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Volunteers With Eielson’s 168th Wing, Other Alaska Guard Units Helping With Inauguration

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,” says Major Brian Fuchs is the Alaska Guard’s provost marshal. “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.”

Credit Balinda Dresel/Alaska National Guard
Alaska National Guard Provost Marshal Maj. Brian Fuchs talks about the Presidential Inauguration mission at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, before flying out to Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.

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.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.