November 03, 2017

Duckworth Helps Cut Ribbon on New Army Aviation Support Facility


[KANKAKEE, IL] - Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined the Illinois National Guard to cut the ribbon on the new Army Aviation Flight Facility and Readiness Center at the Greater Kankakee Airport, which will house three Illinois National Guard units, including the unit Duckworth once commanded. The two-story, 185,200 square foot facility includes hangar space designed for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, a weapon simulator training space and a task-load combat simulated flight environment. A photo of the ribbon cutting is available here.

"I am so proud to have been part of this unit. There is no greater privilege or heavier burden," Duckworth said at the time. "Our brave pilots, crew members and maintainers deserve the best equipment in the world, and with this new facility they are better positioned to preserve the peace abroad and respond here at home when called upon."

The previous Army Aviation Support Facility at Midway Airport in Chicago suffered from diminished capacity due to the increase in size of commercial airliners.

"We are always working to be better prepared for the war fight and domestic response the next time we have to answer the call for duty," said Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. "This facility moves that training into the 21st Century and gives us room to grow in the future."

Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.