Iowa National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Head to Washington, D.C. for Inauguration

  • Published
  • By PFC Cassandra Monroe
  • 135th MPAD, Iowa Army National Guard
Iowa National Guard Soldiers and Airmen began arriving at Maryland's Andrews Air Force Base Friday, Jan. 16, to support federal, state and local civil authorities during the 56th presidential inauguration.

The National Guard Bureau, Washington, D.C., requested approximately 1,000 Soldiers and Airmen from the Iowa National Guard to assist in the inauguration. This request was made as a result of increased operational requirements and growing participant estimates.

And now, these Soldiers and Airmen have the opportunity to not only witness history, but to become a part of it as well. In the 170-year history of the Iowa National Guard, Iowa service members have never supported a presidential inauguration.

"I'm really excited to be a part of this mission," said Army Sgt. Sean Godinez, an Ames, Iowa resident and combat medic with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 168th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. "It's historical." According to Godinez, his many duties will include providing security, emergency medical care and medical support at aid stations and checkpoints.

"It's really neat to be a part of history," said Air Force Lt. Col. Chuck Taylor, a pilot with the 185th Air Refueling Wing, based in Sioux City, Iowa. Taylor helped pilot the KC-135 aircraft transporting the Iowans to Andrews Air Force Base.

Many of these Soldiers and Airmen received mission notification during their January drill weekend, giving them less than a week to prepare.

"The Iowa National Guard has an outstanding reputation," said Army Brig. Gen. Steve Bogle, an Ankeny, Iowa resident and director of the Iowa National Guard's Joint Staff. "It's a great privilege that Iowa was selected to assist with this taskforce. It shows the Iowa National Guard's high state of readiness and willingness to sacrifice.

"We're always ready, and we're always there," he said.

The Iowan's duties will include transportation and attendee management, traffic control, event ingress/egress, personnel support and transportation. Their primary mission during the inauguration is to support federal, state and local law enforcement with the smooth and safe flow of vehicles and inauguration attendees.

"The Iowa National Guard is always there to do anything needed," said Taylor.
A total of 10,000 National Guard service members from at least 11 different states will assist in the support mission. It is anticipated that these Soldiers and Airmen will serve 10 days in support of the presidential inauguration, including training time and transportation.

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