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Utah National Guard reflects on inauguration assignment

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jan 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-24 20:01:08-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Utah National Guard who were deployed to Washington, D.C. will soon return home.

About 350 soldiers from Utah were deployed Jan. 15 to protect the events surrounding the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

“What we saw was calm,” said Major Mangum with the Utah National Guard via a Zoom call. “It was an honor to be here.”

The chaos and disruption some predicted following the January 6th violent protest and riot at the Capitol never materialized.

Instead, the Utah National Guard described a memorable experience for its members that did not include any serious confrontations.

READ: Gov. Cox calls home Utah National Guard troops from Washington, D.C.

“To be out here and be a part of it, it was a pretty special experience,” Major Mangum said. “For a lot of our soldiers, this was their first time at the national Capitol. The buildings we were at, they had quotes on the wall from the founding fathers. You could see the soldiers walking around during the day, pausing, looking at them and reflecting on them and how that connects to them.”

Members of the National Guard from each state and territory were on hand to provide security and to allow for a peaceful transfer of power.

Due to the success of this mission, this may not be the last time the National Guard is called to protect an event of this magnitude.

“The seamless nature we acted with local authorities, I would imagine they would want to call on us for support because it went so well,” Major Mangum said.

The Utah National Guard soldiers are expected to fly home later this week.