SC Gov. Sanford goes to Fla. for reserve duty

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Gov. Mark Sanford is going to Florida this weekend, but not on vacation. He's slated to don his Air Force uniform for a stint in the Air Force Reserves.

Sanford's travel has been under scrutiny since he admitted in June to having a mistress in Argentina.

Capt. Sanford, as he is known in the military, was scheduled to leave Friday for a two-day tour of duty at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City in the Florida Panhandle.

"Capt. Sanford is obligated to attend a refresher course this weekend," said Maj. Susan Romano, a spokesman for the 1st Air Force, which is based at Tyndall.

Sanford is assigned as a liaison officer between the military and the nation's civilian leadership in the event of national crisis or an emergency.

Sanford joined the Air Force Reserves in 2002. He was assigned to a unit at Charleston Air Force Base and ordered to serve with the unit at Tyndall since 2006.

It is formally known as the Defense Support to Civil Authorities Cell and is composed of about 12 to 14 officers, Romano said.

Romano said Sanford's military duties would not conflict with his position as the governor of South Carolina, because he would be called to work a crisis that did not affect his state.

Some examples might be a widespread breakout of wildfires in the West or some other natural disaster such as an earthquake. Another might be a search and rescue operation where the military could be called upon to work with civilian authorities, she said.

Sanford is given one day to travel prior to the duty weekend, and another day to return home after his course is completed, Romano said.

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