The Adjutant General sends Derby Message

Kentucky National Guardsmen PV2 Samuel Cornett of the 940th Military Police Company pulls security on the track at Churchill Downs for the 2010 Kentucky Oaks in Louisville, Ky., April 30.

STAFF REPORT

Photos by Capt. Andi Hahn/Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Kentucky National Guard has served in a state active duty roll for security at the Kentucky Derby for the last 75+ years.

One of the great traditions in thoroughbred racing is for the Kentucky National Guard to provide a very visible circle of security around the winners circle — in which — the KY Derby winning horse  receives the blanket of roses.

In 2010 we will have a truly joint detail that will appear on live television around the world.  You notice that every third soldier in the circle will be wearing blue.

We have, in fact, integrated the full security force that includes 299 soldiers and airmen.  Our Air Security Forces are working shoulder to shoulder with their Army Guard MP counterparts in a seamless group of Kentuckians.  I spent the afternoon today (on Kentucky Oaks Day) visiting them at most of their posts.  I have to relate my intense pride in what we call “Unbridled Service” to the Commonwealth.

Kentucky National Guard Soldiers stand guard at the horse track at Churchill Downs as part of a security detail at Kentucky Oaks in Louisville, Ky., April 30.

Horses walking the track prior to a race at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Oaks Day in Louisville, Ky., April 30.

I think this is one of the instances of state active duty — that stands along side the KyNG duty during the 2009 Ice Storm as a great tradition in the National Guard.

I thought you guys would like to know wherever you are watching the 2010 Run for the Roses.

–Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, The Adjutant General for Kentucky

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