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Shark helps history in the making

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Normally Maj. Janice Hance could be found in the Patrick Command Post.

Since Dec. 1 however, she's been in Washington D.C., where she aided in preparations for the historic inauguration Jan. 20 of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

Some temporary assignments are just better than others.

"As a member of our Armed Forces, I'm so proud to represent the 45th Space Wing and other pacific islanders," said Major Hance, a native of Guam.

Major Hance was a member of the joint Armed Forces Inauguration Committee (AFIC). Participation by the armed forces in the inauguration traditionally includes musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons.

Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen assigned to AFIC provide invaluable assistance to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) representing the president-elect, and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies (JCCIC).

There were 10 balls held for the inauguration, and as a Special Events Project Officer, Major Hance's main responsibility was making military arrangements for the Obama Home States Ball. This was attended by the First Family's relatives and other guests from Illinois and Hawaii.

Major Hance had to coordinate with PIC on the location and entertainment, which included a U.S. Army "Pershing's Own" band. Once the bands and the Armed Forces Honor Guards were assigned, details such as equipment set-up, PIC event passes, holding rooms, what songs were to be played and when, etc., had to be worked out.

Before joining AFIC, Maj. Hance hadn't been to the nation's capital since high school. Despite the busy schedule of preparations, she found time to do some sightseeing.

"My sons came for the holidays and together we saw various Smithsonian museums," she said. "We also visited Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo [the delegate from Guam] who provided us with a Capitol Building tour. They loved it!"

Now returning back at Patrick Air Force Base, Major Hance is proud to have been part of this momentous event.

"This is indeed the culmination of our constitutional processes," she said, "it's not just a party; it's a celebration of our new president and swearing-in of our Commander-in-Chief."