Tennessee National Guard sends 750+ soldiers and airmen to DC


U.S. soldiers assigned to 4th Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee National Guard, man their post near The Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C., Jan. 17, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt Arturo Guzman)

WASHINGTON (WJHL) — The Tennessee National Guard has sent more than 750 soldiers and airmen to Washington D.C. to assist with security during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday.

More than 700 soldiers were sent from 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment headquartered in Knoxville, 194th Engineer Brigade headquartered in Jackson, and 230th Sustainment Brigade headquartered in Chattanooga.

About 50 airmen from Nashville’s 118th Wing and Knoxville’s 134th Air Refueling Wing and 119th Cyber Operations Squadron are also in the capital. They were transported by aircraft from the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis and 134th Wing.

Around 25,000 members of the National Guard from across the country have been deployed to Washington to support inauguration security after deadly riots happened earlier this month at the U.S. Capitol building.

“The ability for the National Guard to rapidly alert, mobilize and deploy this size of formation from all 54 states and territories in less than a week is unprecedented and a testament to the commitment to duty of our citizen soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s adjutant general, in a news release. “Furthermore, it demonstrates we are an apolitical organization that is responsive to the needs of our Nation in whatever mission is directed by our civilian authorities.”

The Tennessee National Guard says less than 10 percent of its available soldiers and airmen are currently assigned to missions inside and outside the state. The deployment to Washington will not impact the National Guard’s COVID-19 response inside the state, according to Holmes.

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