Home Community Miscellaneous VING Prepares for Presidential Inauguration

VING Prepares for Presidential Inauguration


Members of the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) will head to Washington, D.C. to provide special assistance to the District of Columbia National Guard, which is supporting the Secret Service, the FBI, the National Park Police and other law enforcement agencies during the 2013 presidential inauguration there on Jan. 21, according to a press release issued Thursday by the Office of the Adjutant General.
The 661st Military Police Detachment will be one of many units in Washington, D.C. on Martin L. King Jr. weekend to lend their support as President Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term as president.
About 6,000 Army and Air National Guard members from 26 U.S. states and territories have come to the nation’s capital to lend their support for the inauguration, said Air Force Maj. Shane E. Doucet, a spokesman with the D.C. National Guard Bureau.
Doucet said that while some will participate in the ceremonial portion of the events — they will march in the parade, for instance, to represent the National Guard or their state — many will actually be on duty pulling security assistance in support of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department or other agencies.
Many guardsmen will first be deputized by the Washington, D.C. police department so they can act in a law enforcement capacity in the nation’s capital and will then be tasked to pull duty at traffic control points or on street corners doing crowd control or guiding foot traffic. Other guard members will bring their expertise in transportation, communications, and medical and logistical support to the mix.
While military members will not be the lead on any security details during the inauguration — the Secret Service is running that effort — guard members will show they can work as part of a team during the inauguration and will bring with them the skills that many of them exercise back in their hometowns during their civilian jobs.
"Many of these citizen-soldiers and airmen serve on a police force and have experience in this field," Doucet said, adding that some guardsmen arriving for the inauguration have participated as many as three times.
Officials from the VING have been planning and coordinating with the D.C. National Guard to ensure that the unit is prepared to meet their mission.
“More than 50 VI National Guard personnel will support the 57th Presidential Inauguration with capabilities such as security, planners, medical, ministry, and chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear detection and assessment,” said Col. Edward Richards, VING’s director of operations.
“V.I. National Guard has been coordinating with the D.C. National Guard since June 2012 and is pleased to have been called upon to offer our services,” said Richards.
President Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States and will be sworn in for his second term on Jan. 21, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building. The U.S. military has been providing support to presidential inaugurations since 1789 when George Washington was sworn in as the first president.


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