CAMP MURRAY, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dozens of Washington National Guard soldiers and officers listened in on the 17th. January in the passenger terminal of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, encouraging words from their state and military leadership, according to a press release from Lieutenant Colonel Allison Teeter of the Washington National Guard.
Lieutenant Colonel Teeter said soldiers are leaving on a historic mission to Washington, D.C., to help federal and district agencies prepare for the 59th Congress. Presidential inauguration on Wednesday the 20th. January, to support.
In 72 hours, more than 300 Washington National Guard personnel and 34,000 pounds of cargo were transported to the capital by Stratotanker-KC-135 crews from the Washington National Guard’s 141 Air Refuelling Wing, based at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. More than 400 members of the Washington National Guard participate in the opening ceremony.
I’m very proud of you for coming. This is a historic event, said the Adjutant General of the State, Major General Bret D of the Army. Daugherty. You will stand side by side with over 20,000 of our guards from every state in the country. That’s a very strong statement.
Behind the scenes, coordination turned the idea into mobilization in a matter of days, but planning an airlift was not easy.
Air National Guard crews transported thousands of guardsmen to the National Capital Region from all parts of the country, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam. The WA ANG had to have aircraft and logistics to meet the deadline for transporting the guards from Washington.
The 141st ARW’s main mission is in-flight refueling. The 141st ARV is permanently stationed around the world working with the 92nd Active Service Air-to-Air Refuelling Wing. 141 Maintenance Group worked with their partners in 92 Group to get the right number of aircraft, maintenance and logistics, said Colonel Larry Gardner, Commander of 141 Air Refuelling Wing.
If these missions are conducted in the United States, it will obviously be a recognition for our entire squadron and our mission partners on the ’92, Gardner said. We’re pretty good at what we do in terms of adjusting and controlling the fire with the aircraft, with the maintenance staff, with the staff that we use to support DOMOPS (internal operations).
I am very proud of all 141st pilots for what they have done to take their jobs seriously, to take the pandemic seriously and to keep our team ready at all times for their neighbor and the nation, he added.
Since March, the Washington National Guard has been responding to the COWID-19 pandemic. Members of the organization supported food banks, test and riot operations, provided security during elections and helped fight fires, among other things.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with members of the Washington National Guard on the 17th. Jan. 2021 at Lewis-McChord Joint Base, Wash. prior to their trip to Washington to support the presidential inauguration. Government. Inslee thanked the Guardians for their dedication and help in safeguarding American democracy. He also spoke about the historic period we are currently experiencing in American history. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sergeant Tim Chacon).
If you just look at the last 12 months, only one of those events or incidents that we’ve supported in the National Guard has been noteworthy, said Colonel Paige Abbott, Director of Human Resources at National Guard Headquarters in Washington.
Colonel Brian Bergren, WA ANG liaison officer for the Washington National Guard Joint Operations Centre and staff commander of 225 Air Defence Squadron, Western Region, said the historic Washington mobilisation was about logistics.
If you approach a problem the same way every time, you can usually get a pretty good answer, Bergren said. Whether it’s air defense of the U.S. and planning an operation to temporarily restrict the president’s flights, or getting 400 people across the country, if you break down a complex problem into manageable pieces, you can do anything, he said.
The hard work of the WA ANG team, working for a peaceful transfer of power, kept morale high.
This story highlights the surprisingly agile, responsive and dedicated team we have on both sides of the state, Brig said. In less than 24 hours, the plan went from a soulbar napkin to a whiteboard and eventually to what would become the largest, if not the largest, airlift in recent Washington National Guard history.
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