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Oregon National Guard gears up for eclipse duties

Citizen-soldiers to assist with traffic control

Oregon National Guard preps for...

BEND, Ore. - With the eclipse comes a crowd of visitors, and the Oregon National Guard is prepared. They will work with local authorities to provide traffic assistance when needed and will focus on keeping traffic moving. 

"On the main highways, if traffic is being blocked for one reason or another, we will assist in clearing that traffic and directing people where they need to go," Major Christopher Kerr, the squadron executive officer for the 1-82 Oregon National Guard Cavalry.

Starting on Saturday and through the end of the eclipse period, you can expect to see around eight to ten Humvees on major roads in Redmond and Madras. They will be stationed in areas of heavy traffic. 

"This is something that we train, not only for our domestic operation missions, but also for our federal missions, as far as being able to go to certain locations that have a large populace and maneuver and work with local people there," Kerr said.

There will be close to 150 soldiers deployed across the state, here in Central Oregon, as well as Baker City and the Willamette Valley. In all locations, traffic control is their main concern. 

"If something catastrophic were to happen, we would work side by side with local authorities," Kerr said. "It's up to the governor of Oregon to call up more soldiers."

The National Guard plans on assisting with traffic during the day, but is prepared to go 24/7 if need be during the eclipse. 


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