Inauguration 2009: Operation Celtic Renegade Is In Effect
Those were the words I wrote in my last post, as I decided at the time I wouldn’t try to go on the mall.
However something funny happened. I made the decision confident that I was falling into the position held by many other of my friends. However upon talking with them on Inaugural plans I found out that I am actually one of the few. All my friends know the risks and perils but still intend on giving it the old college try on Tuesday.
After talking with them I thought, “well why not me then?” Let’s give this a try.
After all how can I spend months blogging about the event and not even try and experience it first hand- of everyone at least I know what’s going on, I should be able to plan this out.
So with those words I am going to try and join the frey on Tuesday. I’m from Massachusetts after all and the weather shouldn’t keep me away, why should throngs of people?
I stumbled onto the Washington Post’s Inauguration Survival Guide and I found it really helpful. It has tons of maps, info, and links to everyone you need to prepare your own trek downtown.
So I printed out some maps, spread them out on my desk like I was David Petraeus, and started planning my approach. Having Google Maps with Street View was also very helpful in visualizing my routes as well as consulting with WMATA’s Inauguration page for exact details on Metro and Metrobus routes and closures.After much study I’ve developed an entrance (and hopefully an exit) strategy:
Operation Celtic Renegade
(named after Biden & Obama’s code names. For those that know me, I’m not a Celtic nor a Renegade.)
The Situation: The Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States will have significant importance as a historic event. The swearing in of the first African-American President is expected to attract crowds across the country; each determined to witness the event first hand.
While initial estimates of 5 million attendees have been cut in half, crowds of 2-3 million will still provide a strain on local mass transit resources. Access to various roads and bridges have been restricted or closed for security reasons. Nearby Metro stations will also be closed, or restricted for entrance only/exit only use. Due to the historic nature of the event there are also heavy restrictions on items that can be brought into the secured perimeter. There is also the threat of limited/no communications with cell phone congestion expected to spike that morning. Weather conditions are expected to be cold- with temperatures ranging from 20s – 30s
The Mission: To successfully enter the The National Mall in order to witness and observe The Presidential Inauguration. While observing events in person would be optimal, the main goal will be to occupy territory on The Mall that will be hospitable for the duration of the event.
Execution: The National Mall will be approached from the west either by bus, Metro, walking, or a combination of the three. Several entry routes have been planned that utilize walking over the Roosevelt or Memorial bridge. Exact details on execution plans will be briefed at a later time.
Once entry onto the National Mall has been made, a survey will be conducted of the immediate area. Judging on crowd and weather conditions made at the scene a decision will be made to advance to one of the following objectives:
- Objective Alpha: World War II Memorial Jumbotron
- Objective Beta: Washington Monument Jumbotron
- Objective Charlie: Smithsonian Corridor
- Objective Delta: Air & Space Museum
Once the objective has been reached, we will hold position and observe the Inauguration.
At the conclusion of the event conditions will be judged on whether to advance to a secondary objective, Objective Echo: Pennsylvania Avenue, for observation of the Inaugural Parade; or to advance to the extraction point.
Extraction will be made through a Metro stop east of the Capitol, away from the crowds attempting to enter the system through L’Enfant, Capital South, and other stations. It may be necessary to delay extraction due to conditions, in that case a position will be taken up at a nearby restaurant.
Secondary extraction routes consist crossing over Roosevelt Bridge or Memorial Bridge by foot.
Service Support: There will be no air support on this mission.
Command and Signal: An abort order can be given if at any point before entering the District of Columbia it is determined that conditions will not permit easy entry into the secure perimeter. If the mission is aborted after arriving at The National Mall, we will then retreat to the primary extraction point and take a observing position at a nearby restaurant or viewing party.
Communications will be done through cell phone however it will be expected that service will be limited. Predetermined rendezvous points will be made in case of separation.
Ok well the plan has been set. Now it’s time to see if it’s going to work.