By Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka Joint Force Headquarters 1/22/2021
CARSON CITY – More than 310 Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were among the 32,000 National Guardsmen on duty Wednesday across the nation to help quell any potential civil disturbance on Joseph Biden Jr.’s ultimately calm and quiet Presidential Inauguration Day.
In addition to placing 60 Soldiers on duty in the state capital on Jan. 20, the
Nevada Guard sent 253 Soldiers and Airmen to Washington, D.C., to support the 59th Presidential Inauguration. They were among the 25,900 National Guardsmen on duty in the nation’s capital for the Presidential Inauguration. The majority of the Soldiers were from 1-221st Cavalry based in Las Vegas and the 3665th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company based in Henderson. The Airmen were from the 152nd Communications Flight in Reno.
Nevada’s contingent of 253 was one of the largest of any western states, surpassing California’s group of 161, Arizona’s 228 and Oregon’s 39. Pennsylvania provided the largest number of Soldiers and Airmen for support of the inauguration with 2,447 Guardsmen.
The cavalry Soldiers were stationed at the District of Columbia City Hall and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police headquarters to defuse any potential civil disturbances, but the day was quiet and without incident. “Everything went well. The operation went without a hitch,” said Capt. Eric Mangino, the 1-221st Cavalry executive officer.
Mangino said the mission concluded with a visit from Nevada Congresswoman Susie Lee.
The most newsworthy incident during the Nevada Guard’s mission to support the inauguration occurred January 18 when several Nevada Army Guard Soldiers helped saved a woman’s life in Tysons, Virginia, following a single- vehicle traffic accident.
Capts. Tana Gurule and Tyler Wistisen, both of 1-221st Cavalry, were stopped in separate vehicles near the intersection of Old Courthouse Road and Highway 123 in Fairfax County, Virginia, when they witnessed a car with a single, female driver traveling at a high rate of speed slam into a cement wall. First Lt. Michael Flury was also present.
Gurule, a Las Vegas Metro police officer with emergency medical technician training experience in her civilian occupation, sprang into action, pulled the windshield out of the vehicle, found the accident victim’s pulse rate, and opened the victim’s airway.
“She looked deceased but gulped a huge gasp of air when her airway was opened,” said Gurule, the commander of the cav’s Forward Support Company. “She was alive, thank God.”
Emergency responder had to use “Jaws of Life” – hydraulic spreader-cutters – to extradite the victim from the vehicle.
The name of the accident was not released, but Gurule said hospital officials told her later the driver is no longer in critical condition. She did have two broken ankles and a broken femur. In 2017, Gurule, of Boulder City, was singled out by President Trump for her evacuation of victims the following the Route 91 festival Las Vegas mass shooting.
Within the Silver State, about 60 Soldiers from the 609th Engineer Company based in Fallon and the 137th Military Police Company located in Carson City were on duty near the Capitol to react to any requests for assistance by civil authorities. The day proved uneventful and there were no requests by civilian authorities for support; a Reno newspaper estimated only 30 people peacefully protested at the Capitol.
All told, about 6,500 Guard Soldiers and Airmen were on duty across the nation in their respective states ready to support local civil authorities. Some western states, including Arizona, Montana and Alaska, did not place any troops on duty. California had 1.033 Soldiers and Airmen ready for civil disturbance missions.