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Flight delayed for members of Alaska National Guard helping with inauguration

Several flights have been delayed for about 70 members of the Alaska National Guard who are expected in Washington D.C. to help with the inauguration.

The group of roughly 70 guardsmen was initially scheduled to fly early Sunday from Alaska to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, southeast of Washington, according to a statement from Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead.

A maintenance problem stopped the flight on Sunday and on Monday it was delayed several times and eventually cancelled because of turbulent weather. The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning throughout most of Monday that called for wind gusts to reach 80 mph along the coast of the Kenai Peninsula. A mix of rain and snow fell throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Thousands of troops from across the country are expected in D.C. by Inauguration Day on Wednesday. Security measures were amplified after a violent mob overthrew the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump last week for his role in inciting the riot.

Security measures have also increased at capitols throughout the country because the FBI warned last week of potential armed protests in the days surrounding the inauguration.

Alaska’s guardsmen volunteered to help with crowd management, traffic control, communications, logistics, medical support and public affairs, Olmstead wrote.

The group is now scheduled to fly from Alaska early Tuesday, Olmstead said.

Guardsmen are seated on a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Wing as they prepare to depart from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, to assist with Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. (Bill Roth / ADN)