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NEWS | Dec. 20, 2019

District of Columbia National Guard Armory fosters bi-national engagement

District of Columbia National Guard Public Affairs

The District of Columbia National Guard’s Armory hums with activity, and two countries were brought together on the Armory’s drill floor Dec. 11.

As part of a French Delegation visit, static displays manned by members of the 372nd Military Police Battalion and 33rd Civil Support Team educated visitors on the DCNG crowd control and civil support missions.

During the demonstrations, a visiting Jamaica Defence Force Health Services Corps professionals participated in the static display event. As part of the State Partnership Program, the healthcare professionals were participating in training that included infectious diseases, ambulance specs, mortuary affairs, and medical evacuations.

Maj. Gen. Olivier Kim, Chief of the French Gendarmerie Reserves Command, was able to interact with DCNG leadership alongside members of the Jamaica Defence Force.

Prior to the static displays, DCNG leadership provided the French general with a capabilities brief.

Brig. Gen. Aaron R. Dean II, the Adjutant General of the DCNG, briefed unique differences of bring Capital Guardians, including the DCNG is only federal National Guard not commanded by a governor, but by a presidentially appointed Commanding General.

Kim remarked he had just discovered that fact prior to the brief.

“The District of Columbia National Guard belongs directly to the President of the United States,” explained Dean. “However, we’re delegated to the Secretary of the Army. For civil authorities to utilize any of our assets, the request must be coordinated through our federal chain. This is unique to our unit.”

DCNG aviation capabilities were also discussed, including the District of Columbia Air National Guard’s Aerospace Control Alert mission. Since 9/11, the 113th Wing’s F-16s have flown 6,300 missions keeping the skies above our nation’s capital safe.

The recent Capital Guardian Youth Challenge Academy Completion Ceremony, also held in the DCNG Armory, was highlighted. 47 cadets successfully completed the six-month program that is focused on equipping youth with lifelong tools for success. The French Gendarmerie Reserves has a similar program, and Kim briefed it is targeted to youth aged 15 and older to reinforce learning about the French nation.

The briefing was concluded with a discussion about the importance of educating and working with employers of Citizen Soldiers and Citizen Airmen. Through the efforts of the Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, employers are continuously invited out to see first-hand what their employees do during their time wearing the Capital Guardian DCNG uniform.

DCNG Command Sgt. Maj. Michael F. Brooks said, “It’s important for us to communicate with employers so that when we call on our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen to serve, we don’t leave employers without the manpower to perform their mission.”

At the conclusion of the DCNG visit, Kim presented DCNG leadership with a historical photobook of the French Gendarmerie Reserves.

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