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Utah Airmen among National Guard forces supporting 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Staff Sgt. Anthony Baca, cyber support specialist, and Tech. Sgt. Bryan Scharman, noncommissioned officer in charge of cyber support; both with the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Communications Flight, set up communications between supported agencies during the 58th Presidential Inauguration. The Airmen were part of a 7,500 member team that supported civil authorities in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Young)

Staff Sgt. Anthony Baca, cyber support specialist, and Tech. Sgt. Bryan Scharman, noncommissioned officer in charge of cyber support; both with the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Communications Flight, set up communications between supported agencies during the 58th Presidential Inauguration. The Airmen were part of a 7,500 member team that supported civil authorities in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Young)

SALT LAKE CITY -- Six members of the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Communications Flight provided support for the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C., Jan. 15-22.

The Airmen deployed their mobile Joint Incident Site Communication Capabilities (JISCC) package that enabled communications between support agencies, including military personnel and civil authorities, during the inauguration events.

Once on the ground, their main task was to establish the communications system for a security task force composed primarily of members of the Army National Guard, said 2nd Lt. Tyler Olsen, officer in charge of the JISCC. 

"We're providing capabilities that the task forces wouldn't typically have in this kind of scenario and enabling effective communications," Olsen said. "Secondarily, we would provide communications in the event of an emergency that caused traditional communications to go down."

The group began preparing for the event in the Baltimore area, and arrived in the District of Columbia to set up their equipment the day before the inauguration.  The JISCC was assigned to a government building that was also being used to stage and house Airmen and Soldiers from the National Guard.

The satellite dish and radio antennas were set up on the roof of the building, which had a beautiful view of the Washington Monument, according to Staff Sgt. Anthony Baca, a radio frequency transmission specialist with the 151st CF.

This equipment provided essential phone, data, and radio communications via satellite between commanders and their troops to ensure everyone was able to complete their missions during Inauguration Day.

"The greatest capability of the JISCC package is the knowledge and expertise of our Airmen," Olsen said. "That is what makes it so valuable."