West Virginia Air National Guard supports 58th Presidential Inauguration

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Adam Juchniewicz
  • 130th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen and Soldiers from the West Virginia National Guard specialized units, including the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high yield Explosive, or CBRNE, Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), ANG Fatality & Services Recovery Response Team (FRST) and the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC), deployed in support of the historical occasion.

“The support that our Airmen provided during this event is a direct reflection on the professionalism and outstanding service each provides to defend our state and nation,” said Col. Johnny Ryan, 130th AW commander. “It is truly an honor to assist such an important event in American history and we are proud to have been able to answer the call and provide protection for our nation.”

These specialized units, unique to the National Guard, served in both Washington, D.C. and West Virginia providing stand-by assistance in the case of national security threat or disaster.

 The WVANG has mobilized three times for presidential inaugurations, including former President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, as a stand-by, support unit ready to deploy in the case of a national disaster. 

 The CERFP team, headquartered at the 130th AW is a unique, quick-response unit within the National Guard, designed to augment the needs of first responders with medical, search and rescue, and communications support.

“Our unit provides a unique opportunity for traditional Guardsmen to protect United States citizens in a domestic capacity, as well as providing security for our nation’s leaders,” explained Maj. Robert Warren, 130th AW CERFP operations commander. “That is a mission that is exclusive to this unit and the other 26 CERFP units within the ANG.” 

 The ANG FRST and JISCC each provided valuable support functions at their home stations, ensuring critical assistance to the capital region was available if needed.

More than 7,500 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, from 44 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia served with the specially created Joint Task Force – District of Columbia. The District of Columbia National Guard created JTF – D.C., in response to requests for assistance from local and Federal agencies in the National Capital Region. Air National Guard Airmen augmented the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police, and D.C. Metropolitan Police forces on a range of support, including traffic control, crowd management, logistics, and communication.

National Guard support to presidential inaugurations dates back to April 30, 1789, when local militia members joined the U.S. Army and Revolutionary War veterans to form an honor detail and escort Gen. George Washington from Mount Vernon, Va. to his inauguration ceremony in New York City. Over the years, National Guard involvement has grown and is designated to honor the commander-in-chief, as well as recognize civilian control of the military.