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Utah Guard hosts Governor's Inauguration

American Idol finalist David Archuleta sings the National Anthem at the 2009 Utah Governor Inauguration of Jon Huntsman, Jr. on Jan. 5, 2009. Utah Army and Air National Guard members supported the event located on the steps of the Utah State Capitol building.
U.S. Army photo

American Idol finalist David Archuleta sings the National Anthem at the 2009 Utah Governor Inauguration of Jon Huntsman, Jr. on Jan. 5, 2009. Utah Army and Air National Guard members supported the event located on the steps of the Utah State Capitol building. U.S. Army photo

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. took the oath of office on January 5 for a second term amid frigid temperatures on the Utah State Capitol's front steps.

The Utah Air and Army National Guard played a large role in the planning and execution of their Commander-in-Chief's inauguration ceremony.

Maj. Gen. Brian L. Tarbet, the Adjutant General of Utah, hosted the inauguration and once again called upon his Soldiers and Airmen to assist with the event.

"Despite the cold, it was a pleasure to participate in this historic event, and continue the tradition as hosts to the governor's inauguration," said Col. Samuel Ramsay, 151st Air Refueling Wing vice commander.

Amid freezing temperatures, a joint color guard proudly held the colors as emerging pop star and Utah native David Archuleta sang the national anthem.

Both Utah Air and Army National Guardsmen escorted several distinguished guests to their seats, including the governor and his wife, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints President Thomas Monson, and of course Archuleta.

Lt. Col. Lisa Berente, 151stARW's chief of safety, was selected to escort Archuleta.

"My job was to keep him moving so that he wasn't inundated with fans so he would have time to perform his vocal warm-ups," she said. "He was even nicer than I thought he would be and he sang beautifully."

Ten Airmen from the 151st Security Forces Squadron were called upon to augment the Utah Highway patrol's security detail at the event.  Also on hand was the Utah National Guard's 23rd Army Band.  Additionally, four Utah National Guard helicopters from the 1/211th Aviation Battalion performed a flyover for the occasion culminating with an address from the governor. The speech focused on the future of the troubled economy for the state.

"To the people of this great state, my message to you is a simple one: When times get tough our resolve is tested," he said. "It is only through adversity that we are sometimes able to appreciate the strength of our fellow citizens and the goodness of our communities."