SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - About 60 men and women of the Georgia Air National Guard in the 165th Airlift Wing deployed Saturday to Washington D.C. for the 59th Presidential Inauguration.
Wing Commander Chris Dunlap says more than 60 airmen volunteered to deploy to be on the ground in support for the inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
“When we have domestic operations such as this, we always have a great number of volunteers in our organization that just love to serve whether it’s at home or abroad,” Dunlap said.
Before the men and women boarded, they were briefed by Dunlap. For some, it’s their first time to participate in a domestic operation.
“Protecting the public and protecting our national capitol, it’s an exciting thing to do and it’s something we’ve done from the late 1700s,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap says roughly 1,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen from Georgia will be there.
“They’re trained and qualified to do their job overseas, but a lot of times what they do overseas helps well with domestic ops,” he said.
Dunlap says no matter if it’s an active duty soldier, or airman or national guardsmen, they all serve the same purpose. He says they’re prepared for this mission and of course prepared to stay safe amidst the pandemic.
“Everything they do will be with a mask to protect them and to protect those that they’re protecting,” he said.
Dunlap says it’ll take a day or two to get briefed and they’ll be assigned their tasks. Dunlap says they’ll begin work on Monday, work through the inauguration, help with cleanup efforts afterward and then return to Georgia.