WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – National Guard troops and law enforcement are pouring into our nation’s capital ahead of inauguration day. Many Kansans got the call to head out.
The guard said the District of Columbia National Guard sent a request for support.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has authorized the deployment of approximately 300 Kansas National Guardsmen.
“The presidential inauguration is a collaborative event, requiring extraordinary support from many federal and state agencies,” Kelly said in a news release. “The National Guard has supported presidential inaugurations since the founding of our nation. I’m incredibly thankful for everything they do, and this is just the latest example of our Kansas National Guard being always ready to answer the call for our state and nation.”
Mayor Brandon Whipple said he is confident the Wichita Police Department officers and Kansas National Guardsmen will keep Washington D.C. safe.
Brian Fisk is a veteran who fought in the Gulf War. His son is a Kansas National Guardsman that is on his way to Washington D.C.
“He came over last night when I got off work and told us that he was being deployed. It was pretty sudden,” said Brian Fisk.
Fisk said he never thought he would worry about a deployment inside the country.
“You wouldn’t think it would be too big of a deal just going to our nation’s capital, but in today’s world, with everything that’s going on now, you don’t know, anything could happen,” said Fisk. “There’s just a lot of chaos, and it’s scary right now.”
Fisk’s son will be one of 300 Kansas Guardsmen assisting the presidential inauguration. The Wichita Police Department is also sending 50 officers.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said it is a prideful moment for Kansans.
“As the mayor of Wichita, knowing the quality of officers we have as an American, I’m glad our officers will be there to help out. I think we have some of the best, trained officers,” said Whipple.
Whipple and Fisk are hopeful all Guardsmen and officers return safely and said it’s an honor for Kansas to be part of an important ceremony.
“We’re just very proud of our officers and our folks in the National Guard who are going to be helping out with a peaceful transition of power,” said Whipple.
“I just hope and pray that everyone comes home safe, and it all transpires with no bad beats happening,” said Fisk.
Fisk said his son is expected to be deployed for 30 days and said he looks forward to his return.
The Kansas Air National Guard’s 190th Air Refueling Wing will transport the Kansas Guardsmen on KC-135s.
There are expected to be approximately 20,000 National Guardsmen from across the nation in Washington for the event.
The soldiers and airmen represent the following:
- Kansas Army National Guard’s 130th Field Artillery Battalion (Manhattan)
- 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery (Hutchinson)
- 997th Brigade Support Battalion (Hays)
- 330th Signal Company (Wichita)
- 1161st Forward Support Company (Wichita)
- 250th Forward Support Company (Ottawa)
- 170th Maintenance Company (Wichita)
- 995th Maintenance Company (Smith Center)
- 635th Regional Support Group (Wichita)
- 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation (Topeka)
- 891st Engineer Battalion (Iola)
- 226th Engineer Company (Augusta)
- 242nd Engineer Company (Coffeyville)
- 772nd Engineer Company (Pittsburg)
- 1st Battalion, 635th Armor (Kansas City)
- 235th Regiment (Salina)
- 169th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (Olathe)
- 731st Transportation Company(Great Bend)
- Kansas Air National Guard’s 184th Wing (Wichita)
- 190th Air Refueling Wing (Topeka)