JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --
The 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, is answering the call from Washington D.C., sending roughly 50 Airmen to the National Capital Region this week.
The Wing’s Guardsmen will assist local law enforcement and emergency management workers on the ground leading up to, and during the presidential inauguration.
“I am truly amazed at how quickly the 108th WG can respond to a domestic operation request,” said Col. John M. Cosgrove, commander. “Our Airmen answered the call for help with very little information, and remained flexible and positive as the plan developed. Support agencies worked tirelessly to ensure the volunteers had the proper equipment, training and preparation to make the operation a success. This is what we signed up for -- helping our nation, as well as state and local communities overcome difficult times.”
The National Guard has been activated for a variety of events, such as natural disasters, instances of civil unrest, and recently, the fight against COVID-19.
Speaking on the state activation aspect of being a Guardsman, Tech. Sgt. Daniel Florio, a water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman with the 108th Civil Engineer Squadron said “...that’s why I joined the Air National Guard. Every experience in the military is an adventure.”
The 108th Wing moved quickly to provide its Airmen with the supplies and protective equipment they need for their time in the NCR.
“The support has been fantastic,” said Florio. “Very helpful from start to finish. I’m learning a lot and I’m looking forward to doing what I can to help. Whatever we need, (the 108th) has been very good.”
Despite the rapidly changing environment, the various squadrons within the wing had to come together and do a lot to ensure the deploying members were taken care of.
“With this being such a short notice event, (Logistics Readiness Squadron), (Force Support Squadron) and Finance did an amazing job to ensure our members deploying to DC are prepared with cold weather gear, MREs, extra PPE and pay in less than 24 hours,” said Lt. Col. Laura Lim, commander of the 108th Force Support Squadron. “I’m always impressed with our wing’s members’ eagerness to serve. The Airmen deploying volunteered when they had little to no details, this is always impressive.”