BOISE, Idaho (KIFI)-300 Idaho National Guard soldiers and airmen will be deployed to assist district and federal agencies with the presidential inauguration next week. The guardsmen will augment the Washington D.C. National Guard and serve in support of the U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service is the lead federal agency coordinating the event.
Personnel began to leave Gowen Field in Boise within 72 hours after Governor Brad Little approved the mission. An estimated 25,000 Guard members from all states and territories could round out the Nation’s Guard response.
The Idaho Guard was planning to send a dozen personnel in support of the inauguration. The increase is due to a new request to provide additional support. It represents about 6% of the Idaho National Guard force.
“The National Guard has participated in every presidential inauguration in our nation’s history,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho. “It is an honor to be a part of the tradition of ensuring the peaceful and orderly transition of national power; an act that separates us from many other countries across the world.”
Guardsmen will travel via military airlift and contracted aircraft with standard government-issued equipment. They will be performing a number of potential tasks including security, communications, medical, logistics, and safety support for district and federal agencies. Nearly half of the force will be conducting security-related duties to include traffic control or by assisting visitors to proper assembly locations at entry and exit points.
The deployment does not involve Soldiers and Airmen already working in their communities as part of the COVID-19 response and the Guard will continue to maintain capacity to provide emergency response in Idaho.