Durbin, Duckworth, Bustos Meet With Illinois Adjutant General Richard Neely

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) today spoke by phone with Illinois Adjutant General Richard Neely about establishing a permanent flying mission for the Springfield 183rd Fighter Wing and ensuring that the Peoria 182nd Airlift Wing is considered for future C-130 modernization efforts that could upgrade the wing’s C-130H1s to C-130Js. General Neely also provided an update about the deployment of Illinois National Guard members to assist with COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts.

“Every day, the women and men of the Illinois Air National Guard answer the call to support our communities through crises both around the world and here at home, from the global pandemic to natural disasters. And time and time again, our guardsmen have proved that the 183rd is prepared for a permanent flying mission and that the 182nd is well-equipped to be a part of the C-130 recapitalization effort,” said Durbin. “It was good to speak with General Neely this afternoon about achieving our shared goals for the Guard and the State of Illinois.”

“I was glad to have the opportunity to discuss many issues with Major General Neely today, including our concerns on C-130 total aircraft inventory, and hear more about the important work our Illinois National Guard members are carrying out,” Duckworth said. “Senator Durbin, Congresswoman Bustos and I will keep working to make sure our Illinois National Guard has the support and investment it needs to sustain operations.”

“The Illinois Air National Guard is a great example of our nation’s military strength and flexibility. It’s critical we provide them with the resources they need to carry out their missions successfully,” said Bustos. “I thank Major General Neely for listening to myself and Senators Durbin and Duckworth today talk about the importance of Peoria’s C-130 Hercules to the state and nation. I commend the Citizen Airmen of the 182nd Airlift Wing and I'll continue to do all I can to support their efforts.”