiers and Airmen assisting with traffic control and security and be organized as Task Force 529. Other units providing personnel to the task force include the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company and the 192nd Security Forces Squadron from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton. The task force also includes two chaplain support teams, liaison officers, a five-Soldier medical support team and four Soldiers and Airmen providing public affairs support.
Soldiers assigned to the information technology and communication sections of the Virginia National Guard joint staff and Army Guard staff will provide communications support with the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability. The JISCC is an advanced communications system that can be rapidly deployed to an incident location and uses secure satellite connections to provide the Guard and first responders with high speed internet, voice-over-IP telephones and high frequency radio communications. Read more about the JISCC at http://go.usa.gov/x9m6r.
Military support by the Guards dates back to 1798 when Gen. George Washington began his inaugural journey from Mount Vernon, Va. to New York City. Local militias joined his inaugural procession as it passed through towns along the route. Once Washington arrived in New York City, a presidential escort composed of members of the regular Army, local militia units (the modern-day National Guard), and Revolutionary War veterans accompanied him to Federal Hall for the presidential oath. The National Guard has continued this tradition of inaugural support ever since.
About the Virginia National Guard:
The Virginia National Guard is a unique dual-status force with a federal mission to provide an combat reserve to fight our nation's wars and a state mission to provide a response force that answers the call of the Governor to defend the commonwealth.
Nearly 1,500 Soldiers and Airmen served on federal active duty in 2016, and Virginia Guard units conducted a wide variety of missions including mission command, military-to-military partnership building, security and rotary wing flight operations and maintenance. Nearly 850 personnel are still serving on federal active duty in the Middle East, and they join the nearly 15,000 Soldiers and Airmen who have mobilized for homeland security missions, combat operations and peacekeeping and stabilization missions since September 11, 2001.
More than 1,100 Va. Guard personnel served on state active duty in the last 12 months in response to severe weather events as part of the state's multi-agency team. Soldiers transported first responders through heavy snow and high water, helped get citizens to safety and used chain saws to help clear debris and open roads after tornadoes and hurricanes. Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force troopers also assisted with mission command, logistics and public information support.