2 units decommissioning at Peoria's 182nd Airlift Wing as part of larger round of cuts
The U.S. Air Force is decommissioning two units at the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria over the next two years.
That includes the Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Group, which includes a headquarters and two squadrons. The 566th Air Force Band will also be decommissioned.
The changes affect 210 airmen. The cuts are part of a broader national reduction. The Air Force expects to save around $400 million through the decommissioning.
The impacted airmen will have options to stay on with the Illinois Air National Guard, albeit in different capacities.
“There are many unanswered questions right now. As we get answers, we will share those with the affected Airmen and their families. The sacrifice made by the Airmen and their families won’t be forgotten,” said Col. Rusty Ballard, commander of the 182nd Airlift Wing in a statement. “They will always be part of the 182nd regardless of where their path takes them.”
TACP embeds with Army units on special warfare operations. The Air Force said technological advances mean fewer airmen are needed for this work.
Maj. Gen. Rich Neely is the adjutant general of Illinois and commander of the Illinois National Guard. He said he discussed potential new missions for the wing in a conversation earlier this month with Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, the director of the Air National Guard.
The Illinois National Guard and National Guard Bureau are looking at ways to align additional force structure with the 182nd Airlift Wing's Air Mobility Command. That includes missions like airlifts, air refuelings, aeromedical evacuations, and air mobility support around the world.
Around 1,140 personnel are currently assigned to the 182nd Airlift Wing, with 1,230 authorized. Brig. Gen. Dan McDonough, commander of the Illinois Air National Guard, said he'll work to retain the 210 airmen affected by the decommissioning.
Ballard said plans are to maintain the current count of 108,000 airmen across the Air National Guard. He said the new mission assignment announcement will probably happen during the next program objective memorandum cycle.