Governor activates 90 additional Illinois National Guard Members for COVID-19 Support operations

By Barbara Wilson, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office | April 6, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —

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:

  • Approximately 30 Soldiers from Company C, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, based in Springfield, providing medical support at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, near Joliet.
  • Approximately 25 Soldiers from the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment, based in Chicago assisting county Emergency Management Operations Centers (EMOCs) in Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Will counties, gathering information and reporting that data to the Medical Operations Center in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield.
  • About 15 Soldiers from the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, headquartered in Normal, assisting county EMOCs in Christian, Madison, St. Clair, Cumberland, Clinton, Washington and Jackson counties, gathering information and reporting that data to the Medical Operations Center in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield.
  • About 30 Soldiers from the 108th Sustainment Brigade, based in Chicago, assisting county EMOCs in Jo Davies, Stephenson, Winnebago, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Rock Island, Whiteside, Kankakee, Livingston, Peoria, Woodford, McLean, Champaign, Sangamon and Adams counties,  gathering information and reporting that data to the Medical Operations Center in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield.
  • About a dozen Airmen from the 183rd Wing based in Springfield, the 126th Air Refueling Wing based at Scott Air Force Base, and the 182nd Airlift Wing based in Peoria, managing the medical operations center and information collection in Springfield for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • About 30 Illinois Air National Guard members providing labor in constructing a field hospital at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago. About 10 Airmen each have been activated from the 126th Air Refueling Wing, 183rd Wing, and the 182nd Airlift Wing.
  • Approximately 50 Soldiers from the 3637th Maintenance Company, based in Springfield assisting with logistics, administrative and safety procedures at a community-based testing site at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington. The site became operational Saturday, March 28.
  • Approximately 50 Soldiers from the 1844th Transportation Company based in East St. Louis, 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 60 Soldiers from the 3625th Maintenance Company, based in North Riverside, Illinois, were activated to assist with logistics and operations at the Harwood Heights Community-based testing site in Chicago, Illinois, which began operations on Monday, March 23.
  • Approximately 45 nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and medical technicians from the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing Medical Group, based in Peoria, assisting with the Harwood Heights Community-based testing site and another state testing site at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington.
  • 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 the community-based testing sites.

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.