NEWS | July 7, 2021

Georgia Guard helps vaccinate tens of thousands of Georgians

By Airman 1st Class Josiah Meece, 116th Air Control Wing Public Affairs

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. - Over 100 Georgia Air National Guard Airmen with the 116th Air Control Wing completed a COVID-19 response mission where over 170,000 Georgians were vaccinated.

The 116th joined Airmen from the 165th Air Lift Wing and Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard to support the fight against the pandemic. In February, the Airmen set up vaccination sites in Atlanta and Macon with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

“These sites were chosen based on their location and population density,” said Chief Master Sgt. Obadiah Herndon, assistant chief of operations for the vaccination site at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta. “The setup had the people come in through the gates. We would stage them into eight lanes, and we would start administering vaccinations.”

More than 4,000 people were vaccinated each day at the museum site.

Over 13 weeks, 170,404 people were vaccinated.

“The effect on the community was very positive,” said Herndon. “We would have people come through the lines and say, ‘Thank you for your service’ and ‘Thank you for doing this for us,’ and they were very appreciative of us supporting this mission.”

“It’s outstanding,” said Senior Airmen Alex Mashburn, a structural apprentice with the 116th Civil Engineering Squadron. “It was amazing to help everybody in my community and throughout the state.”

Chief Master Sgt. Rayford Robinson, command chief of the 116th ACW, thanked the Airmen for their work.

“Tens of thousands of Georgians have been helped because of your efforts,” said Robinson. “Thank you for all that you’ve done.”

Airmen from the 116th have contributed to the COVID-19 response since March 2020 as a part of the Georgia National Guard’s whole-of-state approach to combat the pandemic.