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NEWS | Aug. 27, 2011

Illinois Guard members en route to New York ahead of Hurricane Irene

By Illinois National Guard report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - About 160 members of the Illinois Army National Guard will depart for New York to train for possible hurricane relief operations on the east coast. 

An additional 1,000 Illinois National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are reporting to their respective units to prepare and train for hurricane relief efforts.

The Illinois National Guard is sending six UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, pilots and crew, ground support vehicles and operators, and command and control staff.

Units departing for New York that will prepare to provide hurricane relief 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, and Company C and Company D, 106th Aviation Battalion in Peoria.

"Time and time again, our Soldiers are ready, willing and able to join the effort to protect our fellow Americans during a natural disaster," said Army Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, adjutant general.  "This year alone we've assisted with the severe winter storm in early February and flood relief efforts in southern Illinois and South Dakota this spring.  I am extremely proud to lead these dedicated men and women."

The Illinois National Guard elements that are leaving for training in New York will depart from their respective unit locations in Illinois in two stages today and Sunday.  The other units will continue to train at their facilities and will only deploy if needed. 



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