By Sgt. Tackora Hand
Indiana National Guard
The last couple of days required flexibility and resilience but with constant strategic analysis and proactive leadership, Indiana Guardsmen stood alert to support the peaceful transition of power during the 2021 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2021.
“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 Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We stand ready to support this national event with our interagency partners. ”On the day of, and during the days leading up to, Indiana Guardsmen provided security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety support to state, district, and federal agencies through the presidential inauguration.
While conditions may change, the National Guard's ability to respond is constant. Military support to inaugurations by Guard members dates back 232 years to when Gen. George Washington began his inaugural journey from Mount Vernon, Virginia to New York City. Enduring partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, built on trust and performance, directly contributed to the National Guard’s success in homeland response.
“Our Hoosier Guardsmen stood ready with more than 25,000 citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen from around the country to help ensure a peaceful transfer of authority at our nation’s capital,” said Indiana Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles. “In Indiana, we continue to support COVID-19-response missions - assisting at long-term care facilities, distributing invaluable personal protection equipment and also helping to distribute the coronavirus vaccination. Yet we could not do all this without the love and support from our family, friends, communities and civilian employers. Thank you, Indiana.”
Up to 25,000 citizen-soldiers and -airmen from 54 states, territories and District of Columbia, are currently authorized to provide security, communications, medical evacuation and other support to civilian authorities in DC throughout the presidential inauguration.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming into this mission,” Said Indiana Guardsman Sgt. Tabitha Blair who provided administrative support to the Tactical Operation Center. “I am impressed by the structure, the layers of security and the hours of analysis that went into completing this mission, I am honored and proud to be a part of such an important part of our democratic process.”
Following the inauguration Indiana guardsmen won’t just pack up shop and be on their way. The Guardsmen will continue to support local, state and federal agencies until the mission is complete.