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NEWS | March 27, 2020

Governor Activates Springfield Army National Guard Unit to assist at COVID-19 testing site in Bloomington

By Barbara Wilson, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has activated about 65 additional Illinois National Guard Soldiers and Airmen in support of COVID-19 response operations.

Approximately 50 Soldiers from the 3637th Maintenance Company, based in Springfield, Illinois, will assist with logistics, administrative and safety procedures at an Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 testing site at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington. The site is expected to be operational at 9 a.m., March 28.

Medical support for the site will be provided by the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing Medical Group, drawing from the wing’s medical professionals who were previously activated.

Another 10 service members with the 3625th Maintenance Company, based in North Riverside, Illinois, were activated to assisting with logistics and operations at the Harwood Heights Community-based testing site in Chicago, Illinois, which began operations on Monday, March 23. This is in addition to the 50 Soldiers from the 3625th already serving at the Harwood Heights testing site.

Four additional troops were activated for the Joint Task Force managing the Illinois National Guard’s support of COVID-19 response operations.

This brings the total number of Illinois National Guard service members directly supporting the COVID-19 response to about 265, with about 245 on state active duty.

Soldiers and Airmen serving on State Active Duty include:

  • Approximately 50 Soldiers from the 1844th Transportation Company based in East St. Louis, Illinois, supporting medical warehouse operations in Central Illinois.
  • Another six service members working at the State Emergency Operations Center to help with communications, analyze COVID-19 response operations and to provide analysis for potential flood response operations.
  • Approximately 45 nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and medical technicians from the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing Medical Group, based in Peoria, Illinois, assisting with the Harwood Heights Community-based testing site.
  • About 20 full-time Air and Army National Guard members from the 5th Civil Support Team, based in Peoria, including medical professionals and experts in biological decontamination, assisting with command and control of National Guard forces at community-based testing sites.

The 183rd Wing, based in Springfield, Illinois, the 182nd Airlift Wing, based in Peoria, the 65th Troop Command, also based in Peoria, and the 108th Sustainment Brigade, have approximately 30 liaisons and planners including geospatial planners and medical planners who are embedded with the State Emergency Operations Center, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management, and Communications, the Illinois State Police as well as serving at Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois.