SPRINGFIELD – September 2, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Army National Guard members assisting with Vermont flood relief operations have completed their mission and are heading home. Earlier this week Governor Quinn ordered Illinois National Guard helicopters and troops to active duty in Vermont after receiving a request for assistance from the state.
“The Illinois National Guard has again responded when the state and country has called on them,” Governor Quinn said. “Our servicemembers are some of the greatest this nation has to offer. Time and again, they show their dedication by answering the call to duty and we are proud of them.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to help another state in need,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. “This shows we are prepared to assist, not just in Illinois, but throughout our country.”
Approximately 95 members of the Illinois National Guard set up an operating base in Rome, N.Y., while their helicopters flew into Burlington, Vt. The Illinois Army National Guard assisted delivering food, water and other supplies to several towns in Vermont that were isolated by flooding.
“The Illinois National Guard has done amazing work here in Vermont. The towns I visited today that have been cut off by road for days were cheering when the helicopters started to arrive on Wednesday,” said Maj. Gen. Michael D. Dubie, Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard. “We have stocked up the isolated towns and established rough road access to many that will soon support civilian vehicle traffic. A huge thank you to the entire Illinois team that made this happen.”
During operations in Vermont, the Illinois National Guard provided the following air movements of critically needed supplies:
- 58 pallets of water
- 63 pallets of food
- 4 pallets of blankets
- 3 pallets of cots
- 3 pallets of tarps
- 1 generator
- 16 passengers
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. After completing needed operations today, they will head home and arrive in Illinois over the weekend.
Units that provided hurricane relief in Vermont include: Headquarters and Headquarters Company; 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Peoria and elements of Company A, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Decatur; Company B, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Chicago; Company C and Company D, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Peoria; and 2nd Battalion, 238th General Support Aviation Battalion in Peoria.
“These Soldiers put aside their daily lives and commitments in a moment’s notice to come to the aide of residents more than 1,100 miles from them on the East Coast,” Enyart said. “We also owe their families and employers a thank you for their support.”
This is the fifth time this year the Illinois National Guard has responded to assist others in need. More than 500 Soldiers were activated for the February winter storms. Approximately 500 Soldiers responded to the southern Illinois flooding this spring. The Illinois National Guard also sent one CH-47 Chinook helicopter with five crew members from Company B, 2nd Battalion 238th Aviation based in Peoria to help the South Dakota National Guard battle flood waters on June 3. A UH-60 Blackhawk and four crew members with Company A, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Decatur, deployed to Omaha, Neb., in support of flood relief efforts June 21.
For video: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/124512/106th-avn-vermont-b-roll-and-interviews
- 1st Lt. A.J. Hager of Champaign with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment in Peoria
- Sgt. Nathan Stevenson of Mount Pleasant with Company E, 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment in Peoria
- Action footage of Illinois Army National Guard helicopters delivering supplies to Vermont residents
For more information and photos, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org