D.C. National Guard supports Papal visit to Washington, D.C.

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Erica Rodriguez
  • 113th Wing Public Affairs
More than 150 Airmen from the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard volunteered as task force support for visit of Pope Francis here, Sep. 22-24.

Sworn-in and deputized by the D.C. Metropolitan Police as special police, the Airmen served as a standing police force for the event that attracted thousands of spectators to the D.C. area.

Domestic operations is one of the many ways the 113th Wing supports its community. This event, Operation Roman Watch, was a culmination of both Army and Air Force from the D.C. National Guard.

"There are over 500 Guardsmen in this task force which makes the logistics difficult, but as Capital Guardians, we are trained and equipped to handle this mission," said Capt. Duane Peterson, Operation Roman Watch deputy task force commander.

The D.C. Air National Guard also supported the commemoration event marking the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech, and the Concert for Valor event honoring Veterans Day 2014.

"We are happy to support the local community and making this a safe event for all is our honor," said Peterson.

Proper training prepared all members for event. As task force, members maintained crowd and traffic control, as well as enforcing the law.

"Operation Roman Watch was my first task force," said Airman 1st Class Darla Robertson, 113th Maintenance Squadron aircraft electrician. "My duties included security checks for those who attended the parade. I was excited and nervous about the event, but the briefing and training for the task force prepared me for it."

The event proved to be another successful domestic operation from the D.C. National Guard.