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Oklahoma Air National Guard supports 58th Presidential Inauguration

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. -- Four Airmen from the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, supported the inauguration of the 45th president, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

With a high potential for protests, the Airmen from the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron were ready to support law enforcement by providing security, controlling traffic and directing crowds.

"Our personnel coordinated with Oklahoma Army National Guard for mission planning and coordination," said Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Rogers, 137th SOSFS security forces manager. "Their primary responsibility, while there, was crowd control."

This is not the first time 137th Airmen have participated in an inauguration. The last time was for President Barack Obama's first inauguration.

They served with the more than 7,500 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, from 44 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, and the specially created Joint Task Force - District of Columbia. The District of Columbia National Guard created JTF - DC in response to requests for assistance from local and federal agencies in the National Capital Region.

As a whole, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen augmented the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police forces on a range of support, including traffic control, crowd management, logistics and communication.

National Guard support to presidential inaugurations dates to April 30, 1789, when local militia members (today's National Guard) joined the U.S. Army and revolutionary war veterans to form an honor detail and escort Gen. George Washington to his inauguration ceremony in New York City from Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Over the years, National Guard involvement has grown and is designated to honor the commander-in-chief, recognize civilian control of the military, and celebrate democracy.