Public Affairs officer, Maj. Caitlin Brown, reported to Historic City News that approximately 340 soldiers and airmen from the Florida National Guard supported the 58th Presidential Inauguration this week in Washington, D.C.
National Guard forces comprised of men and women from 8 states, assisted local and federal civilian agencies in the Capitol City as part of a crowd control task force — both at today’s inauguration as well as other related events during this week.
“We are the eyes and ears of the U.S. Park Police and civil authorities that are out there,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Edson Kline, Joint Task Force Florida, Task Force Crowd Commander, and 779th Engineer Battalion Commander.
National Guard support to presidential inaugurations dates to April 30, 1789, when local militia members (today’s National Guard) joined the U.S. Army and revolutionary war veterans to form an honor detail to escort General George Washington from his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia to his inauguration ceremony in New York City.
Over the years, National Guard involvement has grown and is designated to honor the commander-in-chief, recognize civilian control of the military, and celebrate democracy.
In addition to crowd control, Florida Guardsmen are also playing a significant role in Task Force Cyber, protecting various communications networks from cyber threats.
“Cyber security is an ever-growing concern within the military services, as well as our government,” said DCO Team Chief, Maj. Jennifer Hunt. “Cyber warfare is a very real threat and we must be ready to meet that threat and safeguard our democracy.”
National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will augment the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police forces on a range of support, including traffic control, crowd management, logistics and communication.
Photo credits: © 2017 Historic City News contributed photograph by Florida Department of Military Affairs