By Army Capt. Andi Hahn
Kentucky National Guard
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (4/29/10) -- The “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” took five months to plan, but the Kentucky National Guard is ready to support local law enforcement agencies during this weekend’s Kentucky Derby and Oaks “Run for the Roses.”
For decades, the Kentucky National Guard has assisted the Louisville Metro Police Department and other state and local law enforcement agencies during the Kentucky Derby and Oaks festivities held here at Churchill Downs.
“When a big event like Derby exceeds Louisville metro’s ability to respond they ask for our assistance,” said Army Maj. Lance Grebe, operations officer for the Kentucky National Guard. “We are never out there on our own; our teams are always partnered with a police officer.”
This year there will be about 360 Kentucky National Guardsmen from the 198th Military Police Battalion, 41st Civil Support Team, 63rd Aviation Brigade, Recruiting and Retention, and various headquarters offices that will provide support during the Derby festivities April 30 to May 1.
The MPs will operate traffic control points, secure the infield and gate areas at Churchill Downs and provide the winner’s circle detail, transportation support and command and control of security support operations alongside the LMPD.
The Kentucky National Guard has worked with local law enforcement and other agencies for numerous training events and real-world incidents, such as the 2009 Winter Ice Storm and Hurricane Ike.
The Kentucky Derby gives them another venue to brush up on Soldier skills and community outreach, Guard officials said.
“It’s important to continue to build a good working relationship with the LMPD,” Grebe said. “Our Soldiers, especially the MP’s, get refresher training out of it. In the past, during state training events or real-world disasters, it’s always been a seamless transition working with the local law officials.”