CHICAGO - Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today helped honor and recognize the nearly 300 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers being mobilized to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Members from Chicago’s 34th Division Sustainment Brigade will provide intra-theater logistics support operations, with the 433rd Signal Company providing operational command, communication computer, intelligence, surveillance and recon signal system networks to support the Sustainment Brigade. Duckworth spoke at the mobilization ceremony, which also included remarks from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, U.S. Representative Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03) and Illinois National Guard Assistant Adjutant General Major General Rodney Boyd. Photos from today’s event are available on the Senator’s website.

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“All of you today are taking on an important responsibility as you answer the call of service and duty” Duckworth said. “We are in awe of your bravery and thankful for your commitment to our country. I know today you’re likely feeling a range of emotions, but above all, I hope today you feel proud. Proud that you’ve chosen this path of service. Proud of the work you have ahead of you. And proud of your country.”

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) directs and enables military operations and activities with allies and partners throughout the Middle East, from Northeast Africa to Central and South Asia, to increase regional security and stability in support of enduring U.S. interests. Operation Spartan Shield (OSS) is a CENTCOM operation to maintain a U.S. military posture in the region sufficient to strengthen defense relationships and build partner capacity.

Duckworth is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She is an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Reserved Forces for 23 years, including the Illinois Army National Guard, before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

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