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Air National Guard changes in Alaska could affect national security, civilian rescues, staffers say

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Air National Guard flew 159 civilian search-and-rescue missions last year in the nation’s largest state, often during vicious storms that prevented air ambulances from taking off. It also patrolled the skies for spy balloons and missiles from China, Russia and North Korea, and supported U.S. fighter jets with refueling as they escorted Russian bombers that encroached on American air space. Guard members say those missions could be in jeopardy as the Air National Guard rebalances its staffing levels nationwide. If nothing changes, by the fall the Alaska Air Guard will see 80 of its military-grade positions converted to civilian jobs. Many of the people who hold those jobs say they’ll leave.

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The Associated Press


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