Reflecting on MA Army, Air National Guard assisting D.C. civil authorities in Capitol Response Mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith
  • 104th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

From January to mid-May the Massachusetts Army and Air National Guard partnered with several other state’s National Guard units from across the country to provide assistance to federal law enforcement agencies in Washington, D.C. with security, communications, medical evacuation, logistical and safety support to state, district and federal agencies.

Massachusetts National Guardsmen primarily supported security operations during this mission through conducting patrols of assigned areas, manning entry points, and providing personnel for an Immediate Response Force.

For one IRF team-leader and Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, being able to be a part of the Capitol Response mission was a significant moment in her military career.

“Getting the chance to come to Washington, D.C. to assist in defending our nation’s capital alongside National Guard units from all over the country has been a unique, once-in-a-career opportunity,” said Staff Sgt. Caitlyn Durant, IRF team leader and Aircraft Armament Systems specialist with the 104th Fighter Wing, Massachusetts ANG. “Being able to be the eyes behind and lead other Guardsmen during this mission has been a meaningful experience. ”

For the Capitol Response’s Echo Company Commander, being able to lead a unique company in support of the mission was a meaningful experience.

“Our company was the only joint-service company from Massachusetts that integrated both Army and Air service members from several different units from across the state,” said U.S. Army Capt. Tiffany Pelrine, Commander of the 272nd Chemical Company, Massachusetts Army National Guard. “I am proud of how our Airmen and Soldiers represented the state of Massachusetts in this operation by working together seamlessly to accomplish the mission.”

The ability to provide support and defense for the nation’s homefront in a variety of manners is a unique mission of the National Guard.

“Domestic operations, like the Capitol Response mission, are an important function of the National Guard,” said Tech. Sgt. Tabitha Giddings, an IRF team leader and a weather forecaster with the 102nd Intelligence Wing, Massachusetts ANG. “Getting the opportunity to have Air and Army Guard forces integrate together to provide defense to our home front provided both valuable experience working in a joint-environment and allowed us to provide peace of mind during times of uncertainty in the nation.”