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116th ACW helps 170,404 Georgia residents receive COVID-19 vaccination

Georgia Air National Guard member works at COVID-19 vaccination site

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michelle Self, with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, reviews information with a Georgia citizen at a Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) COVID-19 vaccination site in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 24, 2021. The Georgia National Guard continues to serve under Governor Brian Kemp working alongside GEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, medical professionals and local law enforcement to provide the service, support, and action necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons)

Georgia Air National Guard member works at COVID-19 vaccination site

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Monique Broussard, with the 139th Intelligence Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, reviews information with a Georgia citizen at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) COVID-19 vaccination site in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 24, 2021. The Georgia National Guard continues to serve under Governor Brian Kemp working alongside GEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, medical professionals and local law enforcement to provide the service, support, and action necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons)

Georgia Air National Guard member directs traffic at COVID-19 vaccination site

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ambrasia Washington, with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, gives directions to a Georgia citizen at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) COVID-19 vaccination site in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 24, 2021. The Georgia National Guard continues to serve under Governor Brian Kemp working alongside GEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, medical professionals and local law enforcement to provide the service, support, and action necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons) (Face of a Georgia citizen blurred for privacy concerns)

Georgia Air National Guard members in meeting

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jennifer Hurd, installation personnel readiness noncommissioned officer in charge with the 116th Force Support Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, gives a briefing to Airmen returning from the COVID-19 response mission, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 1, 2021. Airmen and Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard administered COVID-19 vaccines to over 170,000 residents of Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Josiah Meece).

Georgia Air National Guard members in meeting

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Rayford Robinson, command chief master sergeant of the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, thanks Airmen for their efforts during the COVID-19 response mission, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 1, 2021. Airmen and Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard administered COVID-19 vaccines to over 170,000 residents of Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Josiah Meece).

Georgia Air National Guard medic checks temperature Airman

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lindsey Raynor, right, a medic with the 116th Medical Group, Georgia Air National Guard, completes a medical evaluation on Tech. Sgt. Dewayne Bembry, an aerospace propulsion craftsman with the 116th Maintenance Squadron after he returned from the COVID-19 response mission, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, July 1, 2021. Airmen and Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard administered COVID-19 vaccines to over 170,000 residents of Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Josiah Meece).

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Over 100 Airmen with 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, completed a COVID-19 response deployment where over 170,000 Georgia citizens received the COVID-19 vaccination.

The 116th joined Airmen from the 165th Airlift Wing and Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The response mission began in February where the Airmen set up vaccination sites in Atlanta and Macon working in conjunction 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 Delta Flight Museum vaccination site. “The setup had the people come in through the gates, we would stage them into eight lanes, and we would start administering vaccinations.”

Some sites, such as the Delta Flight Museum site in Atlanta, would see upwards of 4,000 people on an average day.

Over the course of 13 weeks, the response sites gave the vaccine to 170,404 residents.

“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, spoke to the Airmen upon their return from the COVID-19 deployment.

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

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