Illinois National Guard Aircraft, Personnel, Respond to Hurricane Irma

C-130 deploys on late night mission to deliver key capabilities to the Caribbean

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The aircrew of a C-130 Hercules flown by the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, conduct a pre-flight brief before a late night departure from their home base of Peoria, Ill., Sept. 2

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/03/2017) (readMedia)-- As Hurricane Irma bears down on the Caribbean, the Illinois National Guard has sent a C-130 aircraft and crew to the U.S. Virgin Islands to deliver key response capabilities to the islands ahead of the storm. The C-130 Hercules aircraft, with seven crew members, flew out of its base in Peoria, Illinois, near midnight, Sept. 2, flying to Colorado to pick up a National Guard Bureau Joint Enabling Team (JET) and then delivered it to the Virgin Islands. The JET assists in coordinating needed support to areas effected by natural disasters or other emergences through advanced communications equipment and experts in disaster response operations, intelligence, logistics, personnel and public affairs. This is the second C-130 cargo airplane to respond to a hurricane relief mission on federal orders in the last few days. On Thursday, Aug. 31, a C-130, also from the Peoria, Illinois-based 182nd Airlift Wing, joined the federal Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts and has been transporting people, supplies and equipment. As of early Saturday morning, that crew had transported more than 60 evacuees out of danger including 20 children, four disabled adults and some 3,000 pounds of personal belongings and had delivered more than 7,500 pounds of relief supplies and equipment. In addition, two Airmen from the Springfield, Illinois-based 183rd Wing,183rd Air Mobility Squadron traveled on Sept. 1 to Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida to assist 1st Air Force in the operations center that is coordinating the Air Force's portion of the relief efforts. "Like their forebears, the Minutemen, these Airmen have put their regular lives on hold to help our neighbors in need," said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "We thank them for their service and we thank their families and employers." There are now two Illinois Air National Guard C-130 aircraft and 16 Airmen involved in the federal relief and recovery mission. For information related to the C-130 crew, aircraft, and mission contact the 182nd Airlift Wing at 309-633-5119 or 309-633-5100. For more information on the mission of the two 183rd Wing Airmen deployed to Tyndall Air Force Base please call 217-757-1861. For more information on the overall Illinois National Guard hurricane relief efforts or for high resolution photos, call 217-725-2265 through Tuesday, Sept. 5.