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  • A child's dream leads to more than 41 years of military service

    Tiny hands reach to grab the control wheel while his eyes dance around the flight deck, filling with wonder. Control panel switches are just within fingertip’s reach. He can’t see over the dash, but the boy imagines what it might feel like to soar through the air. He is in love with the dream of flying. This is how Air Force Brig. Gen. William P. Robertson described his first time sitting in the flight deck of a C-47 Skytrain while on a base tour as a young child. Robertson would go on to command the 182nd Airlift Wing for 13 years, then serve as the Chief of Staff for the Illinois Air National Guard. He retired on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, after serving as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) since November 2018.
  • Faces of the Defender: Security Forces

    U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Vasquez, a security forces specialist with the 182nd Security Forces Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, describes the duties and responsibilities of the career field in an interview Oct. 2, 2021. Security Forces personnel are the first line of defense for Air Force personnel and resources. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Paul Helmig)
  • An Airman's American Dream

    U.S. Air Force Airman Rashid Hussain, a services specialist with the 182nd Force Support Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, came to the United States as a student and immigrated to become an American Airman. Hear this naturalized citizen’s story of independence realized and an American Dream fulfilled. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Senior Airman Paul Helmig, Senior Airman Wynndermere & Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer)
  • Faces of the Defender: Flight Engineer

    U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jared Hildebrand, a C-130 flight engineer with the 169th Airlift Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, describes his job in an interview recorded Nov. 7, 2020, in Peoria, Ill. Flight engineers inspect and operate the mechanical systems of the aircraft.
  • The First 115 Days

    In what’s become the most chaotic year in recent American history, the 182nd Airlift Wing took a formidable step towards normality July 2020, paved by months of balancing the so-called “new normal” with military operations. This is the story of four herculean months that won’t soon be forgotten.
  • War medal returns to family after 61 years

    No matter whether they were in Illinois, Wisconsin, or anywhere in between, Annie and Rich would see contrails in the sky from a jet plane flying high overhead, and their mother would remind them, “There’s Dad flying up in heaven. Dad’s watching.” Ann J. Ward was just 2.5 years old and Richard L. Ward II only 3 months old when their father perished in an F-84D Thunderstreak crash on Runway 31 of what is now the 182nd Airlift Wing at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport. Circumstance stole their chance to grow up with their father when his aircraft failed to reach safe flying speed, causing it to collide with terrain during a drill-weekend training flight.
  • Faces of the Defender: Cyber Surety

    U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Morgan, a cyber surety specialist with the 182nd Communications Flight, Illinois Air National Guard, describes the duties of cyber surety during in an interview recorded in Peoria, Ill., Dec. 2, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer) ("Rumble" from Bensound.com & “MatrixVbg02” by CyberWebFX, via Creative Commons License 3.0.)
  • Faces of the Defender: Fire Protection

    U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Taylor, a fire protection journeyman with the 182nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Illinois Air National Guard, describes the duties of an Air National Guard fire fighter in an interview recorded in Peoria, Ill., Nov. 3, 2019. Fire protection specialist protects people, property and the environment from fire and disasters by providing fire prevention, firefighting, rescue, hazardous materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction responses. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec & Tech. Sgt. Lealan Buehrer) (Music: "Rumble" from Bensound.com via Creative Commons License 3.0.)
  • Faces of the Defender: Public Affairs

    U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jason Grabiec, a photojournalist journeyman with the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, describes the duties of the public affairs career field in an interview recorded in Peoria, Ill., April 7, 2019. Public affairs specialists are responsible for facilitating command information, community relations and media engagement for the Air Force.
  • Faces of the Defender: Combat Systems Officer

    U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Daniel Wallace, a mobility combat systems officer with the 183rd Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, describes the job of a combat systems officer in an interview recorded in Peoria, Ill., April 23, 2019. Air Force combat systems officers serve as mission commanders for aircraft electronic warfare, weapons systems and navigation. (Music: "Rumble" by Bensound.com via Creative Commons License 3.0.)
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