Hometown Military News: July 18, 2016

Jason Osberg
Lt. Col. Jason Osberg of Champaign, incoming commander of Illinois’ 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment, based in Peoria, Illinois, addresses the Soldiers and families in attendance during the 106th’s change of command ceremony at Army Aviation Support Facility #3 in Peoria, Illinois, July 9. Osberg took command from Lt. Col. Christopher McIntyre, of Cantrall, Illinois, who will be retiring after a 32-year career as an Army aviator. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st. Class Bryan Spreitzer, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs)

Hometown Military News: July 18, 2016:

No Pokémon Go allowed

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois National Guard is putting a halt to the playing of internet augmented reality games, including Pokemon Go, on any of its Army National Guard, Air National Guard or Illinois Department of Military Affairs properties and will not allow the public on its facilities to play these games.

“The Illinois National Guard would like to remind the public that Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Illinois Department of Military Affairs properties are secure military facilities,” said Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, the Illinois National Guard public affairs director. “Due to this and the potential security threat, the Guard will not be allowing the public on its facilities to play these games.”

Several people have showed up at the gates of Illinois National Guard facilities and training centers throughout the state asking for access to play Pokemon Go.

“We just can’t allow unfettered access to our facilities. It is a safety and force protection issue,” said Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, the Illinois National Guard public affairs director. “We realize the public is having a lot of fun playing internet augmented reality games. However, it represents a force protection issue to allow access to our facilities to people who do not have an official reason to be there.”

The Illinois National Guard is also taking steps to have its facilities removed as “PokeStops” and “Pokemon Gyms” sites.

“This isn’t something we asked for and it is creating safety issues for our personnel,” Leighton said.

Similarly the Illinois National Guard is forbidding its soldiers and airmen, as well as federal and state employees from playing internet augmented reality games on Illinois National Guard state or federal property including any of its training areas, readiness centers, air bases, and the Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy in Rantoul.

“If our troops or civilian employees play the games on our property, they are drawing people off-base to our secured properties. That is the crowd-sourcing nature of these games. We don’t want to encourage people to go unto our property when they have no official reason to be there,” Leighton said.

The one exception is the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield, which will allow people on the property to play internet augmented reality games, but only during those hours when the museum is open to the general public.

Illinois Army Guard aviation battalion welcomes new commander

PEORIA – The Illinois Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment based in Peoria welcomed its new commander and bid farewell to its previous commander during a change of command ceremony at Army Aviation Support Facility No. 3 in Peoria on June 9.

Lt. Col. Jason Osberg of Champaign took command from Lt. Col. Christopher McIntyre of Cantrall. McIntyre had commanded the 106th since 2014. Osberg thanked senior leadership in attendance for the opportunity to take command of the battalion and said he was excited to return to a battalion that has done so many good things.

“I was a member of this battalion for 23 years before I left,” said Osberg. “Getting back here is really nice and I really look forward to it.”

Osberg said he’s known the outgoing commander for nearly his entire career and enjoyed working with him and wished him well in the future.

“It’s kind of bittersweet taking the battalion from Chris,” said Osberg. “I’m sure we’ll cross paths again sometime.”

McIntyre, who will be retiring after a 32-year career, said he was very proud to have served as the 106th’s commander and was grateful to depart on a positive note.

“I’m not going to use the same cliché that it’s bittersweet,” said McIntyre. “I think it’s the perfect culmination to a 32-year career. I’ve finished my career in the same hangar that my dad did when he was in the (Illinois Air National Guard’s) 182nd Fighter Wing.”

McIntyre said that the battalion had come a long way since the 1990s and had accomplished a lot.

“Just seeing the success of the organization as a whole makes you extremely proud of them, just like your family and your kids,” said McIntyre. “It’s something you’re always going to hold and cherish.”

Civilians get a glimpse of the life of a soldier

SPRINGFIELD – Members of Illinois Joining Forces and Illinois communities participated in “Military Immersion” training, July 7-8 at Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles.

The participants traveled to MTC and experienced military life, interacted with service members and learned about the military. They were also shown military equipment, military vehicles and given new insight into how to best help and support service members, veterans, and their families.

Forty-two civilians in professions ranging from lawyers to health care providers participated in the two day event.

“These are people who are serving veterans every day, but don’t necessarily know what the military experience is all about,” said Erica Jefferies of Chicago, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jefferies said this event provides a little taste of the military life.

“This event has been fantastic and the Chinook flight at the end was a great finale,” said Mike Bauer of Clarendon Hills with Ulta Beauty in Bolingbrook. “This was a great learning experience for me and the other members of the Ulta logistical team today.”

Staff Sgt. Mark Brienen of Joliet with G Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion based in Joliet said the positive feedback from the civilians continued throughout the training and they all took something away from the experience.

“There are common misconceptions about the military in the civilian population,” said Brienen. “It’s good for the civilians to be able to see how we operate and get a glimpse into our everyday life.”

“All this training gives these employers, college staff members, private business owners and members of various organizations a good understanding of what we do during training,” said 1st Sgt.

Johnny O’brien of Amboy with G Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion based in Joliet.

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