SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah National Guard has announced that it will be deploying 350 service members to Washington D.C. to assist law enforcement during the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.
“A task force, comprised of service members from throughout the state, will assist the Washington D.C. National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Clayton Anderson, commander of Utah National Guard element. “We are honored to assist local and federal partners, and appreciate the support from our family, friends, and employers.”
According to a news release, the Utah Air National Guard’s 130th Engineering Installation Squadron will provide Joint Incident Site Communication Capability or JISCC, which is routinely requested for presidential inaugurations. JISCC is made up of approximately 14 National Guard Airmen who will utilize communication equipment to coordinate with multiple supporting agencies while in Washington D.C.
“The Utah National Guard has responded to domestic emergencies on an unprecedented level this past year. We are proud to support our partners and serve our fellow Americans once again,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Turley, the adjutant general, Utah National Guard. “Every member of the Utah National Guard is committed to our national and military values and our oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
On Thursday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox declared a state of emergency in light of the protests that occurred at the U.S. State Capitol which caused 5 deaths, including that of a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
The Utah Highway Patrol and Utah National Guard, as well as other local police departments, have been put on standby in anticipation of a protest, according to a statement from Gov. Cox’s office.
Gov. Cox says he has been working “very closely” with the Department of Public Safety, the Utah National Guard, the Utah Legislature, and all those involved with the capitol complex to ensure safety in the coming days and weeks. Salt Lake City’s chapter of the FBI is also on standby ready to assist the state with any needed safety measures.