59th Presidential Inaguration : Massive security in place; National Guards being deployed
WASHINGTON: Massive security paraphernalia has been mounted in the United States ahead of the Inauguartion ceremony for the anointmentof the 59th President on January 20 .The security has beenm beefed up across the country in the wake of security threat perceptions after the January 6 violence at the capitol building by the outgoing Pesident Donlad Trump supporters.
Tension is palpable across the country after graphic details of violence scenes on TV screens and impeachment of the President for”inciting violence as an act of insurrection”. Five people , including a police officer, were left dead and scores othere injured on the day the electoral college was voting to endorse Joe Biden’s victory in the US polls in Nov,last year.
According to official sources, –The US Defense Department has agreed to provide up to 25,000 service members to support the Presidential Inauguration National Special Security Event federal law enforcement mission and security preparations, as led by the U.S. Secret Service. The Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau are working on a sourcing solution now to support this request.
Every state, territory and the District of Columbia will have National Guard men and women supporting the inauguration.
As of this morning- Jan15 more than 33,400 National Guard members are supporting homeland operations at the direction of their governors. The current number includes activations for COVID-19 and civil disturbance missions. Additionally, National Guard soldiers and airmen from all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia will be supporting law enforcement in D.C. for the 59th Presidential Inauguration.
Presently, there are more than 66,900 Guard men and women engaged in homeland and overseas missions. More than 21,600 National Guard professionals continue COVID-19 response efforts at the direction of their governors in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.
“Our National Guard soldiers and airmen are set around the city to protect our nation’s Capital. At the same time we have thousands around the country supporting COVID operations, Operation Warp Speed, and a multitude of soldiers and airmen are deployed overseas supporting combat operations,” Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau said. “I would especially like to thank the families who are maybe alone tonight, and let you know our nation greatly appreciates all your sacrifices, and those of your service member. I cannot be prouder to be part of this organization.”
With nearly 440,000 soldiers and airmen across 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, the National Guard has a deep bench of experience and capabilities to call upon. At the National Guard’s historic activation peak on June 6, 2020, roughly 120,000 Guard members were engaged worldwide.
ARLINGTON, Va. — The thousands of National Guard members supporting the 59th presidential inauguration are receiving proper lodging when off duty and three meals a day, according to Guard officials.
Establishing that support in a short timeframe is a testament to the Guard’s readiness, said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
“Moving 25,000 Soldiers and Airmen to D.C. from each of the states and territories in less than a week is unprecedented,” he said. “It speaks volumes about America’s National Guard.”
Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Seaborn, with the District of Columbia Army National Guard, said last week that more than 30 food-service specialists with his unit provided more than 18,000 prepared meals per day.
That number will rise as more Guard members flow into the District.
Seaborn said the efforts of Guard members who are protecting the Capitol are matched only by the dedication of the food-service specialists — who unpack, sort, distribute, and in some cases, serve the meals.
“It’s definitely long hours and lots of work — delivering bulk numbers (of food packages) to certain locations,” said Seaborn.
Ensuring Guard members are properly fed is paramount as they help local and federal officials secure a peaceful inauguration, said Spc. Patrick McCants, also with the D.C. Army Guard.
“This is an extremely large and important mission,” he explained. “If an Airman or a Soldier is not fed properly, they are not going to perform their jobs properly.”
Additionally, Guard members positioned at or near the Capitol Hill area are working in shifts and are encouraged to rest on designated Capitol-area grounds when they can while others stand watch.
But when they are off duty, they have appropriate lodging throughout the District and the National Capital Region, Guard officials added.
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