HELENA — On Saturday night, Montana National Guard members began their journey to Washington, D.C., to provide security during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
150 soldiers from the Montana Army National Guard gathered at an air hangar in Helena, as they prepared for departure. Gov. Greg Gianforte and newly appointed adjutant general Maj. Gen. Pete Hronek were on hand for their sendoff.
“Thank you for your willingness to serve, to leave your families and go and defend our constitution in Washington,” Gianforte said during a brief address to the soldiers.
Gianforte approved sending Guard soldiers to Washington this week, in response to a request from the federal government. The Montana troops will be among up to 25,000 National Guard members from across the country coming to the capital to assist during the inauguration.
The soldiers come from the 484th Military Police Company, the 143rd Military Police Detachment (Law& Order) and Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 1-163rd Combined Arms Battalion. They are trained for responding to civil disturbances and will be tasked with supporting Washington, D.C., police and federal law enforcement.
The Guard members are traveling on four C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Montana Air National Guard. The first group is expected to arrive Sunday.
Soldiers will stay in the Washington area at least through the inauguration on Wednesday.