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Guard to be stationed at Imperial airport Oct. 19

October 11, 2001|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

The National Guard is coming to Imperial County Airport on Oct. 19 to boost security.

Guard troops will be stationed at all commercial airports across the nation at the direction of President Bush to quickly add security in response to hijacked airline attacks on the East Coast a month ago today.

Imperial County Airport Manager David Conn confirmed five National Guard members will arrive to begin working at the airport next week. He said details of the operation will be worked out over the next couple days.

Conn has expected the arrival of the National Guard because the airport houses operations of commercial carrier United Skywest, which has flights to and from Los Angeles.


Guard troops, many of whom are civilian police officers, will be reporting for airport duty after completing Federal Aviation Administration security training, a National Guard news bulletin stated.

According to the National Guard, the FAA asked for about 5,000 troops for the next four to six months to boost the country's confidence in the aviation industry.

The federal government is funding the security provided by the National Guard. The FAA has mandated other security measures that Conn said may cost from $150,000 to $200,000.

Some of the security improvements required by the FAA are:

· 24-hour security, provided by a private agency, $120,000 per year;

· Two or three security gates, $10,000;

· Semi-permanent barriers, about $10,000.

Conn expects to meet soon with an FAA security agent to work out details of what needs to be done at the airport.

Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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