Incident Awareness and Assessment - Inauguration

I'd like to take a moment to address a topic brought up in an LA Times article this past weekend. In the article, there was a reference to the military using surveillance systems to monitor the National Mall in Washington D.C. during the inaugural events.

I want to assure everyone that USNORTHCOM did not use any airborne platforms to monitor the inaugural events. USNORTHCOM had separate P-3 aircraft both on the ground in standby/alert and in the air with sensors slewed upwards, away from the ground on Jan. 20th. The assets were present to be activated only in the event of a catastrophic incident in order to provide potentially critical information in support of the local, state and federal emergency response to assist in providing search and rescue, medical aid and evacuation, and to assess damage.

Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies were responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all individuals attending the Presidential Inaugural events. The Department of Defense and National Guard received various requests from civilian law enforcement agencies for unique capabilities to assist them in their security role. In addition to those airborne assets belonging to civilian law enforcement agencies, both State and District of Columbia National Guard units provided airborne platforms to assist Federal and District of Columbia civilian law enforcement in their security responsibilities.

Additionally, the Department of Defense provided bomb dog detection teams and other capabilities on the ground to assist law enforcement where requested.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) also provided overhead CAP support, as it always does to protect against any airborne threats.