165th Airlift Wing Activated

As we move closer to war, more soldiers from our area are being activated. Today, close to 250 citizen-soldiers of the Georgia Air National Guard were told they are being deployed to the Persian Gulf. The activated reservists are members of the 165th Airlift Wing. Morale is high as members of this unit believe they're prepared. It's the first time since 1950 that a Presidential order has called these troops into action.

Members of the 165th are putting the final touches on their airplanes. They can't tell us when and they can't tell us how many, but 25 percent of the men and women of the unit are answering the call, getting ready to provide any airlift support the military needs.

"You may call your insurance agent next week and they may not be there cause they've gone away, the mechanic that works on you car may not be there," noted Commander Steven Westgate.

Your neighbors, your friends...maybe your wife make up the Air National Guard. Now the 165th is preparing: their bodies, their families, and their jobs for a mission they train year round for.

"We recently just got into night vision goggles, we've been doing that hot and heavy since the middle of last year," Commander Westgate said.

Guard troops are also getting used to new equipment, but it's equipment they hope they never have to use.

"New chemical warfare uniforms, we've just got them," said Westgate. "They're lighter and breathe easier."

Now we don't know of course when this unit will leave--all that information is classified--but when they do go, we will all notice because very likely it may be a neighbor or someone you know.

Reported by: Ryan Young, ryoung@wtoc.com