The Illinois Army National Guard has received notification that approximately 400 Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment will deploy to Afghanistan in Spring 2020. The 2-130th is headquartered in Marion, with companies in West Frankfort, Effingham, Litchfield and Mt. Vernon.
The soldiers are being mobilized in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. The 130th last mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008/2009, the largest single mobilization of Illinois troops since WWII.
"The Soldiers of the 2-130 have demonstrated their professionalism and skill during several major training exercises over the past few years including at the Joint Readiness Training Center last summer," said Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.
The 2-130th's military history dates back to the early 1700s with the formation of the Militia Companies at the villages of Kaskaskia and Cahokia. The unit has served honorably in the Black Hawk War, Civil War, Spanish American War, Mexican Border War, World War I, World War II, Afghanistan and Iraq. Soldiers with the 130th Infantry Regiment served in Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Spring in 2000/2001.
In 2002, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the unit was deployed to Europe as part of Task Force Santa Fe, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Soldiers with the 130th made history in the summer of 2004, becoming the first United States troops to train in Bulgaria after the previous Soviet Bloc nation was accepted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In January 2005, the 2-130th deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Stateside missions have included federal service during the Korean War and state active duty for flood relief along the Mississippi River in 1993.