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D.C. National Guard hosts rehearsal for 57th presidential inauguration

By 1st Lt. Miranda Summers Lowe | D.C. National Guard | Dec. 13, 2012

WASHINGTON - The D.C. National Guard joined hundreds of active-duty and Reserve military members and D.C. and federal officials during a two-day inauguration rehearsal at the D.C. National Guard Armory.

The purpose of the rehearsal, held Monday and Tuesday, was to align military and civilian resources supporting the 57th presidential inauguration and work to resolve issues as they are identified.

"This is a cooperative effort," said Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, during opening remarks at the rehearsal. "Interagency cooperation will be paramount to the success of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration."

Military and civilian leaders used a 40-by-60 foot map to discuss information related to inauguration operations including traffic management, crowd control and the inaugural parade. The rehearsal also facilitated a better understanding of the geographical area.

"Our D.C. Guardsmen bring a unique perspective to their military profession, with many serving in federal and city government," said Maj. Gen. Schwartz. "Many also work and live right here in the District. We welcome the opportunity to share our local knowledge and support our civilian counterparts."

More than 6,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airman from at least 17 states and two territories are expected to provide critical support to include crowd management, traffic control, communications, logistics, medical support, public affairs and ceremonial duties.

"The National Guard has a strong partnership with many D.C. city agencies to include the Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management," said Brig. Gen. Arthur Hinaman, Joint Task Force-District of Columbia Commander, who will oversee National Guard support to civilian authorities. "We are working diligently to ensure synchronization and unity of effort during the inauguration."

The bulk of Soldiers and Airman are coming from Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

"Many of these soldiers and airman performed similar functions during the 2009 inauguration and have first-hand experience," said Brig. Gen. Hinaman. "The National Guard is again prepared for our mission -- just as we were in 2009 during the largest inauguration in history."