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Three Illinois Army National Guard units were singled out for their efforts to enhance logistics readiness, increase supply effectiveness and contribute to overall readiness of the Illinois Army National Guard.
Two units, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment, based in Kewanee, Illinois, and Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 33rd Military Police Battalion, based in Machesney Park, Illinois, each clinched top honors at the ILARNG level competition in their respective categories while the 1644th Transportation Company, based in Rock Falls, Illinois, was named a runner-up in its category. Units are placed in categories based on their authorized personnel strength.
“Although this was an organizational effort, the credit to our success lies solely with Sgt. 1st Class Sean Eskridge. He was assigned to the unit in 2017 and since has put the sustainment needs and requirements on his back,” said. Lt. Col. Michael Kowalski, of Elmhurst, Illinois, Commander, 2/106th Cav. “He represents the best the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team has to offer in terms of supply and sustainment. Regardless of our operational tempo, including overseas mobilizations, COVID-19 response operations and civil disturbance missions, he was able to accomplish the mission.”
The recognition from the ILARNG is greatly appreciated, said Kowalski, but Eskridge said knowing his work enabled the squadron to become the first battalion-sized unit to win the ILARNG level is beyond exciting.
“Sgt. 1st Class Eskridge and the entire squadron look forward to representing the 33rd IBCT and the ILARNG in competing at the DA Level,” said Kowalski. “Regardless of the results, we will continue to improve our systems and processes.”
HHD, 33rd MP Bn credits its success to the abilities, skills, knowledge and work performance of Sgt. Skye McEstes, of Woodstock, Illinois, the unit’s supply non-commissioned officer.
“Sgt. McEstes achieves results,” said Lt. Col. Justin Wilkerson, of Peoria, Commander, 33rd MP Battalion. “In under a year she went from learning her craft to creating efficiencies through standard operating procedures, training subordinates and peers, and coordinating with battalion operations.”
The 1644th TC’s supply excellence and equipment readiness allowed them to successfully support several missions including COVID-19 response operations, and the Golden Coyote exercise which was held in South Dakota, according to Company Commander Capt. Craig Watkins, of Warrenville, Illinois..
“In the past two training years, the 1644th mobilized more than 70 percent of our Soldiers to help Illinois’ citizens through three COVID-19 response operations,” said Watkins. “Our supply success is a 100-percent team effort led by Sgt. Aaron Geesey, our unit supply non-commissioned officer.”
Watkins said Geesey’s efforts led to outstanding results in several key inspections.
“We’re extremely proud and humbled to be named as the state’s Supply Excellence Award runner-up,” Watkins said. “We look forward to competing and representing our battalion, brigade and the Illinois Army National Guard at the national level.”