Featured Stories
  • FORT PICKETT, Virginia — The Virginia National Guard Historical Collection and archeological collection both moved into a new building with some help from members of the Virginia Defense Force March 28-31, 2016, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The historical collection includes documents, clothing, equipment and other artifacts which cover the history of the Virginia National Guard. The archeological collection includes broken debitage, manufactured stone tools and ceramic pottery found on Fort Pickett. The new building will provide better protection for the items as well as the opportunity to display parts of the collection for the public. “The collection is going to be in pretty good shape now that we have this new facility,” said Dr. Maria Christina Mairena, curator for the […]

    Historical, archaeological archives move into new digs at Fort Pickett

    FORT PICKETT, Virginia — The Virginia National Guard Historical Collection and archeological collection both moved into a new building with some help from members of the Virginia Defense Force March 28-31, 2016, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The historical collection includes documents, clothing, equipment and other artifacts which cover the history of the Virginia National Guard. The archeological collection includes broken debitage, manufactured stone tools and ceramic pottery found on Fort Pickett. The new building will provide better protection for the items as well as the opportunity to display parts of the collection for the public. “The collection is going to be in pretty good shape now that we have this new facility,” said Dr. Maria Christina Mairena, curator for the […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. – More than 180 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, High Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, or CERFP, as well as members of the Virginia Defense Force, conducted a simulation exercise April 16, 2016, in Richmond, Virginia, to test the unit’s capabilities to assist in the emergency response for a simulated structure collapse and chemical spill. The CERFP (pronounced “surf-p”) performs tasks associated with consequence management, urban search and rescue, mass causality decontamination, medical triage and stabilization and human remains recovery. “We met all of the training goals and then some as we head towards more advanced types of training that we need to give to our CERFP team,” said Lt. […]

    Va. National Guard special response force conducts exercise

    SANDSTON, Va. – More than 180 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, High Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, or CERFP, as well as members of the Virginia Defense Force, conducted a simulation exercise April 16, 2016, in Richmond, Virginia, to test the unit’s capabilities to assist in the emergency response for a simulated structure collapse and chemical spill. The CERFP (pronounced “surf-p”) performs tasks associated with consequence management, urban search and rescue, mass causality decontamination, medical triage and stabilization and human remains recovery. “We met all of the training goals and then some as we head towards more advanced types of training that we need to give to our CERFP team,” said Lt. […]

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Latest News from the Virginia National Guard
  • SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard has activated approximately 20 Soldiers with Humvees and light/medium tactical trucks to assist with flood response operations after the Governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency Thursday night. The alert notification was made in the early hours of June 24, 2016, and the Soldiers and vehicles expected to be in place and ready to assist local law enforcement and emergency response organizations Alleghany and Botetourt counties by late morning. “The Virginia Department of Emergency Management contacted us about providing assistance, so we are moving personnel and vehicles in order to rapidly respond if needed,” said Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, director of the joint staff for the Virginia National Guard. Expected missions […]

    Va. National Guard personnel to assist flood response operations in Alleghany and Botetourt counties

    SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard has activated approximately 20 Soldiers with Humvees and light/medium tactical trucks to assist with flood response operations after the Governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency Thursday night. The alert notification was made in the early hours of June 24, 2016, and the Soldiers and vehicles expected to be in place and ready to assist local law enforcement and emergency response organizations Alleghany and Botetourt counties by late morning. “The Virginia Department of Emergency Management contacted us about providing assistance, so we are moving personnel and vehicles in order to rapidly respond if needed,” said Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, director of the joint staff for the Virginia National Guard. Expected missions […]

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  • JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The 185th Cyber Operations Squadron, the latest addition to the 192nd Fighter Wing Operations Group, is up and running. Director of Operations Maj. Nathan Brown is working hard to staff this new squadron because with a home-station mobilization on the horizon for the fall of 2018, there is no time to waste. “I’m looking for people who have the aptitude and desire to learn about cyber security. I would love for them to have experience as well, but we can train them up as long as the aptitude and desire are there,” said Brown. The mission for this cyber protection team will be to protect and defend any Department of Defense networks or weapons systems […]

    185th Cyber Operations Squadron actively seeking interested officers, enlisted

    JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The 185th Cyber Operations Squadron, the latest addition to the 192nd Fighter Wing Operations Group, is up and running. Director of Operations Maj. Nathan Brown is working hard to staff this new squadron because with a home-station mobilization on the horizon for the fall of 2018, there is no time to waste. “I’m looking for people who have the aptitude and desire to learn about cyber security. I would love for them to have experience as well, but we can train them up as long as the aptitude and desire are there,” said Brown. The mission for this cyber protection team will be to protect and defend any Department of Defense networks or weapons systems […]

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  • FORT BELVOIR, Virginia — Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division, led a group of 13 Virginia National Guard Soldiers to France for the June 6, 2016, commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy. “I think one of the greatest things about being in Normandy as a 29th ID Soldier is the reaction from the people of Normandy to the 29th patch, especially in Vierville and Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer,” said Ortner, who was in Normandy as the 29th ID commander for the first time. He had previously visited in a civilian capacity. “The love, the appreciation, the respect they show to the Soldiers of the 29th is unbelievable.” On June 6, 1944, more […]

    29th ID Soldiers return to France for 72nd commemoration of D-Day

    FORT BELVOIR, Virginia — Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division, led a group of 13 Virginia National Guard Soldiers to France for the June 6, 2016, commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy. “I think one of the greatest things about being in Normandy as a 29th ID Soldier is the reaction from the people of Normandy to the 29th patch, especially in Vierville and Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer,” said Ortner, who was in Normandy as the 29th ID commander for the first time. He had previously visited in a civilian capacity. “The love, the appreciation, the respect they show to the Soldiers of the 29th is unbelievable.” On June 6, 1944, more […]

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  • JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — The Virginia Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing welcomed Lt. Col. Darren “Whip” Gray, former Director of Operations of the 149th Fighter Squadron, as the new 149th Fighter Squadron commander during a change of command ceremony June 12, 2016 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Gray took command of the 149th Fighter Squadron from Lt. Col. D. Micah “Zeus” Fesler. Fesler served as commander of the 149th Fighter Squadron from July, 2014, to June, 2016. During the ceremony, 192nd Operations Group Commander Colonel Thomas P. “Bear” McAtee praised Fesler’s leadership and noted he brought the Airmen of the 149th Fighter Squadron through the first combat use of the F-22 during Operation Inherent Resolve. “When you came […]

    149th Fighter Squadron welcomes new commander

    JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — The Virginia Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing welcomed Lt. Col. Darren “Whip” Gray, former Director of Operations of the 149th Fighter Squadron, as the new 149th Fighter Squadron commander during a change of command ceremony June 12, 2016 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Gray took command of the 149th Fighter Squadron from Lt. Col. D. Micah “Zeus” Fesler. Fesler served as commander of the 149th Fighter Squadron from July, 2014, to June, 2016. During the ceremony, 192nd Operations Group Commander Colonel Thomas P. “Bear” McAtee praised Fesler’s leadership and noted he brought the Airmen of the 149th Fighter Squadron through the first combat use of the F-22 during Operation Inherent Resolve. “When you came […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe joins a group of Virginia Senators and Delegates on a tour of the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center June 10, 2016, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The tour included firing ranges, visiting Soldiers from the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducting annual training, a tasty MRE lunch and an opportunity to rappel down the 40-foot tower on the Air Assault Course. “A day at Fort Pickett with the great troops of the Virginia National Guard was invaluable to me in my role as co-chair of the General Assembly Military & Veterans Caucus and in my role as a member of the House Appropriations Committee,” said Delegate Richard Anderson. “The best part, […]

    Governor, state legislators visit Fort Pickett

    FORT PICKETT, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe joins a group of Virginia Senators and Delegates on a tour of the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center June 10, 2016, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The tour included firing ranges, visiting Soldiers from the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducting annual training, a tasty MRE lunch and an opportunity to rappel down the 40-foot tower on the Air Assault Course. “A day at Fort Pickett with the great troops of the Virginia National Guard was invaluable to me in my role as co-chair of the General Assembly Military & Veterans Caucus and in my role as a member of the House Appropriations Committee,” said Delegate Richard Anderson. “The best part, […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. — Civilian business leaders learn about some of the capabilities of the Virignia National Guard during an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift, June 8, 2016, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Aviation crews from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 91st Troop Command transported the employers from Roanoke and Richmond to Fort Pickett where they were greeted by Brig. Gen. Lapthe C. Flora, Assistant Adjutant General – Strategic Initiatives, and Lt. Col. Preston Scott, Fort Pickett Garrison commander, then visited several units conducting two weeks of annual training. “National Guard members make great employees for any company of any size,” Flora said. “They are the best value for employers because Soldiers and Airmen received […]

    ESGR Boss Lift brings employers to Fort Pickett

    FORT PICKETT, Va. — Civilian business leaders learn about some of the capabilities of the Virignia National Guard during an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift, June 8, 2016, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Aviation crews from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 91st Troop Command transported the employers from Roanoke and Richmond to Fort Pickett where they were greeted by Brig. Gen. Lapthe C. Flora, Assistant Adjutant General – Strategic Initiatives, and Lt. Col. Preston Scott, Fort Pickett Garrison commander, then visited several units conducting two weeks of annual training. “National Guard members make great employees for any company of any size,” Flora said. “They are the best value for employers because Soldiers and Airmen received […]

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  • BEDFORD, Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers in France, Virginia and multiple locations in the Central Command area of operations commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy June 6, 2016, at events that paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on D-Day and honored those who lived to fight another day. Senior leaders represented the Virginia Guard at ceremonies, Soldiers serving on federal active duty made time in their busy mission schedules to observe the somber occasion and the 29th Division Band provided ceremonial music at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, commander of the 29th Infantry Division, spoke during the 29th Infantry Division memorial ceremony at Omaha Beach in […]

    Virginia Soldiers around the world honor D-Day veterans on 72nd anniversary

    BEDFORD, Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers in France, Virginia and multiple locations in the Central Command area of operations commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy June 6, 2016, at events that paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on D-Day and honored those who lived to fight another day. Senior leaders represented the Virginia Guard at ceremonies, Soldiers serving on federal active duty made time in their busy mission schedules to observe the somber occasion and the 29th Division Band provided ceremonial music at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, commander of the 29th Infantry Division, spoke during the 29th Infantry Division memorial ceremony at Omaha Beach in […]

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  • BEDFORD, Va. — Col. Lapthe C. Flora was promoted to brigadier general at the National D-Day Memorial June 6, 2016, in Bedford, Virginia. Flora, a native of Saigon, is the first Vietnamese boat person to be promoted to general officer in the United State Army and the second of Vietnamese descent. He most recently served as the commander of the Virginia National GuardÕs Bowling Green-based 91st Troop Command and will serve as the Assistant Adjutant General for Strategic Initiatives. Flora’s wife Thuy and daughter Christine pinned on Flora’s new rank, and Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, administered the auth of office. “I am keenly aware of the historical significance of today’s ceremony and am deeply […]

    Flora promoted to brigadier general

    BEDFORD, Va. — Col. Lapthe C. Flora was promoted to brigadier general at the National D-Day Memorial June 6, 2016, in Bedford, Virginia. Flora, a native of Saigon, is the first Vietnamese boat person to be promoted to general officer in the United State Army and the second of Vietnamese descent. He most recently served as the commander of the Virginia National GuardÕs Bowling Green-based 91st Troop Command and will serve as the Assistant Adjutant General for Strategic Initiatives. Flora’s wife Thuy and daughter Christine pinned on Flora’s new rank, and Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, administered the auth of office. “I am keenly aware of the historical significance of today’s ceremony and am deeply […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Col. Lapthe C. Flora will be promoted to brigadier general at 9:30 a.m. at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. Flora, a native of Saigon, will be the first Vietnamese boat person to be promoted to general officer in the United State Army and the second of Vietnamese descent. He most recently served as the commander of the Virginia National Guard’s Bowling Green-based 91st Troop Command and will serve as the Assistant Adjutant General for Strategic Initiatives. Following the Communist capture of Saigon in 1975, Flora and his brothers fled the city to avoid being drafted in to the North Vietnamese military. He spent more than three years in the jungle, then fled by boat to […]

    Va. National Guard officer to be promoted to brigadier general June 6 at D-Day Memorial in Bedford

    SANDSTON, Va. — Col. Lapthe C. Flora will be promoted to brigadier general at 9:30 a.m. at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. Flora, a native of Saigon, will be the first Vietnamese boat person to be promoted to general officer in the United State Army and the second of Vietnamese descent. He most recently served as the commander of the Virginia National Guard’s Bowling Green-based 91st Troop Command and will serve as the Assistant Adjutant General for Strategic Initiatives. Following the Communist capture of Saigon in 1975, Flora and his brothers fled the city to avoid being drafted in to the North Vietnamese military. He spent more than three years in the jungle, then fled by boat to […]

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  • RICHMOND, Va. — The service and sacrifice of Virginians from all branches of the Armed Forces who gave their lives in service to the United States of America were remembered May 30, 2016, at ceremonies across Virginia including the 2016 Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Virginia, and the Hanover County Veterans Memorial. “It is a great honor to be with you today and play a part in these ceremonies where we pay tribute and show our respect to those who served their nation in uniform and sacrificed all to ensure we remain a free people,” said retired U.S. Navy Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr., Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, at the Virginia […]

    Memorial Day ceremonies honor Virginia’s fallen warriors

    RICHMOND, Va. — The service and sacrifice of Virginians from all branches of the Armed Forces who gave their lives in service to the United States of America were remembered May 30, 2016, at ceremonies across Virginia including the 2016 Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Virginia, and the Hanover County Veterans Memorial. “It is a great honor to be with you today and play a part in these ceremonies where we pay tribute and show our respect to those who served their nation in uniform and sacrificed all to ensure we remain a free people,” said retired U.S. Navy Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr., Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, at the Virginia […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — A departure ceremony for two Virginia National Guard Sandston-based aviation units held May 27, 2016, marked the start of their federal active duty mission. Senior leaders from state government and the Virginia National Guard joined family members, friends and fellow Soldiers in bidding farewell to the Soldiers. Approximately 40 Soldiers each assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, and Detachment 2, Company B, 777th Aviation Support Battalion, are scheduled to begin serving on federal active duty in early June 2016. The units will be based in Kuwait and provide rotary wing aviation and aviation maintenance support to the U. S. Central Command area of operations. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and […]

    Departure ceremony sends off Sandston-based aviation units

    SANDSTON, Va. — A departure ceremony for two Virginia National Guard Sandston-based aviation units held May 27, 2016, marked the start of their federal active duty mission. Senior leaders from state government and the Virginia National Guard joined family members, friends and fellow Soldiers in bidding farewell to the Soldiers. Approximately 40 Soldiers each assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, and Detachment 2, Company B, 777th Aviation Support Battalion, are scheduled to begin serving on federal active duty in early June 2016. The units will be based in Kuwait and provide rotary wing aviation and aviation maintenance support to the U. S. Central Command area of operations. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and […]

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  • Memorial Day is an important time for us to pause and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation. I encourage everyone to make time on May 30 to join in a community ceremony, take a personal moment of silence or encourage a group of friends and family to honor our fallen comrades. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, and it was first observed on May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery with the decorating of graves of fallen Civil War soldiers and continued through the years. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day on the last Monday in May a national holiday. Many of those honored in 1868 served in their state militias, and […]

    Adjutant General’s 2016 Memorial Day Message

    Memorial Day is an important time for us to pause and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation. I encourage everyone to make time on May 30 to join in a community ceremony, take a personal moment of silence or encourage a group of friends and family to honor our fallen comrades. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, and it was first observed on May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery with the decorating of graves of fallen Civil War soldiers and continued through the years. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day on the last Monday in May a national holiday. Many of those honored in 1868 served in their state militias, and […]

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