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California National Guard to Help with Airport Security - 2001-09-28

California Governor Gray Davis says he will deploy the California National Guard at airports in his state, in response to a request made by President Bush to the nation's governors. National guardsmen are part-time soldiers who will help with airport security as an interim measure. The governor also urged California residents to return to life as normal.

Mr. Davis says national guardsmen could begin training at California airports over the weekend, under the direction of the Federal Aviation Administration. "They'll be trained in reviewing baggage, looking for deadly weapons, conflict management, and a variety of other techniques the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) thinks is important before they can assume that responsibility," Mr. Davis said.

Following several days of training, Mr. Davis says the California National Guard will be activated by Wednesday for security work at California airports.

The West Coast official says security improvements have already made airliners safer than they were September 11, when hijackers flew two jetliners into New York's World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked jet crashed in Pennsylvania. As Americans recover from the trauma of the attacks, Mr. Davis urged Californians to return to life as normal.

"If flying is part of their normal routine, to do so," he says. "If they were looking forward to a vacation, to take it. The best way we can respond to these terrorists is to show that we're not going to get in a hole and hide. We're going to continue our lives, we're going to go about our business, and we're not going to be deterred."

Mr. Davis says that President Bush will determine how and when the nation goes to war in response to the attacks. He says his job, like that of officials in other U.S. states, is to keep Americans safe around the country.