Maine National Guard Troops leaving for D.C. this weekend

All 50 states and U.S. territories are set to dispatch troops to the capital.
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 3:34 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Members of the Maine National Guard will leave for Washington, D.C., this weekend to assist with the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden, according to Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham.

Farnham said the troops would arrive in the nation’s capital a few days before Inauguration Day to participate in briefings and walkthroughs.

They’re off! Soldiers departed yesterday for our nation's capital. We are proud to partner with our brothers and sisters from The National Guard across the 54 states and territories to support the 59th Presidential Inauguration. Thanks for the ride, 101st Air Refueling Wing! #MEGuardAtWork #AlwaysReadyAlwaysThere Footage by Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Duplain, 101st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Posted by Maine National Guard on Sunday, January 17, 2021

Traditionally, Maine has always sent some guard members to presidential inaugurations.

According to Farnham, the number of guard soldiers scheduled to go to D.C., this year was planned to be smaller than normal with the scale of the ceremony downsized as a result of the pandemic. However, following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, the head of the National Guard Bureau asked states and territories to up the number of troops being dispatched to Washington.

“We all raise our hand, take an oath to defend the constitution,” Farnham said. “The peaceful transition of power is one of the most powerful symbols of our constitution and our democracy.”

All 50 states and U.S. territories are set to dispatch troops to the capital.

It is unclear exactly what role the nearly 200 Maine Guard troops will serve leading up to and on inauguration day. Farnham said their jobs could range from armed to security to logistical support for the civilian organizations running the ceremony.

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