HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut National Guard troops deployed to Washington D.C. for inauguration security returned Monday to Bradley International Airport. News 8 was there when they got off the plane.
It wasn’t the normal welcome home like we are used to seeing when the troops are deployed for months at a time overseas and they arrive back home running into the arms of loved ones. The return home Monday was followed by self-isolation.
Three planeloads of CT troops touchdown Monday afternoon at Bradley International Airport.
The majority of the troops were part of a military police unit, tasked with protecting the nation’s Capitol before, during, and after the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
Sgt. Tamara Dabney of CT National Guard told News 8, “The military police who were out at the security checkpoints, they were all proud to be out there, supporting American citizens, keeping everybody safe, protecting property and supporting first amendment rights.”
With large crowds and public interaction, the spread of COVID-19 was a real concern.
Cpt. Dave Pytlik of CT National Guard added, “The D.C. response was an incredibly complicated situation. Bringing in 26,000 guardsmen from all the different states and territories around our nation. Obviously, they did the very best they could to wear masks and socially distance when possible, and soldiers did have their own hotel rooms to go back to.”
Because there were such tight quarters, the men and women of the CT National Guard came home and are following the CDC protocols and guidelines for quarantining in self-isolation to prevent the spread of COVID. They will be tested twice before returning back into the general population.
Cpt. Pytlik explained of the testing, “One beginning tomorrow, the other a week later just to make sure that we are being as responsible as we can be because I saw a lot of people altogether down in D.C.”
After long days providing healthcare to the troops, the 141st Medical Company out of Middletown also returned home from the nation’s capital.
Cpt. Pytlik said of the 141st’s assignment, “That would be things like providing walk-in care, transporting patients to hospitals if they need to. Just looking out and taking care of our guardsmen from around the nation.”
Sgt Dabney said, “All of our members are prepared to do the jobs we are sent to do, so we all mentally prepared.”
Most of the guardsmen will be back in CT Monday, some came back yesterday, others landed in Groton Monday, and some drove back in a convoy, but overall the mission went well.