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District of Columbia National Guard

Questions & Answers

                              National Guard Involvement – Inauguration 2013

As of 5 December 2012- Subject to change without notice


Q1.  Why is the National Guard involved in the presidential inauguration?

A1. The National Guard is performing several critical missions at the request of local civilian authorities. The National Guard is home to a wide variety of capabilities, which can seamlessly integrate with our inter-agency partners for inauguration support.


Q2.  How many National Guard troops will participate?

A2. Approximately 6,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be participating in the 57th Presidential inauguration. Guard members are coming from 15 states and territories including Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Virgin Islands, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


Q3. What functions will the National Guard be performing?

A3. National Guard Soldiers and Airman will provide a myriad of support to civil authorities during the inauguration to include: Crowd management for facilitating a safe and rewarding experience for attendees; traffic control to maintain security and flow of traffic in and around the Capitol, National Mall and White House; as well as communications, logistical, medical and public affairs support as needed. Many of our Soldiers and Airman performed similar functions during the 2009 inauguration.


Q4. What agencies/organizations is the National Guard supporting?

A4. Interagency cooperation is paramount to the success of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Historically the National Guard has received requests for support from the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DCHSEMA), D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (DCMPD), D.C. Medical Emergency and Fire Department (DCFEMS), D.C. Department of Transportation, U.S. Park Police, U.S. Secret Service and the North American Airspace Defense Command (NORAD).  The National Guard conducts extensive planning with its partners to ensure a consolidated, coordinated, and effective approach for professional and timely presidential inauguration planning and execution.


Q5. Is the National Guard helping with the traffic outside of Washington, D.C?

A5. Approximately 2,000 Virginia and Maryland Guard forces are supporting their states law enforcement and transportation agents for traffic flow support.


Q6. Will there be any National Guard members directly involved in the ceremonial events and celebration events?

A6. Several hundred National Guard members are preparing to provide ceremonial support to the 57th Presidential Inaugural. This support is traditionally comprised of musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons.

            Q7.  Are there limits to the National Guard’s participation in the inaugural events?

A7.  The National Guard is ready, reliable and accessible and can be called upon for securing the safety of Americans in support of civil authorities. 


Q8. Will the Guard members be armed?

A8. Arming our National Guard Soldiers and Airmen is beyond the scope of this Joint Task Force’s mission. Our primary objective is to provide support to local authorities performing details such as crowd management, traffic control, parking coordination and medical and logistical support. The security of the citizens visiting Washington, D.C. for the inauguration is the ultimate responsibility of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service. The public’s safety has been given the highest consideration.


Q9.  Are other military components providing any other kind of support?

A9.  The Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) is responsible for ceremonial support, including the parade. As a National Special Security Event (NSSE), military personnel often provide a variety of unique capabilities that help ensure a safe and secure environment.  For operation security, contact the U. S. Secret Service for additional information.


Q10.  Why is the military working with the Secret Service?

A10.  As part of the Federal Team in the National Capital Region, the National Guard is often involved in the planning of potential consequence management operations for possible contingencies during such events.  The preparation for a National Special Security Event (NSSE) is a cooperative effort among federal, state and local agencies.


Q11.  How is the military prepared for an incident should one occur?

A11.  In the unlikely event of a large-scale incident during the 2013 inaugural period, has prepared contingency plans in cooperation with civil authorities. The National Guard stands ready to assist, as requested, should an incident occur.


Q12. Is the National Guard prepared for such large-scale events?

A12. The National Guard was an active player in the 2009 inauguration. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are performing similar functions as they did in 2009, during the largest inauguration in American history. Additionally, the National Guard is ready, trained and equipped to assist civil authorities. The National Guard recently responded to Hurricane Sandy, Snow-mageddon and other events held in Washington, D.C.


Q13.  Do military Special Forces play a security role?

A13. Civilian law enforcement officers are responsible for the safety and security of the public during the inaugural events. The National Guard plays a supporting role to civilian agencies, whereas primarily proving crowd management, traffic control, communications and other functions as requested by civil authorities.