By Jennifer Grimes
Triplicate staff writer
Carrying M-16 assault riffles as a show of force, the National Guard will soon be beefing up security at Crescent Citys airport and 30 other commercial airports throughout California.
Though scheduled to arrive by Oct. 19, Commander George Mina of the Del Norte County Sheriffs Department said hes not sure exactly when it will happen.
They will be dispatched from the National Guard unit in Eureka, but when and how, we still dont know, Mina said.
The guards will not be replacing the Del Norte County sheriffs deputy already stationed there. Each county was directed to station an officer at each commercial airport by the Federal Aviation Administration shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast.
Mina said a local deputy will continue to be on duty there around the clock.
California Governor Gray Davis said he believes the Guards presence will help ease travelers fears sparked by the attacks.
According to Associated Press reports, the guards will be present in California airports for four to six months until the federal government can take over airport security.
After traveling the length of the Californias coast last week, Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan said Crescent Citys airport security is just as good as, if not better than, airports in Sacramento and San Francisco.