News: 'Tabletop' exercise prepares DC National Guard for inauguration
Story by 1st Lt. Miranda Summers Lowe
WASHINGTON - Key staff from the D.C. National Guard gathered Nov. 3 for a tabletop exercise at the D.C. Armory. The exercise was designed to examine the plans, policies, procedures and capabilities of the more than 6,000 National Guard Airmen and soldiers expected to provide traffic control, crowd management, communication and logistical support.
While much of the Country is consumed with the election for the Office of the President, the D.C. National Guard is consumed with planning for the safe and peaceful transition of power in the upcoming Presidential inauguration.
Key staff from the D.C. National Guard gathered Nov. 3 for a tabletop exercise at the D.C. Armory. The exercise was designed to examine the plans, policies, procedures and capabilities of the more than 6,000 National Guard Airmen and soldiers expected to provide traffic control, crowd management, communication and logistical support.
“Now is the time to have an open, honest, frank dialogue,” said Brig. Gen. Kenny Ricket, Director of Joint Staff for the D.C. National Guard. “The key is teamwork and communication.”
The four-hour exercise consisted of discussion topics meant to initiate dialogue and work through potential issues. Personnel addressed challenges associated with moving National Guard forces to support inauguration missions, identified shortfalls in planning and enhanced familiarity with other agencies the National Guard may support during the inauguration.
“We hold table top exercises to work out the kinks and prepare personnel for situations they may encounter while supporting civilian agencies,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Branche, D.C. National Guard director of joint exercises, training and education.
More than 50 representatives from units in the Army and Air National Guard were in attendance, ranging from medical to military police and including the D.C. emergency preparedness liaison officer.
“Meeting face-to-face is imperative,” said Lt.Col Branche. “Talking through particulars of how to become more efficient and identify—and solve—potential problems ahead of time, ensures we are ready, reliable, essential and accessible for the mission.”
More than 6,000 National Guard Airmen and soldiers from more than15 states and territories are expected to provide critical support during the inaugural period Jan. 18 to Jan. 21. In addition to supporting local law enforcement with crowd management and traffic control, the National Guard has capabilities to provide medevac support, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive detection and 24/7 F-16 fighter alert over the National Capital Region.
Military involvement in the Presidential Inauguration dates back to April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, National Guard, and revolutionary war veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony. The D.C. National Guard has participated in every inauguration since the 1861 Abraham Lincoln Inauguration, where President Lincoln received his first salute from a D.C. Guardsman.