LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10)- In preparation for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the New York National Guard headed to Washington D.C. on Saturday morning.
Members of the New York National Guard loaded up in buses at the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Head Quarters in Latham. The New York National Guard deployed 1,000 Soldiers and Airmen this weekend in support of the presidential inauguration ceremony at the nation’s capital on January 20.
It was no surprise to the New York National Guard about them being deployed after Wednesday’s riots on Capitol Hill. “Our current situations in America have been [a] little crazy. We are the National Guard, this is our job, and this is what we signed up for,” said Damaris Quinones, Sergeant First Class of the United States Army.
Governor Cuomo announced he was sending the New York National Guard members for up to two weeks. Every four years, the New York National Guard attends the president’s inauguration. This year they are headed down early.
“We are going down to assist local law enforcement and the local government down there in Washington D.C.,” said Sergeant Damon Lockett, Senior Non-Commissioner Officer for 204 Military Police Company.
Sergeant Quinones says this is not her first time being deployed in high-stress situations. “When it comes to things that happen around the nation, we are pivotal. For example like 9/11 and everything that has happened in our history, we are there when they need us and we just do our job,” she said.
Members of the New York National Guard says they are ready and responsive if violence were to break out. Sergeant Lockett says his top priority is his soldiers.
“I just want to make sure I take care of them and that they get down there safely. Once we arrive, they will do their job and do what we need to do. I will then get them home safely back to their families,” said he.
As the New York National Guard drives off into the distance, they are ready to be a part of this moment in history. “Some of our guy and girl soldiers are 18 and 19-year-olds. When they get to be 50 to 60-year-olds, they will always be able to tell their grandchildren where they were. It is rewarding that we get a chance to be a part of history,” said Sergeant Lockett.
The task force joins a force of 6,200 National Guard personnel from multiple states to provide security assistance to the DC Guard and the Department of Justice for the event.
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