Illinois National Guard

Press Release

 
<P>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.</P>
<P>Sgt. Jacob Eastburn of Geneseo, Illinois; Staff Sgt. Curtis Whitten of Milan, Illinois; and Sgt. Kyle Wolber of Villa Park, Illinois; will all return to their units as food service specialists. Whitten, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 123rd Engineer Battalion in Milan, Illinois, was recognized as the phase one honor graduate while Wobler, with Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, Illinois, was recognized as the phase two distinguished honor graduate with a 100 percent grade point average.</P>
<P>During the four-week, two-phase course, Soldiers are trained on food safety, cooking techniques, field and garrison feeding equipment, and field and garrison feeding operations, including how to operate a dining facility. To graduate, Soldiers must complete a total of 340 hours of instruction in both phases as well as five written exams and two hands-on evaluations.</P> Three Illinois Soldiers become food service specialists
29 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.

 
<P>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.</P>
<P>Sgt. Jacob Eastburn of Geneseo, Illinois; Staff Sgt. Curtis Whitten of Milan, Illinois; and Sgt. Kyle Wolber of Villa Park, Illinois; will all return to their units as food service specialists. Whitten, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 123rd Engineer Battalion in Milan, Illinois, was recognized as the phase one honor graduate while Wobler, with Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, Illinois, was recognized as the phase two distinguished honor graduate with a 100 percent grade point average.</P>
<P>During the four-week, two-phase course, Soldiers are trained on food safety, cooking techniques, field and garrison feeding equipment, and field and garrison feeding operations, including how to operate a dining facility. To graduate, Soldiers must complete a total of 340 hours of instruction in both phases as well as five written exams and two hands-on evaluations.</P> Three Illinois Soldiers become food service specialists
29 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.

 
<P>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.</P>
<P>Sgt. Jacob Eastburn of Geneseo, Illinois; Staff Sgt. Curtis Whitten of Milan, Illinois; and Sgt. Kyle Wolber of Villa Park, Illinois; will all return to their units as food service specialists. Whitten, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 123rd Engineer Battalion in Milan, Illinois, was recognized as the phase one honor graduate while Wobler, with Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Joliet, Illinois, was recognized as the phase two distinguished honor graduate with a 100 percent grade point average.</P>
<P>During the four-week, two-phase course, Soldiers are trained on food safety, cooking techniques, field and garrison feeding equipment, and field and garrison feeding operations, including how to operate a dining facility. To graduate, Soldiers must complete a total of 340 hours of instruction in both phases as well as five written exams and two hands-on evaluations.</P> Three Illinois Soldiers become food service specialists
29 Mar 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Three Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and 11 Soldiers from other states’ National Guard units graduated from the 129th Regional Training Institute’s Food Service Specialist (92G) qualification course at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois March 28.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10. </P>
<P>Staff Sgt. Anthony Henner of Milwaukee, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry based in Chicago, took top honors as the Illinois Army National Guard's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki of Algonquin, Illinois, a Soldier with the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top honors as the Soldier of the Year. The competitors were the top representatives from their respective brigades. </P>
<P>The Best Warrior Competition pits these Soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills. The winners of the competition become the state’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. They will go on to compete in the regional competition with hopes of reaching the national level to compete for the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year titles. </P>
<P>Sieradzki competed in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition and finished third. He said he was motivated to redeem himself this year. </P>
<P>“It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the Soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.” </P>
<P>The competition began April 7 with the Army Physical Fitness Test, a three-event test consisting of two minutes of pushups followed by two minutes of sit-ups and finished with a timed two-mile run. Over the next three days, the Soldiers competed at weapons qualification, common skill tasks, land navigation, a confidence course obstacle race, and a question and answer board. The competition capped off with a timed 10-mile road march with a 40-pound rucksack. </P>
<P>The nine competitors were selected from a pool of nearly 10,000 Soldiers in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to compete as Illinois’ Best Warriors. </P>
<P>Brig. Gen. Michael Zerbonia of Chatham, Illinois, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Illinois National Guard, addressed the competitors to open the awards ceremony. Zerbonia said he was proud to see not only the competitive spirit, but the comradery on display throughout the competition. </P>
<P>“Everybody out there wants to be the best, to be number one,” Zerbonia said. “When it comes down to it, you really want the team to be the best, to be number one, and that’s what it’s about. At the end of the day we’re a team.” </P>
<P>Henner and Sieradzki will compete May 16 to 19 at the Best Warrior regional competition at Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Port Clinton, Ohio. If they prevail, they will compete at the National Guard’s national competition, then the Army-wide competition later this year.</P> Illinois Soldiers compete for title of Best Warrior
12 Apr 2016

MARSEILLES, Illinois – Nine Soldiers from units across the state came to Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, to prove they have what it takes to be called Illinois’ Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year April 7 to 10.

 
<P>Bloomington, Illinois – Illinois’ war against illicit drugs is a challenge. Success is dependent upon the resources and intelligence available to any law enforcement agency, but sometimes that alone is not enough. Sometimes, it takes a cooperative effort from other organizations to close a case. </P>
<P>That is when members of the Illinois National Guard’s Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment come into play. The Decatur, Illinois-based unit supports the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. This program partners with local and state drug interdiction agencies to help with training, intelligence sharing and aerial support. </P>
<P>Agents from several agencies participated in training with the aviation unit on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them. </P>
<P>Participants took part in a brief class to discuss the capabilities of the Illinois National Guard’s UH-72A Lakota helicopter, a high-performance helicopter built for a multi-mission environment. Afterwards, the Guardsmen provided the agents an orientation flight over Bloomington to see, first-hand, how the Lakota can assist in the fight against illicit drugs. </P>
<P>One of the Lakota’s most exploited assets is the forward mounted infrared sensor that has the ability to track targets automatically and offers extraordinary range and detail. The sensors are capable of reading a license plate from a distance where the helicopter can remain undetected. The Lakota also utilizes advanced GPS and mapping systems. </P>
<P>The counter-drug task force pilot in charge of the training said the same tools were utilized in 2015 when they assisted U.S. Border Patrol agents help stop the flow of drugs, human cargo, weapons and money from freely flowing across the border. </P>
<P>“We conduct these orientation classes for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies just to let them know what capabilities they have at their disposal,” the pilot said. "We’re here to support these agencies’ investigations and all they have to do is ask for assistance." </P>
<P>He emphasized that the task force’s use of the Lakota is strictly for counter-drug enforcement, a regulation closely adhered to. </P>
<P>The Lakota is also a good fit for the Illinois National Guard, not just because they can serve multiple mission types, but because they are the cheapest to buy, operate and maintain compared to other Army aircraft. Eurocopter, the manufacture of the Lakota, estimates Lakota’s are 30 to 50 percent less expensive to fly than UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. </P>
<P>Since the start of the 2016 fiscal year, on October 1, the aerial team has supported 41 cooperative missions with law enforcement agencies, logging more than 30 flight hours. </P>
<P>Their efforts have greatly contributed to the overall success of the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. Thus far, this fiscal year, the task force has assisted in the seizure of more than $102 million in drugs and property and helped effect more than 450 arrests. Last fiscal year, they also helped seized more than $519 in drugs and property. </P>
<P>“The Lakota’s capabilities are impressive,” said one of the agents participating in the training. “I’m excited to start incorporating all this helicopter has to offer into our future operations.”</P> Illinois National Guard and law enforcement train to combat drugs from the air
19 Apr 2016

Civilian drug interdiction agents from several agencies participated in training with Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them.

 
<P>Bloomington, Illinois – Illinois’ war against illicit drugs is a challenge. Success is dependent upon the resources and intelligence available to any law enforcement agency, but sometimes that alone is not enough. Sometimes, it takes a cooperative effort from other organizations to close a case. </P>
<P>That is when members of the Illinois National Guard’s Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment come into play. The Decatur, Illinois-based unit supports the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. This program partners with local and state drug interdiction agencies to help with training, intelligence sharing and aerial support. </P>
<P>Agents from several agencies participated in training with the aviation unit on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them. </P>
<P>Participants took part in a brief class to discuss the capabilities of the Illinois National Guard’s UH-72A Lakota helicopter, a high-performance helicopter built for a multi-mission environment. Afterwards, the Guardsmen provided the agents an orientation flight over Bloomington to see, first-hand, how the Lakota can assist in the fight against illicit drugs. </P>
<P>One of the Lakota’s most exploited assets is the forward mounted infrared sensor that has the ability to track targets automatically and offers extraordinary range and detail. The sensors are capable of reading a license plate from a distance where the helicopter can remain undetected. The Lakota also utilizes advanced GPS and mapping systems. </P>
<P>The counter-drug task force pilot in charge of the training said the same tools were utilized in 2015 when they assisted U.S. Border Patrol agents help stop the flow of drugs, human cargo, weapons and money from freely flowing across the border. </P>
<P>“We conduct these orientation classes for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies just to let them know what capabilities they have at their disposal,” the pilot said. "We’re here to support these agencies’ investigations and all they have to do is ask for assistance." </P>
<P>He emphasized that the task force’s use of the Lakota is strictly for counter-drug enforcement, a regulation closely adhered to. </P>
<P>The Lakota is also a good fit for the Illinois National Guard, not just because they can serve multiple mission types, but because they are the cheapest to buy, operate and maintain compared to other Army aircraft. Eurocopter, the manufacture of the Lakota, estimates Lakota’s are 30 to 50 percent less expensive to fly than UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. </P>
<P>Since the start of the 2016 fiscal year, on October 1, the aerial team has supported 41 cooperative missions with law enforcement agencies, logging more than 30 flight hours. </P>
<P>Their efforts have greatly contributed to the overall success of the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. Thus far, this fiscal year, the task force has assisted in the seizure of more than $102 million in drugs and property and helped effect more than 450 arrests. Last fiscal year, they also helped seized more than $519 in drugs and property. </P>
<P>“The Lakota’s capabilities are impressive,” said one of the agents participating in the training. “I’m excited to start incorporating all this helicopter has to offer into our future operations.”</P> Illinois National Guard and law enforcement train to combat drugs from the air
19 Apr 2016

Civilian drug interdiction agents from several agencies participated in training with Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them.

 
<P>Bloomington, Illinois – Illinois’ war against illicit drugs is a challenge. Success is dependent upon the resources and intelligence available to any law enforcement agency, but sometimes that alone is not enough. Sometimes, it takes a cooperative effort from other organizations to close a case. </P>
<P>That is when members of the Illinois National Guard’s Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment come into play. The Decatur, Illinois-based unit supports the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. This program partners with local and state drug interdiction agencies to help with training, intelligence sharing and aerial support. </P>
<P>Agents from several agencies participated in training with the aviation unit on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them. </P>
<P>Participants took part in a brief class to discuss the capabilities of the Illinois National Guard’s UH-72A Lakota helicopter, a high-performance helicopter built for a multi-mission environment. Afterwards, the Guardsmen provided the agents an orientation flight over Bloomington to see, first-hand, how the Lakota can assist in the fight against illicit drugs. </P>
<P>One of the Lakota’s most exploited assets is the forward mounted infrared sensor that has the ability to track targets automatically and offers extraordinary range and detail. The sensors are capable of reading a license plate from a distance where the helicopter can remain undetected. The Lakota also utilizes advanced GPS and mapping systems. </P>
<P>The counter-drug task force pilot in charge of the training said the same tools were utilized in 2015 when they assisted U.S. Border Patrol agents help stop the flow of drugs, human cargo, weapons and money from freely flowing across the border. </P>
<P>“We conduct these orientation classes for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies just to let them know what capabilities they have at their disposal,” the pilot said. "We’re here to support these agencies’ investigations and all they have to do is ask for assistance." </P>
<P>He emphasized that the task force’s use of the Lakota is strictly for counter-drug enforcement, a regulation closely adhered to. </P>
<P>The Lakota is also a good fit for the Illinois National Guard, not just because they can serve multiple mission types, but because they are the cheapest to buy, operate and maintain compared to other Army aircraft. Eurocopter, the manufacture of the Lakota, estimates Lakota’s are 30 to 50 percent less expensive to fly than UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. </P>
<P>Since the start of the 2016 fiscal year, on October 1, the aerial team has supported 41 cooperative missions with law enforcement agencies, logging more than 30 flight hours. </P>
<P>Their efforts have greatly contributed to the overall success of the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. Thus far, this fiscal year, the task force has assisted in the seizure of more than $102 million in drugs and property and helped effect more than 450 arrests. Last fiscal year, they also helped seized more than $519 in drugs and property. </P>
<P>“The Lakota’s capabilities are impressive,” said one of the agents participating in the training. “I’m excited to start incorporating all this helicopter has to offer into our future operations.”</P> Illinois National Guard and law enforcement train to combat drugs from the air
19 Apr 2016

Civilian drug interdiction agents from several agencies participated in training with Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them.

 
<P>Bloomington, Illinois – Illinois’ war against illicit drugs is a challenge. Success is dependent upon the resources and intelligence available to any law enforcement agency, but sometimes that alone is not enough. Sometimes, it takes a cooperative effort from other organizations to close a case. </P>
<P>That is when members of the Illinois National Guard’s Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment come into play. The Decatur, Illinois-based unit supports the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. This program partners with local and state drug interdiction agencies to help with training, intelligence sharing and aerial support. </P>
<P>Agents from several agencies participated in training with the aviation unit on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them. </P>
<P>Participants took part in a brief class to discuss the capabilities of the Illinois National Guard’s UH-72A Lakota helicopter, a high-performance helicopter built for a multi-mission environment. Afterwards, the Guardsmen provided the agents an orientation flight over Bloomington to see, first-hand, how the Lakota can assist in the fight against illicit drugs. </P>
<P>One of the Lakota’s most exploited assets is the forward mounted infrared sensor that has the ability to track targets automatically and offers extraordinary range and detail. The sensors are capable of reading a license plate from a distance where the helicopter can remain undetected. The Lakota also utilizes advanced GPS and mapping systems. </P>
<P>The counter-drug task force pilot in charge of the training said the same tools were utilized in 2015 when they assisted U.S. Border Patrol agents help stop the flow of drugs, human cargo, weapons and money from freely flowing across the border. </P>
<P>“We conduct these orientation classes for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies just to let them know what capabilities they have at their disposal,” the pilot said. "We’re here to support these agencies’ investigations and all they have to do is ask for assistance." </P>
<P>He emphasized that the task force’s use of the Lakota is strictly for counter-drug enforcement, a regulation closely adhered to. </P>
<P>The Lakota is also a good fit for the Illinois National Guard, not just because they can serve multiple mission types, but because they are the cheapest to buy, operate and maintain compared to other Army aircraft. Eurocopter, the manufacture of the Lakota, estimates Lakota’s are 30 to 50 percent less expensive to fly than UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. </P>
<P>Since the start of the 2016 fiscal year, on October 1, the aerial team has supported 41 cooperative missions with law enforcement agencies, logging more than 30 flight hours. </P>
<P>Their efforts have greatly contributed to the overall success of the Illinois National Guard’s Counter-Drug Task Force. Thus far, this fiscal year, the task force has assisted in the seizure of more than $102 million in drugs and property and helped effect more than 450 arrests. Last fiscal year, they also helped seized more than $519 in drugs and property. </P>
<P>“The Lakota’s capabilities are impressive,” said one of the agents participating in the training. “I’m excited to start incorporating all this helicopter has to offer into our future operations.”</P> Illinois National Guard and law enforcement train to combat drugs from the air
19 Apr 2016

Civilian drug interdiction agents from several agencies participated in training with Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment on March 29 at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. The focus of the training was to help local agents become familiar with the aerial support the task force has to offer them.

 
<p>

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard
Public Affairs</p><p>Thick
fog filled the cool morning air at the 260-acre range complex at Fort Benning,
Georgia on March 12 where approximately 200 competitors prepared to embark on a
four-day competition that would challenge the Soldiers, both physically and
mentally.</p><p>When
the fog cleared, the Illinois Army National Guard proved it was the best
shooting team in the Army.</p><p>The
Illinois National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Small Arms Readiness and
Training Team (SARTS) was named the U.S. Army Overall Team Champions, U.S. Army
Rifle Team Champions and earned 2nd Place in the Multi-gun Championship at the
2016 United States Army Small Arms Championship at the U.S. Army Marksmanship
Unit range complex Fort Benning, Georgia. </p><p>The
all-Army competition is free and open to all soldiers, including West Point and
ROTC cadets. During the event, Soldiers competed in separate classes: cadet,
novice, open and professional. Classes were determined based on Soldiers’
previous competition experience. Each team included four shooters and a coach. </p><p>Though
this was the first time the Illinois team had earned the top spot at the
competition, the team was confident in their abilities prior to their victory. </p><p>“We
knew going in we were going to be one of the top five teams,” said Sgt. 1st
Class Shelby Stockton, of Petersburg, Illinois who won the Silver Medal in the National
Match for Excellence in Competition. “We had shot enough matches to know that
if we shoot at our potential, we can win matches.”</p><p>Gleason
said all the Soldiers have their assigned roles on the team, but at the end of
the day, they all came together and got the job done collectively. </p><p>“We
picked the best guys for this team and they didn’t have any weak links,” said
Gleason. “All these guys are good at everything, they may not be the best in
one area, but they are good at rifle, pistol and multi-gun and that is why we
won.”</p><p>Chief
Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Gleason, of Lincoln, Illinois, who received the Gold
Medal in Rifle Match 7 and served as the coach for the SARTS at this year’s competition,
said that the members spend a lot of
their personal time and money to prepare for upcoming competitions. </p><p>“I shoot a competition once a week with a
civilian club at a range,” said Stockton. “If I’m not away training with the
Army, I’m there shooting.” </p><p>Despite
the fact that the members were experienced shooters prior to the competition,
the team came together for training before hitting the range in Georgia. </p><p>“We
trained to the standard of the upcoming competition for 12 hours a day, 6 days
straight in full gear,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Perdew, of Rushville,
Illinois who won the overall spot in the Pistol Championship, the Gold Medal in
Pistol Match 3 and 5 along with a Bronze Medal for Excellence in Rifle
Competition. “The work we put into training gave us the results we wanted.” </p><p>During
their training, the team shot 10,000 pistol rounds and 10,000 rifle rounds. </p><p>“It is
not a hit or miss competition, it is scored on a point value system,” said
Gleason. “We use data books and the minute of angle formula to dial in our
rifles at different distances prior to the competition to put ourselves in the
best position to score well.” </p><p>During
the competition the Soldiers had to fire using optics and then iron sights on
the pistol range which ranged from 10 yards to 50 yards and from 25 yards to
500 yards on the rifle range. </p><p>Stockton
said the team’s success hinged on them being able to train together and train
on targets at 500 yards out. Stockton went on to say that it was not that they
were better shooters than their opponents, but that their team’s preparation
made the difference. </p><p>“We
were better prepared for the match than the active-duty competitors,” said
Stockton. “We had our rifle zeroed at every yard line so we knew exactly how to
adjust our sights during the competition.” </p><p>Perdew
said that it wasn’t just the preparation that led to the team’s success this
year. </p><p>“We
take training advice we get from other teams at the competition and use it in
our next year’s preparation plan to make us better,” said Perdew. “When you
stop being willing to learn from others, you will stop getting better.” </p><p>At
the all-Army competition the teams are required to have at least one ‘new
shooter’ competing and to do this the team must look for recruits. Stockton
said the team watches for recruits throughout the year and contacts the top
shooters of the Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Match to meet the “new
shooter” requirement. </p><p>“When
we do training events we are looking for potential members of the team,” said
Stockton. “We go to the zero range and pay attention to which Soldiers can shoot
groups,” said Stockton.</p><p>In
addition to looking for potential recruits at training events, the SARTS helps
Soldiers improve their marksmanships skills. They attend annual qualification
training for units throughout the state to mentor and coach Soldiers on the
skills they have learned. </p><p>“As
much skill as this team has already, we still have room to grow,” said Perdew.
“There are Soldiers in the Illinois National Guard that have great potential,
if we can get with them, train with them and inform them about this team and
the competitions. The potential for this team is limitless.” </p><p>Stockton
said being a part of the SARTS is not just about them going to competitions to
win. </p><p>“We
use the competition to gather more information about shooting and bring it back
into the Army to make Soldiers better marksmen,” said Stockton. </p><p>Gleason said the team looks forward to future competitions and they are
always learning and looking for new ways to improve their skills. </p><p>The following is the complete list of the
team’s accomplishments from this year’s competition. </p><p>Team Awards: </p><p>1. U.S. Army Overall Team Champions </p><p>2. U.S. Army Rifle Team Champions </p><p>3. 2nd Place Multi-gun Champions </p><p>Individual Awards:</p><p>1. Staff Sgt. Brandon Hornung, of Mendota,
Illinois - 1st place novice overall champion and 1st place novice Multi-gun and
Gold Medal for Excellence in Rifle Competition </p><p>2. Sgt. 1st Class David Perdew, of Rushville,
Illinois – U.S. Army Pistol Champion, Gold Medal in Pistol Match 3 and 5 along with
a Bronze Medal for Excellence in Rifle Competition </p><p>3. Sgt. 1st Class Shelby Stockton, of
Petersburg, Illinois – Silver Medal in National Match for Excellence in
Competition </p><p>4. Staff Sgt. Jacob Blount, of St. Louis,
Missouri – 1st place in novice service Rifle Match and 4th overall (pistol,
rifle, multi-gun) placing in the novice class </p><p>5. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Gleason, of
Lincoln, Illinois – Gold Medal in Rifle Match 7
</p> Illinois National Guard Shooting Team Earns Army-Wide Championship
22 Apr 2016

Thick fog filled the cool morning air at the 260-acre range complex at Fort Benning, Georgia on March 12 where approximately 200 competitors prepared to embark on a four-day competition that would challenge the Soldiers, both physically and mentally.

 
<p>

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard
Public Affairs</p><p>Thick
fog filled the cool morning air at the 260-acre range complex at Fort Benning,
Georgia on March 12 where approximately 200 competitors prepared to embark on a
four-day competition that would challenge the Soldiers, both physically and
mentally.</p><p>When
the fog cleared, the Illinois Army National Guard proved it was the best
shooting team in the Army.</p><p>The
Illinois National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Small Arms Readiness and
Training Team (SARTS) was named the U.S. Army Overall Team Champions, U.S. Army
Rifle Team Champions and earned 2nd Place in the Multi-gun Championship at the
2016 United States Army Small Arms Championship at the U.S. Army Marksmanship
Unit range complex Fort Benning, Georgia. </p><p>The
all-Army competition is free and open to all soldiers, including West Point and
ROTC cadets. During the event, Soldiers competed in separate classes: cadet,
novice, open and professional. Classes were determined based on Soldiers’
previous competition experience. Each team included four shooters and a coach. </p><p>Though
this was the first time the Illinois team had earned the top spot at the
competition, the team was confident in their abilities prior to their victory. </p><p>“We
knew going in we were going to be one of the top five teams,” said Sgt. 1st
Class Shelby Stockton, of Petersburg, Illinois who won the Silver Medal in the National
Match for Excellence in Competition. “We had shot enough matches to know that
if we shoot at our potential, we can win matches.”</p><p>Gleason
said all the Soldiers have their assigned roles on the team, but at the end of
the day, they all came together and got the job done collectively. </p><p>“We
picked the best guys for this team and they didn’t have any weak links,” said
Gleason. “All these guys are good at everything, they may not be the best in
one area, but they are good at rifle, pistol and multi-gun and that is why we
won.”</p><p>Chief
Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Gleason, of Lincoln, Illinois, who received the Gold
Medal in Rifle Match 7 and served as the coach for the SARTS at this year’s competition,
said that the members spend a lot of
their personal time and money to prepare for upcoming competitions. </p><p>“I shoot a competition once a week with a
civilian club at a range,” said Stockton. “If I’m not away training with the
Army, I’m there shooting.” </p><p>Despite
the fact that the members were experienced shooters prior to the competition,
the team came together for training before hitting the range in Georgia. </p><p>“We
trained to the standard of the upcoming competition for 12 hours a day, 6 days
straight in full gear,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Perdew, of Rushville,
Illinois who won the overall spot in the Pistol Championship, the Gold Medal in
Pistol Match 3 and 5 along with a Bronze Medal for Excellence in Rifle
Competition. “The work we put into training gave us the results we wanted.” </p><p>During
their training, the team shot 10,000 pistol rounds and 10,000 rifle rounds. </p><p>“It is
not a hit or miss competition, it is scored on a point value system,” said
Gleason. “We use data books and the minute of angle formula to dial in our
rifles at different distances prior to the competition to put ourselves in the
best position to score well.” </p><p>During
the competition the Soldiers had to fire using optics and then iron sights on
the pistol range which ranged from 10 yards to 50 yards and from 25 yards to
500 yards on the rifle range. </p><p>Stockton
said the team’s success hinged on them being able to train together and train
on targets at 500 yards out. Stockton went on to say that it was not that they
were better shooters than their opponents, but that their team’s preparation
made the difference. </p><p>“We
were better prepared for the match than the active-duty competitors,” said
Stockton. “We had our rifle zeroed at every yard line so we knew exactly how to
adjust our sights during the competition.” </p><p>Perdew
said that it wasn’t just the preparation that led to the team’s success this
year. </p><p>“We
take training advice we get from other teams at the competition and use it in
our next year’s preparation plan to make us better,” said Perdew. “When you
stop being willing to learn from others, you will stop getting better.” </p><p>At
the all-Army competition the teams are required to have at least one ‘new
shooter’ competing and to do this the team must look for recruits. Stockton
said the team watches for recruits throughout the year and contacts the top
shooters of the Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Match to meet the “new
shooter” requirement. </p><p>“When
we do training events we are looking for potential members of the team,” said
Stockton. “We go to the zero range and pay attention to which Soldiers can shoot
groups,” said Stockton.</p><p>In
addition to looking for potential recruits at training events, the SARTS helps
Soldiers improve their marksmanships skills. They attend annual qualification
training for units throughout the state to mentor and coach Soldiers on the
skills they have learned. </p><p>“As
much skill as this team has already, we still have room to grow,” said Perdew.
“There are Soldiers in the Illinois National Guard that have great potential,
if we can get with them, train with them and inform them about this team and
the competitions. The potential for this team is limitless.” </p><p>Stockton
said being a part of the SARTS is not just about them going to competitions to
win. </p><p>“We
use the competition to gather more information about shooting and bring it back
into the Army to make Soldiers better marksmen,” said Stockton. </p><p>Gleason said the team looks forward to future competitions and they are
always learning and looking for new ways to improve their skills. </p><p>The following is the complete list of the
team’s accomplishments from this year’s competition. </p><p>Team Awards: </p><p>1. U.S. Army Overall Team Champions </p><p>2. U.S. Army Rifle Team Champions </p><p>3. 2nd Place Multi-gun Champions </p><p>Individual Awards:</p><p>1. Staff Sgt. Brandon Hornung, of Mendota,
Illinois - 1st place novice overall champion and 1st place novice Multi-gun and
Gold Medal for Excellence in Rifle Competition </p><p>2. Sgt. 1st Class David Perdew, of Rushville,
Illinois – U.S. Army Pistol Champion, Gold Medal in Pistol Match 3 and 5 along with
a Bronze Medal for Excellence in Rifle Competition </p><p>3. Sgt. 1st Class Shelby Stockton, of
Petersburg, Illinois – Silver Medal in National Match for Excellence in
Competition </p><p>4. Staff Sgt. Jacob Blount, of St. Louis,
Missouri – 1st place in novice service Rifle Match and 4th overall (pistol,
rifle, multi-gun) placing in the novice class </p><p>5. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Gleason, of
Lincoln, Illinois – Gold Medal in Rifle Match 7
</p> Illinois National Guard Shooting Team Earns Army-Wide Championship
22 Apr 2016

Thick fog filled the cool morning air at the 260-acre range complex at Fort Benning, Georgia on March 12 where approximately 200 competitors prepared to embark on a four-day competition that would challenge the Soldiers, both physically and mentally.

 
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Staff Sgt. Daniel Hufford of Rantoul, Illinois, an instructor at Illinois’ 2nd Battalion, 129th Regional Training Institute’s Officer Candidate School in Springfield, Illinois was among 15 Army National Guard Soldiers to become signal support specialists April 26. The Soldiers were recognized during a graduation ceremony held at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.   Hufford and the other Soldiers learned vital information
technology skills during the two-phase, four-week long course. During the first
phase Soldiers learned skills relevant to install, troubleshoot and repair
commercial information technology equipment including computers, routers,
switches and computer hardware and software. Phase two focused on establishing
and maintaining battlefield communications through computer systems, radios and
satellite communications. The Soldiers also participated in a Capstone Field
Exercise to reinforce the skills they learned throughout the course at the end
of phase two.   Hufford
will continue to instruct at the 129th’s OCS, but will now also instruct at the
129th’s 25U Signal Support Specialist Reclassification course. Illinois Soldier becomes signal support specialist
27 Apr 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Staff Sgt. Daniel Hufford of Rantoul, Illinois, an instructor at Illinois’ 2nd Battalion, 129th Regional Training Institute’s Officer Candidate School in Springfield, Illinois was among 15 Army National Guard Soldiers to become signal support specialists April 26. The Soldiers were recognized during a graduation ceremony held at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.

 
<b>SPRINGFIELD, Illinois –</b> Col.
Mark Jackson, of Frankfort, Illinois, was selected May 12 as an inductee into
the 2016 inaugural class of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC)
Hall of Fame. Jackson was invited to the
induction ceremony that will be held June 10 at the United States Army Cadet
Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. <div><br></div><div>The
Hall of Fame induction is awarded to alumni whose character and distinguished
service epitomizes the qualities the Army ROTC embodies. A permanent record of Jackson’s service and
accomplishments will be added to the Hall of Fame and Illinois State
University’s ROTC program, from which he received his commission, will receive
a duplicate certificate to display. </div><div><br></div><div>Jackson
said he knew he was nominated in the fall of 2015 by Illinois State University
but he was completely shocked to have made it this far. </div><div><br></div><div>“This
has meant so much to me and I am deeply honored and blessed to be a honoree,”
Jackson said. “I could not have gotten
this far in my military career without God, my family, great non-commissioned
officers who believed enough in me to train me, wonderful commanders who saw
something in me to mentor me and the Soldiers who followed me.” </div><div><br></div><div>Jackson’s
induction coincides with the Army ROTC’s Centennial Commemoration Ceremony,
where the program will celebrate its 100th anniversary. </div><div><br></div><div>Jackson
was recently recognized on Feb. 27 when he earned the Legion of Merit, the
fourth highest honor for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, for exceptional
meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service and
achievements. </div><div><br></div><div>Jackson
previously commanded of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Urbana,
Illinois, and the 65th Troop Command Brigade in Springfield, Illinois. He currently serves on the Illinois National
Guard’s joint staff as the Director of Operations and Training. </div><div><br></div><div>He
also continues to develop relations with the Illinois National Guard’s Polish
counterparts as part of the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program.</div> Frankfort Soldier inducted into ROTC Hall of Fame
19 May 2016

Col. Mark Jackson, of Frankfort, Illinois, was selected May 12 as an inductee into the 2016 inaugural class of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) Hall of Fame. Jackson was invited to the induction ceremony that will be held June 10 at the United States Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

 
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