The Oklahoma National Guard is deploying about 400 citizen-soldiers and airmen to Washington D.C. ahead of the presidential inauguration.
The Oklahoma National Guard said it will help with crowd management and traffic control in and around the capitol, National Mall and White House. It will also help with communication, logistical and Medical support.
The Oklahoma National Guard said it will join soldiers and airmen from 43 other states.
“When people see the National Guard, they know we are there to help,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “The men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard who will be supporting the inauguration are the same Guardsmen who have been there time and time again for Oklahoma communities.”
About 20,000 guardsmen nationwide could be deployed to help out with the inauguration, which is quadruple the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan right now.
The National Guard said it has a long and proud history of helping out with presidential inaugurations.
“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 Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We stand ready to support this national event with our interagency partners.”
There's no word yet on when Oklahoma's guardsmen and women will leave this week, but they’re expected to be in Washington D.C. for up to10 days.