FORT HARRISON — Montana Governor, Greg Gianforte, has approved to send 150 Soldiers of the Montana Army National Guard to provide additional security during the upcoming Presidential Inauguration. The request came from the National Guard Bureau to Governor Gianforte, according to a press release by the MT National Guard.
Soldiers from the 484th Military Police Company (located in Billings, Malta and Glasgow), the 143rd Military Police Detachment (Law & Order) (located in Lewistown) and Headquarters, Headquarters Company (HHC) of the 1-163rd Combined Arms Battalion (located in Belgrade) are being combined and tasked with supporting the Washington D.C. National Guard and the federal law enforcement agencies.
The Soldiers are trained in the use of lethal and less-than-lethal force, de-escalation techniques, as well as the use of protective equipment. The National Guard says this is standard for civil disturbance response missions.
“The Montana National Guard stands ready to meet any mission that Governor Gianforte requests of us. The Soldiers of the 143rd and 484th Military Police Companies and HHC, now known as Task Force 484th, are some of the highest quality Soldiers this state has to offer, and I am confident they will make Montana proud as they assist our nation during this upcoming inaugural ceremony,” said Montana Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Pete Hronek.
The Soldiers arrived at Fort Harrison on Thursday, January 14th, 2021, and began in-processing throughout the day on Friday, January 15th. On Saturday, January 16th, the Soldiers will receive refresher training on civil disturbance. The MT National Guard says the Soldiers are scheduled to depart Montana late Sat., Jan. 16 via four C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 120th Airlift Wing of the Montana Air National Guard.
“The National Guard has been supporting the Inauguration Ceremony for the last 232 years, and this is no exception. Montana is proud to be able to provide Soldiers to assist with security, communication and logistics support,” said Hronek.
The Soldiers are being sent with all of their assigned equipment, including civil disturbance gear.
All the Montana Soldiers will be screened for COVID-19 and will be following the Department of Defense and CDC guidelines throughout the duration of the mission.
Governor Gianforte will address the 150 soldiers before they depart to the nation’s capital. The address is scheduled at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, January 16th, at the Army Aviation Support Facility.