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COLCHESTER — Approximately 100 Vermont Army National Guard soldiers will support operations in Washington D.C. ahead of the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.

The Vermont Soldiers are predominantly from 1st Squadron, 172nd Cavalry, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain).

“We swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America,” Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, adjutant general, Vermont National Guard, said. “We are honored to play our part in securing one of the most time honored traditions in American history: the Presidential Inauguration.”

The Guard worked with Gov. Phil Scott to ensure Vermont could assist in this mission without impacting its support of the state’s COVID-19 response or other state needs.

Scott approved the mission, saying, “After the tragic events at our Capitol on Jan. 6, we must do all we can to secure a peaceful transition of power on Inauguration Day. I am grateful to the brave men and women of the Vermont National Guard for their service and doing their part during this deployment to protect our republic and the democratic values we hold dear.”

The element from Vermont joins nearly 20,000 National Guard service members deployed to provide security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics and safety support to district and federal agencies. The public’s safety is the top priority of the National Guard, and members will meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, posturing with protective equipment, weapons and live ammunition, officials said.

“Our soldiers have been preparing for upcoming deployments over the last two years, as a result they are among the most trained and ready in the country,” said Col. Brey Hopkins, commander, 86th IBCT (MTN). “I know they will represent Vermont and the 86th IBCT (MTN) well on this historic day.”

All service members deployed in support of Operation Capitol Response will follow COVID-19 protocols in accordance with Center for Disease Control guidelines and may quarantine upon their return from the Capitol region.

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