BOSTON – Soldiers and Airmen from the Massachusetts National Guard deployed to assist state and local authorities with providing security for one of Boston’s most popular annual celebrations here July 4.
Boston’s Independence Day celebration at the Esplanade includes a performance by the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell, the firing of Howitzer cannons to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture by the 101st Field Artillery Regiment, and the obligatory fireworks display from the center of the Charles River.
On the previous day the 1st Civil Support Team, prepared for the event by placing their advanced monitoring package of equipment in the area to detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and environmental threats, said Agent Jeffrey Smith, deputy commander of the 1st CST.
In the event of detecting or discovering a CBRNE threat, the 1st CST would advise state and local authorities such as the Boston Police and Fire Departments with explosive ordnance disposal from the 387th EOD, based out of Camp Edwards in Bourne, Mass., and how to mitigate the effects of CBRNE elements, said Smith. He added that the 1st CST is supported by members of CST units from neighboring states such as Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
As residents and visitors poured in to the Esplanade’s lagoon to catch a spot along the river to watch the fireworks, Soldiers from 182nd Infantry Regiment stood at checkpoints alongside Massachusetts State Police and the Transportation Security Administration to ensure all bags were checked by civilian security staff at several points along the Esplanade and across the Massachusetts Avenue bridge in Cambridge.
“We’re here to help with overall security and be an extra pair of eyes,” said Spc. Stephen Douglass, a Soldier with Bravo Company, 182nd Infantry Regiment. “The state police said we made their job easier,” he said.