183rd Fighter Wing cuts ribbon on modernized facilities

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  • By 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 183rd Fighter Wing
The Illinois Air National Guard 183rd Fighter Wing hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony May 2, to commemorate the completion of major recapitalization projects. The unit completed significant upgrades to technology and facility infrastructure at four different buildings.

The upgrades included construction of two, hi-tech control centers designed to handle the 183rd Fighter Wing's Air Force mission of planning and conducting a major air campaign. The unit accomplished modernization of the technology and security core facilities.

In addition to the Air Force mission, the unit is tasked to respond to complex catastrophes in Illinois, such as earthquakes.

"Should the Illinois National Guard be called upon by the governor to respond to any crisis, natural or manmade, these facilities provide the platforms to handle both federal and state missions," said Brig. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General.

The Illinois Army National Guard, 65th Troop Command at Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Ill., shares the joint task force mission. The Army and Air National Guard units prepared by training with law enforcement, fire departments and emergency management personnel at the federal, state and local levels. In the next few months, the new facilities will conduct two earthquake exercises.

"We have seen considerable advancement in mission capabilities since bringing the new facilities on line," said 183rd Fighter Wing commander, Col. Ronald E. Paul. "The unit also upgraded its communications facility to support the two 'super-wired' control centers. We planned well. In addition to increased square footage, we now have a technology hub that can support data transmission and analytics suited to sophisticated missions sets."

The unit is particularly suited to a cyber mission.

"Critical infrastructure in the U.S. is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attack," said Paul. "Much of that infrastructure is at the state or private level. The National Guard already collaborates at those levels for many other missions. The cyber mission makes good sense for the 183rd."

Earlier this month, the unit hosted a joint, multi-agency cyber exercise at the new communications facility.

"The exercise was a vital first step in focusing resources toward coordinated defense of our cyber systems," said Krumrei. "The Illinois National Guard has a pool of highly-trained professionals in technology fields to support these kinds of missions," said Krumrei. "They hone their skills in the same sectors in the civilian world. Growing the cyber sector locally and regionally is a win-win for business and the military. Enabling us to help our neighbors, protect our state and defend our nation."