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By Barbara Wilson, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has activated about 90 additional Illinois National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from throughout the state in support of COVID-19 response operations.
“This is a statewide team effort and I’m proud of the vital role of our National Guard is playing in this fight against a deadly virus,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.
Approximately 35 Soldiers from the 708th Medical Company, based in North Riverside, will support hospital medical screening operations at impacted hospitals throughout the state. They will be reporting to their readiness center for in processing and screening today, April 6.
About 22 Airmen from the 126th Air Refueling Wing, based at Scott Air Force Base, the 183rd Wing, based in Springfield, and the 182rd Airlift Wing, based in Peoria, and two Soldiers from Joint Force Headquarters, Springfield, have been activated to augment the Illinois Emergency Management Agency staff at the Unified Area Command-North at the Thompson Center in Chicago. These National Guard service members reported to Chicago over the weekend and are now operational.
An additional approximately 30 Illinois Air National Guard Airmen have been activated to provide labor in support of the Army Corps of Engineers and McCormick Place buildout mission. About 10 Airmen each have been activated from the 126th Air Refueling Wing, 183rd Wing, and the 182nd Airlift Wing. They are reporting to their bases for in processing and screening today, April 6. This is in addition to the 30 Airmen previously activated for the first phase of the McCormick Place mission.
This brings the total number of Illinois National Guard service members directly supporting the COVID-19 response to about 520.
Soldiers and Airmen serving on COVID-19 response include:
The 183rd Wing, the 182nd Airlift Wing, the 65th Troop Command, based in Peoria, and the 108th Sustainment Brigade, based in Chicago, 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 Illinois National Guard headquarters on Camp Lincoln in Springfield.