The Illinois National Guard is putting a halt to the playing of online 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,” Leighton said. “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.”
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.