The Illinois National Guard is sending additional backup out from Peoria as Hurricane Irma approaches the mainland United States.
Two C-130 cargo planes and 14 personnel from the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria left Thursday morning to join support and response efforts for Irma. One plane is headed to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands with equipment, while the other will go to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for mission staging.
"Our soldiers and airmen embody the spirit of the minuteman," said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "The airmen supporting our neighbors in the Gulf are capable and ready to succeed. We are proud of them and thankful for their service and for the support of their families and employers."
Currently, the Illinois National Guard has more than 30 personnel deployed for hurricane relief efforts.