Illinois Air Guard 182nd Airlift Wing Fights the Virus

When it “absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” Federal Express isn’t the only carrier that has flown around the clock to provide medical relief to communities across the nation.

Two aircrews assigned to the 182nd Airlift Wing at Peoria Air National Guard Base, Illinois picked up and transported 250 isolation pods aboard the C-130 H Hercules from a Eugene, Ore. manufacturer to Chicago Midway International Airport next-day air, according to Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer, 182nd Airlift Wing. The negative-pressure tents are for use in an alternate medical facility assembled inside Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

Transporting the isolation pods 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.”

Airmen with the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, exit a C-130H Hercules during a full-spectrum readiness exercise at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Ill., Nov. 3, 2018. Full-spectrum readiness training prepares Airmen to operate successfully before, during and after a chemical attack. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jason Grabiec) (A security badge was digitally obscured for operational security purposes.)



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