JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. – Members of U.S. Coast Guard Station Washington, along with officers from the Maryland State Police and several neighboring counties like Prince George and Queen Anne, came together Jan. 21 to provide waterside security in support of the 57th presidential inauguration. Units consisting of Guardsmen and local police conducted patrols along the Potomac River to help enforce security zones within the National Capital Region (NCR).
Capt. Kevin Kiefer, commander of Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, discussed the joint venture during a media briefing on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling the Friday before the inauguration. In addition to waterside security, enforcement would include traffic control, communications and medical support.
“The primary focus is to ensure the safety of the public during the inauguration. Working with other law enforcement agencies helps augment resources during a major event like this,” Kiefer said. “While there’s no maritime threat, we must be fully prepared for anything that could happen. Commercial vehicles are even operating under specific security measures.”
That’s the big difference from the 2009 presidential inauguration, Kiefer noted. At this year’s event, he said commercial vessels and water taxis would allowed into a certain zone along the Potomac only after receiving special permission from the Coast Guard. That was not the case previously.
Capt. David Larsen, special operations commander for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, said the working relationship between all the agencies involved was stellar.
“There are a lot of pieces involved with providing security during a presidential inauguration,” Larsen said. “That’s why it’s so important for everyone to be on the same page. I think the overall collaboration of forces this year was phenomenal.”
In preparation for the inauguration, the U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard worked around the clock to ensure that hundreds of personnel arriving for the occasion had proper berthing arrangements, uniform items and training. The Honor Guard also had members train recruits, Coast Guard Academy cadets and other marching elements on how to properly march in the inaugural parade.