Kentucky Guardsmen help secure inauguration

By Staff Sgt. David Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment 

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Sgt. Caleb Simmons with the 940th Military Police Company salutes a passing Color Guard during the Gubernatorial Inauguration parade in Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 8, 2015. Kentucky Guard military police Soldiers assisted local law enforcement in securing areas near the Capitol for events surrounding Gov. Matt Bevin’s public swearing in. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Walt Leaumont)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Out in full force, the Kentucky National Guard celebrated with fellow Kentuckians as Gov. Matt Bevin was publicly sworn in Dec. 8, in Frankfort. Also sworn in was Army Brig. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, the Kentucky Guard’s 52nd adjutant general.

“This is really the one big event we get to do every four years to really support the Commonwealth and let them know we have a band,” said Sgt. Shari Kinslow, a musician assigned to the 202nd Army Band.

“For us, this is the time of year where we get to be compared to some of the active duty bands up in D.C.,” she said.

The 202nd played several events for the inaugural celebration, including the private swearing-in ceremony, the parade and the public swearing in.

The inaugural events were special for Kinslow since this was her last performance before retirement. She served 20 years with the Kentucky Guard.

“I’ll miss this, it’s more like a family than just a unit,” she said.

Click here for more photos.

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Spc. Josh Goldener, military police with the 1103rd MP Detachment, and Officer Mike Davidson, Frankfort Police Department, conduct traffic surveillance for Governor Matt Bevin’s inauguration at the Capitol building in Frankfort, Ky. Dec. 8, 2015. Present at the inauguration was the Kentucky National Guard’s new Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. David Bolton)

More than 150 Soldiers and Airmen were on duty in a variety of roles in and around the downtown area.

If the event patrons didn’t know the Kentucky Guard has a band, the 19-round artillery salute proved the Kentucky Guard has artillery. Getting the 105mm Howitzers and personnel in place, took special planning and coordination.

“You have to know how many people it will take to fire the guns, and coordinate the transportation of the artillery pieces from Lexington to Frankfort,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Mattingly, intelligence non-commissioned officer, 138th Field Artillery Brigade. “You have to draw ammo from Fort Knox, make sure everyone knows what’s going on, and run through rehearsals.”

As the liaison officer between color guard and artillery salute, Mattingly said the hardest part of the event was making sure he could reach everybody and keeping everyone on a timeline. The duty, he said, was fulfilling.

“It’s always an honor every time you do something like this,” said Mattingly.

Spc. Josh Goldener, said the honor of serving and protecting the attendees of the inauguration is a memory that will last with him a lifetime.

“It’s a huge honor to get to be a part of both the new governor and TAG’s first day,” said Goldener. “I mean this is history. I’m standing here getting to serve in something that happens every four or eight years. It’s very cool to be able to say I was a part of this and someday I can tell my kids or grandkids I was part of this event.”

Goldener provided security with his unit, the 1103rd Law and Order Detachment. Along with members of the 940th Military Police, the Kentucky Guard force ensured the safety of the patrons downtown.

“The hardest part is really just dealing with the circumstances surrounding today,” said Goldener.

“Not only because of its importance,” he said, “but because of what’s going on everywhere in the world at this time. We’re all on high alert even though there is no specific threat, we’re doing our best to stay vigilant and make sure we catch anything before it happens.”

The Kentucky Guard’s 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade closed out the inaugural ceremonies with a flyover of three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

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Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky National Guard act as Color Guard during the inaugural parade in front of the Capitol building in Frankfort, Ky. Dec. 8, 2015. The parade was part of the inaugural day activities for newly-elected Governor Matt Bevin. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. David Bolton)

In his closing remarks, Bevin – a former U.S. Army officer – thanked the Guard for being part of the day and always being ready to serve.

“We thank those of you who have paid that price and to your families,” said Bevin. “Thank you for all your support. Our thanks go to the men and women who have served, so that we might gather here.”

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