HomeNewsArticle Display

Illinois Air Guard C-130s join the fight against COVID-19

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Evan Spotloe, foreground, a loadmaster, and Staff Sgt. Seth Johnson, a flight engineer, both with the 169th Airlift Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, help load medical isolation pods into a C-130H Hercules in Eugene, Ore., April 8, 2020. Two 182nd Airlift Wing C-130 aircrews airlifted 250 isolation pods in a cross-country overnight homeland defense mission delivery to Chicago for use in an alternate medical facility.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Evan Spotloe, foreground, a loadmaster, and Staff Sgt. Seth Johnson, a flight engineer, both with the 169th Airlift Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, help load medical isolation pods into a C-130H Hercules in Eugene, Ore., April 8, 2020. Two 182nd Airlift Wing C-130 aircrews airlifted 250 isolation pods in a cross-country overnight homeland defense mission delivery to Chicago for use in an alternate medical facility.

EUGENE, Ore. (AFNS) --

What could have been a three-day trek across 2,150 miles of interstate highway was shortened to overnight delivery by Air National Guard C-130H Hercules joining Illinois’ fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two aircrews assigned to the 182nd Airlift Wing departed Peoria Air National Guard Base, Illinois, April 7, to pick up and transport 250 medical isolation pods from the Oregon manufacturer to Chicago Midway International Airport the next day. The negative-pressure tents are for use in an alternate medical facility assembled inside Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. Transporting them fit the C-130’s tactical airlift mission set, which allows for a wide variety of oversized cargo and flexible design configurations.

“(The C-130) is the workhorse of the fleet. It’s been reliable since the 1950s, and our crews and our maintenance professionals are the best in the business,” said Maj. Justin Childers, a 169th Airlift Squadron C-130H mobility pilot. “We got the people there, we got the airplanes ready to go, and we went off and executed it. The Guard motto about ‘Always Ready’ is absolutely true.”

The pods are sealed cubicles with high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filtration systems, said Nathan Neckles, a sales manager with the pod manufacturer. The pods allow medical professionals to work with patients in a contained space using cleaned, recirculated air, helping prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

Childers said while airlift and airdrop is what the 182nd AW does every day, such a high-visibility operation is not as common.

“It felt really good just to know we’re helping get those supplies, so that if this thing spikes, (Illinois) can be more prepared for it,” he said. “I’m glad we got to go do it. I really am.”

While the Air National Guard operates for the war fight and security cooperation with foreign allies, its primary mission is to support homeland operations at the direction of the governor and adjutant general.

“We fight America’s war, but as the National Guard, we’re also here for our communities,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, Illinois National Guard adjutant general, in an April 8 interview with Chicago’s WBBM-TV. “So, this is the most rewarding mission we could possibly have, is to help our neighbors when they’re in need.”

Engage

Twitter
#ICYMI, DAF senior leaders and their spouses participated in a Leadership & the Family panel during #ASC21 held at… https://t.co/FZOnzruyw4
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: U.S. #Airmen from various organizations within USAFE-AFAFRICA participated in Falcon Leap 21, a multinational parachute tr…
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/154QECoeXk
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Doing frequent mental health check-ins could make a big difference in building resiliency. Promote wellness within yourself…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Every time I look at "Wings Through Time” by Robert Emerson Bell it’s a constant reminder that the ability to accelerate…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: If you need help or know someone who needs help - text 838255 or call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the Military Crisis Line. Let…
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: A @usairforce KC-135 refuels a B-2 Spirit in @US_EUCOM during a bomber task force mission.Tankers fuel the required reach…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message during #SuicidePreventionMonth: "You are our greatest strength and the beating heart of our Air…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Congratulations to the @USAirForce’s 12 Outstanding #Airmen of the Year on earning recognition as exemplary performers i…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: 1/ #DidYouKnow Sept. is Insider Threat Awareness Month? No environment is immune from the threat posed by trusted insiders.…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Sharene and I take the caring and well-being of our Airmen and their families very seriously. Thank you @AirForceAssoc fo…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Everyone wants to make their mark on the world. But why make just one? https://t.co/g1iX4pzU9b
Twitter
10 years have passed since #DontAskDontTell was repealed. @UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones celebrated the milestone by… https://t.co/i1kTNvykzM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s going to take all of our Airmen, Active-duty, Reserve and Guard to secure this nation’s future. https://t.co/4P3CUiQ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: A few years ago, only two small businesses joined us at AFA--this year we have 40+. @AFWERX works with these companies ever…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF is meeting with defense industry leaders today during the @AirForceAssoc’s #ASC21 events. In his #OneTeamOneFigh
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our rate of change needs to increase. We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of to…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,377,778
Follow Us