SPRINGFIELD – August 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn has ordered Illinois National Guard helicopters and troops to state active duty to assist with Vermont flood relief operations after receiving a request for assistance from the state. Approximately 95 members of the Illinois National Guard are now in Rome, N.Y., and will maintain their base of operations in the state while their helicopters fly into Burlington, Vt. From Burlington, they will be dispatched to deliver food, water and medicine to several towns in Vermont that are isolated by flooding.
“As our friends in Vermont face some of the worst flooding their state has seen in over a century, we want them to know we are here to help,” Governor Quinn said. “I’m proud that the soldiers in the Illinois National Guard are able to respond so quickly to the needs of our fellow Americans. Illinois has one of the best emergency management programs in the nation and we are thankful to be able to lend a helping hand during this time of need.”
The six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, pilots and crew, ground support vehicles, and command and control staff were prepositioned in New York Aug. 29 to 30 and have now received an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request for assistance in Vermont. The EMAC is a nationwide system through which states affected by disasters can receive additional resources.
“We are proud to help the residents of Vermont in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. “This again shows the dedication and professionalism of the men and women that make up the Illinois National Guard and their willingness to help their fellow Americans during a time of need."
Units providing hurricane relief in Vermont include: Headquarters and Headquarters Company; 106th Aviation Battalion in Peoria and elements of Company A, 106th Aviation Battalion in Decatur; Company B, 106th Aviation Battalion in Chicago; Company C and Company D, 106th Aviation Battalion in Peoria; and 2nd Battalion, 238th General Support Aviation Battalion in Peoria.
"Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, we're able to quickly coordinate the deployment of critical resources in response to requests from states affected by Hurricane Irene," said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. "We are continuing to work closely with Vermont and other states to provide the assistance they need to save lives and cope with the devastation left behind by this massive storm."
Three regional coordinators from IEMA have been deployed in response to a request from the state of New York through the EMAC. They are working with the 24/7 planning section on developing plans to address hurricane response and recovery issues. New York and Vermont will reimburse Illinois for expenses related to both deployments.