Ten members of the Nebraska National Guard are in Washington D.C. for today’s presidential inauguration.
All ten of the citizen-soldiers are from Lincoln. One of them is with an explosive ordnance disposal unit while the other nine are assigned to the 155th Force Support Squadron.
Nebraska Guard spokesman Captain Doug Carlson says they have taken along what’s called a single-pallet expeditionary kitchen.
“They’ll be providing food for thousands of inauguration support personnel,” Carlson says. “What they’re doing is important, obviously, keeping people fed. Then our one explosive ordnance person will be doing not bomb disposal but bomb detection services.”
This is the second consecutive time the Nebraska National Guard has been involved in an inaugural celebration and Carlson says they look upon it as an incredible opportunity to serve while witnessing a moment in American history.
“It really says a lot about the Nebraska National Guard’s commitment to not only our state but our nation in the things we do,” Carlson says. “You look across all the different missions that are available and we have a piece in this. It really is a testament specifically to these ten folks but really to the Nebraska National Guard’s commitment.”
Carlson would not elaborate on how or whether the Nebraskans are armed, should there be any troubles with terrorism or violence.
“We plan for the worst,” Carlson says. “We’re certainly not expecting anything to go on but the incident commander on site there will handle those issues.”
The Guard members flew to Washington on Tuesday aboard a KC-135 jet from the 155th Air Refueling Wing in Lincoln. They’re scheduled to return home on Sunday.
They’re among some 7,500 soldiers and airmen at the event representing National Guards from 44 states.