Illinois National Guard

"Hurricane Harvey Flooding - 8/26/17 to ?" by Flickr user Jill Carlson ( / (CC x 2.0)

The Illinois National Guard says it's sending seven airmen and a C-130 cargo plane to help with the response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

The guard says the members of the 182nd Airlift Wing will leave Peoria on Thursday for Dallas and are expected to help with storm relief and recovery for the next three to four days.

Harvey has weakened and its floodwaters are dropping in much of the Houston area, but the death toll from the storm is rising.  

Illinois National Guard

It is unclear what the next steps are in Illinois after President Donald Trump’s announcement barring transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

“I reached out to the National Guard Bureau public affairs office, who had already reached out to the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s public affairs office, and both of those entities were referring their calls to the White House,” Illinois National Guard Capt. Dutch Grove said.

Grove says there’s not much to comment on currently, since no assigned directive or guidance has been provided to the guard at this point.

  A new law allows members of the Illinois National guard to be considered veterans on their drivers’ licenses. WNIJ’s Chase Cavanaugh has more. 

The bill was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner at an American Legion convention last week.  It allows members of the guard and reserve to receive a veteran designation on their state drivers licenses if their only period of active duty was their initial and annual training.  To prove this status, they need to present a certificate of discharge from their respective service branch to the Secretary of State.

Soldiers from Illinois will soon be in Afghanistan and won't return until December.

About 30 members of the Springfield-based 233rd Military Police Company will get additional training in Texas before going overseas. 

At their deployment ceremony, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, commended and thanked the guardsmen -- such as Sgt. Chad Brown -- for volunteering.


The Illinois National Guard's commanding officer says for years the guard has been planning for the biggest catastrophes that could affect Illinois, like an earthquake in southern Illinois along the New Madrid fault.

Major General Richard Hayes Junior says trying out those plans is at the heart of an exercise in Springfield this week, simulating a 7.7 magnitude quake.

Hayes says he'll incorporate lessons learned following the Hurricane Katrina disaster ten years ago.