First National Guard troops posted at airports on Monday

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- National Guard troops began providing added security at airports in Anchorage, Fairbanks on Monday and were expected to be posted at the airport in Valdez later in the day.

Troops reported to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Fairbanks International Airport at about 1 p.m. to begin their security duty.

About 40 Army and Air National Guard members will boost security at the Anchorage airport, said Guard spokesman Maj. Mike Haller.

Members of the Air National Guard's 168th Air Refueling Wing based at Eielson Air Force Base will perform security duties at Fairbanks and Valdez, the guard said.

At 18 other Alaska airports, soldiers from the Army National Guard will be posted to supplement existing security, the guard said. They'll be in the terminal an hour before and an hour after each flight, and they'll have additional duties, Haller said.

National Guard troops were expected to report for duty at the airport in Juneau on Tuesday, Haller said. All troops were expected to be at their postings by Friday, he said.

About 230 members of the National Guard were activated in Alaska after President Bush asked states to provide temporary security at the nation's airports. They are expected to be activated for four to six months, the guard said.

The mobilization is expected to cost about $14 million, which will be reimbursed by the federal government, Haller said.

Troops received four days of training from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Alaska State Troopers before taking their assignment. They will receive additional training while providing security, the guard said.

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