Infantry Soldiers assist Arlington Police during 57th Presidential Inauguration

Soldiers from the Leesburg-based Company C, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assist Arlington County Police with traffic flow near the Roosevelt Bridge in Arlington Jan. 21, 2013, for the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (Photo by Sgt. David A. Begley, 116th Infantry Brigade Public Affairs)

ARLINGTON, Va. — Approximately 90 Soldiers from the Leesburg-based Company C, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team assisted Arlington County Police with pedestrian traffic flow near the Roosevelt and 14th Street Bridges Jan. 21, 2013, for the 57th Presidential Inauguration. In addition to helping maintain safety and security for one of largest tourist events to take place in the Washington, D. C. area, the mission also provided the unit with valuable training for missions both here in Virginia and overseas.

Soldiers from Company C helped make sure that pedestrians leaving Washington, D. C. were able to successfully and safely make their way to public transit locations in Arlington on Inauguration Day, but the work started weeks before with planning and coordination meetings with Arlington Police and preparations at the unit’s armories in Leesburg and Manassas.

“This mission allowed our entire leadership team to implement our policies and procedures for things like mission planning, pre-combat checks, convoy movement and troop leading procedures,” said Capt. Kevin J. Hoffman, commander of Company C. “This mission allowed us to practice the skills that we would use in a state mission or on active duty overseas. It keeps us sharp.”

The mission also provided a chance for the unit to work on the flow of information, so that from the top down to the most junior Soldiers everyone on the ground knew what the unit was doing, Hoffman added.

Coordination with Arlington Police was a very positive experience as well, and they were “great to work with,” Hoffman said.

“They appreciate what we do, and this gives us an appreciation for what they do, day in and day out,” he said. “It is good for us to be face-to-face with local emergency responders we live with in our communities.”

In addition to Soldiers from Company C, members of the Virgina Defense Force provided communications capability and Soldiers from the Winchester-based Company F, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team provided transportation support for the mission.

“It is important for us to always be ready to respond to the needs of the community, and that is one of our primary missions,” Hoffman said. “This was a huge event, and it turned out well. If it didn’t turn out well, we would have been here to assist.”

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Va. Guard infantry Soldiers assist with inauguration security – Jan. 21, 2013