PEORIA — Yet another Peoria-based C-130H3 Hercules cargo plane has left to help with disaster response efforts.
The Illinois National Guard announced Sunday morning that the 182nd Airlift Wing, based at the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport, sent the plane and its crew of seven to the the U.S. Virgin Islands to deliver key response capabilities to the islands ahead of Hurricane Irma, which is headed in that direction.
The plane left about midnight Saturday and flew to Colorado to pick up a National Guard Bureau Joint Enabling Team (JET) and then delivered it to the Virgin Islands. A JET assists in coordinating needed support to areas effected by natural disasters or other emergencies through advanced communications equipment and experts in disaster response operations, intelligence, logistics, personnel and public affairs, according to a national guard press release.
On Thursday, the first C-130 left Peoria and flew to Dallas, where it has been participating in relief efforts in the wake of flooding and damage from Hurricane Harvey. As of early Saturday morning, that crew had transported more than 60 evacuees out of danger including 20 children, four disabled adults and some 3,000 pounds of personal belongings and had delivered more than 7,500 pounds of relief supplies and equipment, according to the Guard.
In addition, two guard members from Springfield's 183rd Air Mobility Squadron flew to Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida last week to help in an operations center that is coordinating the Air Force’s portion of the relief efforts. In all, 16 guard members are deployed.
Andy Kravetz can be reached at 686-3283 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @andykravetz.