WASHINGTON- It's not the average mission. This weekend 6,000 National Guardsmen will converge on Washington D.C. from all over the country, reporting for duty to help with the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Deployed from more than 25 states and territories, National Guard troops will be on a special mission to keep order and safety in Washington.
"It's always great to be in our Nation's Capitol," says 2nd Lieutenant Evan Willier of the 1st 103rd Amored Battallion. "It's great to have the opportunity to work with the D.C. National Guard, D.C. Department of Transportation and police departments."
They're being sworn in as special officers and will uphold some of the same duties as Metro Police, like traffic control and crowd management.
"With the arrangements that are being made, everyone feels like they'll be doing an important mission," says Major William Start, Assistant S3 Pennsylvania Taskforce. "Some will be closer to the mall. Some will be further away, but overall, they're pretty excited."
Private First Class Thomas Campanile is a college senior, studying history at Shippensburg University. This is his first time working a Presidential Inauguration.
"There's been a lot of inaugurations in the past," Campanile says. "So, it means a lot to me. It just hasn't really quite hit me yet."
He's just one of more than 1,900 Pennsylvania guardsmen who will be serving on this mission. They make up the largest group from any participating state.
After mass in-processing, taking oath and listening to briefings, the troops say they are ready to head out to their posts.
"We've been working on it probably for the past month, month and a half, getting everyone down here," says Major Start. "We're ready to get it done."
The National Guard Troops will be coming in to the D.C. Armory, Joint Base Andrews and Fort Belvoir throughout the weekend.
Troops from Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia will arrive on Saturday. 2,000 other troops from Maryland and Virginia will be helping with traffic outside of the district
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