FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania National Guard has helped with every presidential inauguration since George Washington’s in 1789.
This year, the Pennsylvania National Guard will send more than 1,000 personnel to Washington, D.C. for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“This is history in the making,” said Col. Sam Hayes, Director of Domestic Operations. “Naturally, it is an honor to be part of it.”
While in the nation’s capital, Guard members will be responsible for security, traffic control, crowd management, and keeping a watch on potential acts of terrorism.
“We have a contingent that hopefully we won’t have to use, but they will be available to support law enforcement if there is a civil disturbance event,” Hayes said.
Some troops will be monitoring the swearing-in ceremonies from a command center at Fort Indiantown Gap.
“We work with the D.C. Guard, we work with indirectly with the Secret Service, the FBI, and FEMA,” Hayes said.
Protests for this year’s inauguration could break records. Pennsylvania National Guard members this week underwent special training in case things get out of hand.
“We’re prepared to provide soldiers that are properly trained and equipped,” Hayes said.
Pennsylvania is sending the second-most personnel to Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia National Guard is sending the most.