Guard called upon to bolster airport safety
In response to the increased national threat level announced on Sunday by the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Bob Riley has ordered Alabama Army National Guard personnel to state duty to enhance airport security.
Approximately 30 Alabama Army Guard personnel will report today to the four largest commercial airports in Alabama -- Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile. They will remain on duty through the current holiday season.
The National Guard will reinforce security checkpoints, provide additional ground security and assist airport screeners and other security personnel as needed. The Guard members will augment, not replace, existing airport security.
This is not the first time the Alabama National Guard has performed this mission.
Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Guard personnel were sent to Alabama's airports to assist in security operations from late September 2001 through early May of 2002.