Fairbanks, Anchorage airports to get help from National Guard

Use of troops at Juneau airport still 'in discussions'

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2001

The Fairbanks International and Ted Stevens Anchorage International airports have already announced they will use members of the Alaska Army National Guard to enforce security, but the Juneau Airport is still in the process of discussing the idea.

A major difference among the airports is that Fairbanks and Anchorage are state owned, while the Juneau airport is city owned.

"We probably will be utilizing the Guard, but we are still in discussions today," airport spokeswoman Patty de La Bruere said Friday afternoon.

A total of 12 guardsmen will be assigned to the Fairbanks airport, and 30 to the Anchorage airport, said Kerre Fisher of the National Guard public affairs office in Anchorage.

"Most likely" they will be armed, "but we do not know if all of them will be armed. It will depend on their locations," Fisher said.

The federal government has said it will reimburse the state governments for costs of keeping these guardsmen on active duty.

Which guardsmen will be assigned is still up in the air.

"They are working those issues out right now," Fisher said Friday. "The state Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and other partners are working on requirements for the individuals" who will be given airport assignments.

The Guard will first issue a call for volunteers to fill the slots. If an insufficient number of volunteers steps forward, "involuntary call-ups" may be used, Fisher said.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.

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