Military & Veterans News
Governor Quinn Honors Illinois Silver Star Recipient PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:24

Ceremony Highlights Heroism and Bravery of Illinois Servicemembers

TROY – September 8, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Gold Star families and local leaders at a ceremony honoring Senior Airman Bradley Smith with the Silver Star, the third-highest military decoration that can be awarded to any branch of the United States Military. The posthumous award is in recognition of Smith’s heroic acts to protect other airmen following an attack in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan on January 3, 2010.

“Airman Smith made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country and the debt we owe him can never be repaid,” Governor Quinn said. “This award is a testament to his bravery and his loyalty to his unit and his nation. His memory shall live on in our hearts and in every measure of support we can give to those who have borne the battle.”

According to the Air Force, Smith was on patrol in a village in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan when his unit came under attack. When another part of his team triggered an IED (improvised explosive device), Smith led the wounded airmen to safety. After rejoining the fight, Smith volunteered to recover the body of one of the fallen soldiers, which he did successfully with the assistance of Army Medic Brian Bowman. After they reached the casualty collection point, a second IED exploded, killing both Smith and Bowman.

Today’s ceremony will be held at the beginning of the third annual Bradley Smith Memorial/Scholarship 5k run established in his memory by the Smith family, which has attracted more than 800 participants and provided more than $20,000 in scholarships to students of Triad High School in Troy and to the children of active duty and retired servicemembers. The Silver Star Medal is being delivered to Smith’s family by members of the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, who also fought bravely alongside Smith that day. The airmen, some of whom were gravely injured in the attack, made a week-long march on foot from Fort Riley, Kansas to Troy.

Governor Quinn is encouraging Illinois residents to honor the servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives fighting for democracy by supporting programs that benefit Gold Star Families, including the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund, Operation Hero Miles, and Operation Support Our Troops. For more information about programs for our Veterans, visit www.operationhomefront.org or call the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at 217-782-6641 or 312-814-2460.

 
Iowa ‘Red Bulls’ recognized for deployment success, sacrifice PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Damon Salzer   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:12

Army Col. Benjamin J. Corell, the former commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" of the Iowa Army National Guard, addresses congressional, military and industry leaders after accepting the 2012 Citizen Patriot Unit Award during a ceremony at Fort Myer, Va., Sept. 5, 2012. The Iowa "Red Bulls" were recognized for their successful deployment and sacrifice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from November 2010 to July 2011 in Afghanistan.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division of the Iowa Army National Guard was awarded the Citizen Patriot Award for its exemplary service while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Accepting the award on behalf of the brigade during a ceremony at Fort Myer, Va., was Army Col. Benjamin J. Corell, the commander of the unit during its deployment from November 2010 to July 2011.

The brigade’s outstanding contribution to the security and defense posture of the United States during their deployment set them apart from other applicants, but so did the emotional aspect of losing four soldiers.

“We had twelve nominations from all of the services – Army, Navy Marines, and the Air Force – and what we looked for were units that made the greatest contribution to national security,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Kenneth Bouldin, the president of the Reserve Forces Policy Board Fellows Society, the independent committee who selected the individual and unit Citizen Patriot awardees.

“Of all the nominations that we had, the thing that stood out was that these soldiers had been truthfully in harm’s way,” he said. “And all of the units had performed magnificently, but this unit had lost four of its soldiers.”

Corell said he was humbled to represent the thousands of soldiers who came together to perform a successful mission.

“I also realize that it takes a village to raise a child, and that means our employers and families back at home, the leadership of the Iowa National Guard, and the Nebraska National Guard – tonight I accept this on behalf of all of them,” he said.

Their deployment to Afghanistan was the one of the largest deployments of Iowa National Guard members since World War II, said Guard officials.

Guard officials said key accomplishments of the brigade were:

-- Increased capability of the local Afghan government to provide for the essential needs of the Afghan people resulting in 61 percent of the local Afghan population within the Task Force Red Bulls area of operations believing that their government was working to better their lives

--Led one of the largest air assault operations in Regional Command-East and cleared insurgent activity from 400 square miles of the Galuch Valley in Laghman province.

-- Conducted numerous direct and indirect fire missions to support coalition forces and suppress enemy insurgency.

-- Coordinated with local institutions and other multi-national agencies resulting in the increased credibility of Afghan provincial and district institutions.

“As in previous conflicts, the “Red Bulls” lived up to their history and Iowa’s citizen-soldier reputation as some of the finest and most dependable soldiers in the Army,” said Army Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, the adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard.

In attendance to present the award to Corell and the brigade was Army Lt. Gen. William E. Ingram Jr., director of the Army National Guard.

“It is a tremendous honor to have the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard recognized at the national level for their deployment excellence,” Ingram said.

“I could not be more proud of these superb soldiers and their families – for their successful deployment, their continued sacrifice, selfless service, and all the things we count on them, as Army guardsmen, to do every day, whether at home or oversees,” he said.

 
182nd Airlift Wing to Cut Ribbon on New Operations Facility PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:20

PEORIA, IL (09/05/2012)(readMedia)-- The Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Sept. 8 to open a $11.1 million facility. The new facility will house the 182nd Operations Group.

The 27,700-square-foot facility will house C-130 operations including weapons and tactics, intelligence operations; briefing space; flight planning, safety, and records areas, physical training, life support and survival equipment including space to repair parachutes, life rafts, and other emergency gear. The new facility also includes space for unit administration, aircrew chemical warfare equipment, base command post, base operations and transient passenger waiting area.

The facility was designed under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and sustainable development concepts to achieve optimum resource efficiency, constructability, sustainability and energy conservation, while minimizing adverse impacts to the building and natural environments through all phases of its life cycle.

The 182nd Airlift Wing supports flying operations for eight C-130H3 aircraft and the associated maintenance and support functions. Its mission is to provide air-land and airdrop, command and control, communications, logistics and support services.

The 182nd Airlift Wing has been heavily engaged in overseas contigency operations since Sept. 11, 2001, supporting more 4,500 individual deployments and flying more 35,000 hours, more than 17,500 of which were in direct support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

 
**UPDATE** Camp Lincoln Buildings Locked Down After Suspicious Substance Found PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:59

UPDATE: Substance Found at Camp Lincoln Determined to Be Harmless

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/04/2012)(readMedia)-- Approximately 240 Illinois National Guard employees were given the all clear three hours after authorities locked down two buildings on Camp Lincoln in Springfield after an envelope containing a suspicious substance was opened. The substance was determined to be harmless.

The lock down was a precaution and in accordance with Springfield Fire Department protocol.

"I'd like to thank the personnel here on Camp Lincoln and the Springfield Fire Department for their quick response and professionalism throughout the lock down and initial investigation," said Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Celletti of Springfield, the acting Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "Although this turned out to be a false alarm, the Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees here on Camp Lincoln responded exactly as they were trained."

Three envelopes from the same source were delivered to Camp Lincoln. Two were not opened and turned over to emergency response and law enforcement authorities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the lead on criminal investigation with assistance from the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement agencies.

Personnel with the Illinois Air National Guard's 183rd Fighter Wing Bio-Environmental Engineering team based in Springfield and the Illinois Army National Guard's 5th Civil Support Team (CST) based in Bartonville also responded to augment the Springfield Fire Department's response. Part of the 5th CST's mission is to support civil authorities with the identification of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or high yield explosive (CBRNE) agents or substance.

All questions regarding the investigation should be directed to Brad Ware, the media representative with the FBI office in Springfield at 217-522-9675.

 

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/04/2012)(readMedia)-- The Illinois National Guard locked down two buildings on Camp Lincoln in Springfield after an envelope containing a suspicious substance was opened.

The lock down is a precaution and in accordance with Springfield Fire Department protocol.

Three envelopes believed to be from the same, unknown source were delivered to Camp Lincoln. Two were not opened and turned over to the Springfield Fire Department and Sangamon County Sheriff's office, which are investigating the incident.

Personnel with the Illinois Air National Guard's 183rd Fighter Wing Bio-Environmental Engineering team based in Springfield and the Illinois Army National Guard's 5th Civil Support Team (CST) based in Bartonville have also responded to augment the Springfield Fire Department's investigation. Part of the 5th CST's mission is to support civil authorities with the identification of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or high yield explosive (CBRNE) agents or substance.

The safety and security of Illinois National Guard and Camp Lincoln employees is our top priority. The Illinois National Guard Provost Marshal's office, Springfield Fire Department and the Sangamon County Sheriff's office should be commended for acting quickly and appropriately.

 
Rep. Morthland to Host Veterans' Services Forum PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:31

Representative Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) is hosting a Veterans’ Services Forum for veterans and their families to discuss the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ effort to modernize services and facilities to better serve our returning Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.

Time:            6 p.m.

Date:            Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Location:     Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline, IL  61265

For more information contact: Rich Morthland 309-762-3008

 
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