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

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Josiah Meece
  • 116th Air Control Wing

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.