Idaho National Guard sends 300 to support inauguration
By Capt. Robert Taylor, Idaho Army National Guard
/ Published January 16, 2021
BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho National Guard sent more than 300 Soldiers and Airmen to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15 to augment the District of Columbia National Guard and support the U.S. Secret Service for the presidential inauguration.
“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 traveled to Washington, D.C. via military and contracted aircraft with standard government-issued equipment. Their potential tasks include security, communications, medical, logistics and safety support to D.C. and federal agencies.
The Idaho National Guard planned for more than a month to send roughly a dozen people to the region in support of the inauguration. The increase in personnel is part of a new request to provide additional support and represents roughly 7 percent of the Idaho Guard force.
This deployment does not involve the 200 Soldiers and Airmen already working in their communities as part of the COVID-19 response. The Idaho National Guard will continue to maintain its capacity to provide emergency response in Idaho, whether it be a COVID surge, civil disturbances, natural disasters or other emergencies.
The Idaho National Guard has deployed out of state for national emergencies in the past. From Hurricane Katrina in 2005, wildland fire suppression in Oregon and Washington in 2015, to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria recovery support in 2017, the Idaho National Guard has provided hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen to respond to national emergencies.
Last summer, the Idaho National Guard sent Soldiers and helicopters to fight wildfires in California and more than 400 Soldiers to Washington, D.C., during civil disturbances.