Alaska National Guard members head to Washington, D.C., to help with security for Biden inauguration

Forty-seven soldiers and airmen from the Alaska National Guard arrive at Joint Base Andrews in Washington, D.C., after a flight from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson aboard a 168th Wing KC-135 Stratotanker. The security forces and military police personnel volunteered to support the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo by Frank Marquez/D.C. National Guard)

An air tanker and crew based at Eielson Air Force Base flew out Sunday with 47 members of the Alaska National Guard who’ve volunteered to support Wednesday’s presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

An Alaska Guard news release says the Eielson-based 168th Wing refueling tanker flew directly from Joint Base Elemendorf Richardson to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, just outside of D.C.

“When we initially put out the request to soldiers and airmen if they want to do this, we had a very big response from our membership,” said the Alaska Guard’s Major Brian Fuchs. “They absolutely want – especially my security forces and my military police – they want to get out there and they want to do their job.”

The Guard members aboard the tanker were security personnel with the 168th Wing. They joined their counterparts with the 176th Wing, based at JBER, and members of the Alaska Guard’s 297th Regional Support Group.

Fuchs said they’re helping manage security and logistics and other tasks at the inauguration, such as “supporting law enforcement, and checkpoints, and helping move people through the National Mall and the parade route.”

Fuchs told a Guard public affairs officer at JBER that the 80 Guard members who volunteered for the mission came from all around Alaska including “soldiers and airmen from Fairbanks, from the Mat-Su Valley, from Fort Greely area – just, all over.”

Alaska’s volunteers will join some 25,000 other Guard members from other states for the 58th presidential inauguration, which is scheduled to begin at noon Wednesday.

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