SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –
Approximately 200 Utah National Guard Soldiers returned to Salt Lake City, Sunday, June 7, 2020 following an activation at the request of Defense Secretary Mark Esper to augment civil authorities in Washington, D.C. amid civil unrest.
Soldiers from 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) spent five days in D.C. providing security at national monuments and assisting in cleanup efforts.
“With heavy hearts, we answered the call to our nation's capital,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Holmer, officer in charge of the mobilization and commander, 1st Battalion, 19th SFG (A). “We feel grateful for the opportunity to support the Secret Service, the Department of Justice, the D.C. National Guard, the Parks Police and most of all to serve our fellow Americans. I’m proud of the professionalism and maturity with which our Utah guardsmen conducted themselves. We’re also thankful for the support of our Utah leadership. We’re happy that the situation has deescalated and that we are able to come home.”
The unit was postured for an overseas deployment when the call for support came, allowing the Utah National Guard to rapidly respond.
“It’s an honor to get an opportunity to serve in our nation’s capital,” said Sgt. Gilberto Reynosa, a chemical specialist with the 19th SFG (A). “Seeing the aftermath from the events of last week, we felt a tremendous sense of pride to be able to repair some of our monuments. When I got the chance to deploy to D.C. I did not think twice. I would do it again.”
The Utah National Guard has nearly 7,500 Soldiers and Airmen who stand ready to support the state of Utah and the United States of America during these unprecedented times.
Please direct all questions via text or email to Maj. Jaime Thomas, 801-716-9063, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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