TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma National Guard is sending approximately 400 Oklahoma National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen to Washington, D.C. to support the 59th presidential inauguration.
The Oklahoma Guardsmen will join National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from 43 states to augment the District of Columbia National Guard to assist law enforcement with crowd management; traffic control in and around the Capitol, National Mall and White House; as well as communications, logistical and medical support.
“When people see the National Guard, they know we are there to help,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “The men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard who will be supporting the inauguration are the same Guardsmen who have been there time and time again for Oklahoma communities.”
National Guard involvement in presidential inaugurations goes back to 1789, when members of local militias, the pre-cursors to the modern National Guard, accompanied the U.S. Army and Revolutionary War veterans in escorting George Washington to New York City - the seat of government for his inauguration ceremony.
“The National Guard has a long and proud history of inauguration support. The forefathers of today’s National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been part of every inauguration since,” said Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We stand ready to support this national event with our interagency partners.”
The Guardsmen are expected to depart Oklahoma later this week and be on-station in Washington D.C. for seven to 10 days.
Officials with the Oklahoma National Guard answered questions concerning their role in the 59th presidential inauguration. WATCH below:
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