Illinois National Guard opens new $64.6M aviation facility

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KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) _ The Illinois National Guard has opened a new aviation facility and readiness center.

The $64.6 million Army Aviation Support Facility in Kankakee is more than 185,000 square feet (17,187 square meters). It includes maintenance hangers, flight facilities, classrooms, flight simulators and a medical clinic.

Major General Richard Hayes is the Illinois National Guard adjutant general. He says the facility will help modernize training and give the guard room to grow.

Three units from Chicago Midway Armory will be moved to the facility about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of Chicago. That includes more than 200 Army National Guard soldiers and about 40 fulltime employees. Ten UH-60 Blackhawks also will make the move.

The project was paid for with about $53 million in federal funds and $12 million in state money.

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