Latest News from the Virginia National Guard
  • CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Nearly 50 senior enlisted Soldiers from around the Virginia Army National Guard completed a two-day senior leader Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention course Aug. 28-29, 2014, at Camp Pendleton, Va. The purpose of the senior leader NCO SHARP training was to inform senior leaders on current changes within the Department of Defense Instruction Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Training focused on leaders’ role in a sexual assault case, current changes within the DoDI and victim care. The training also increased their knowledge of the importance of properly handling a sexual assault case and reinforced the point that the victim remains the number one priority. Command sergeants major, sergeants major and first sergeants from around the […]

    Va. Guard senior enlisted Soldiers attend SHARP training

    CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Nearly 50 senior enlisted Soldiers from around the Virginia Army National Guard completed a two-day senior leader Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention course Aug. 28-29, 2014, at Camp Pendleton, Va. The purpose of the senior leader NCO SHARP training was to inform senior leaders on current changes within the Department of Defense Instruction Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Training focused on leaders’ role in a sexual assault case, current changes within the DoDI and victim care. The training also increased their knowledge of the importance of properly handling a sexual assault case and reinforced the point that the victim remains the number one priority. Command sergeants major, sergeants major and first sergeants from around the […]

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  • RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support Sept. 5, 2014, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. Joining the governor for the signing were members of the cabinet, state senators and delegates from the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Army and Air National Guard senior leaders as well as senior leaders from reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Statement of Support Program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s effort to gain and maintain employer support for the Guard and Reserve and the intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in […]

    Governor signs statement of support for Guard, Reserve

    RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support Sept. 5, 2014, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. Joining the governor for the signing were members of the cabinet, state senators and delegates from the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Army and Air National Guard senior leaders as well as senior leaders from reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Statement of Support Program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s effort to gain and maintain employer support for the Guard and Reserve and the intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in […]

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  • Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. — The Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing Medical Group provided health care at the 52nd Medical Group Family Health Clinic July 6-21, 2014, in Spangdahlem, Germany. The medical group sent 17 Airmen of varying specialties including doctors, nurses, medical technicians, physical therapists, logistic technicians and administrative support to the clinic. The Airmen treated approximately 275 patients and ensured active-duty military members and their families received quality health care this summer. The medical team supported critical shortage areas in the clinic, ensuring continuity of care during the permanent change of station season for active-duty members. The request was a “short notice” tasking, said Col. Brian Preston, 192nd Medical Group commander. “The medical team executed the […]

    192nd Medical Group provides healthcare to Family Health Clinic in Germany

    Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. — The Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing Medical Group provided health care at the 52nd Medical Group Family Health Clinic July 6-21, 2014, in Spangdahlem, Germany. The medical group sent 17 Airmen of varying specialties including doctors, nurses, medical technicians, physical therapists, logistic technicians and administrative support to the clinic. The Airmen treated approximately 275 patients and ensured active-duty military members and their families received quality health care this summer. The medical team supported critical shortage areas in the clinic, ensuring continuity of care during the permanent change of station season for active-duty members. The request was a “short notice” tasking, said Col. Brian Preston, 192nd Medical Group commander. “The medical team executed the […]

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  • DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Twenty-three Airmen and Soldiers of the Virginia National Guard conducted demonstrations and information exchanges with members of the Tajikistani military in late July and August in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in support of the enduring relationship between the Virginia National Guard and the Republic of Tajikistan as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Soldiers covered a variety of topics including reacting to indirect fire; peacekeeping operations; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense operations; combatives; and information assurance techniques. A group of six Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and one Airman from the 192nd Medical Group, 192nd Fighter Wing participated in a seven-day information exchange focused on introducing the Tajikistani military to battery defense, […]

    Va. Guard travels to Tajikistan to share skills, experience

    DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Twenty-three Airmen and Soldiers of the Virginia National Guard conducted demonstrations and information exchanges with members of the Tajikistani military in late July and August in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in support of the enduring relationship between the Virginia National Guard and the Republic of Tajikistan as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Soldiers covered a variety of topics including reacting to indirect fire; peacekeeping operations; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense operations; combatives; and information assurance techniques. A group of six Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and one Airman from the 192nd Medical Group, 192nd Fighter Wing participated in a seven-day information exchange focused on introducing the Tajikistani military to battery defense, […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. –Mobile training teams from the Fort Benning-based Warrior Training Center came to Fort Pickett in August to teach two badge-producing courses; the Air Assault Course, which graduated with 158 Soldiers from approximately 25 states, and the concurrently-conducted Pathfinder Course, starting with 47 Soldiers and graduating 34. The goal of the Air Assault Course is to teach Soldiers air assault operations, sling-load operations and rappelling, and aims to graduate Soldiers able to make maximum use of helicopter assets in training and in combat in order to support their unit operations. The three-phase, 10-day course requires Soldiers to prove themselves physically before the course even officially begins. Soldiers hoping to earn the coveted Air Assault Badge first had to […]

    Warrior Training Center brings Air Assault, Pathfinder to Virginia

    FORT PICKETT, Va. –Mobile training teams from the Fort Benning-based Warrior Training Center came to Fort Pickett in August to teach two badge-producing courses; the Air Assault Course, which graduated with 158 Soldiers from approximately 25 states, and the concurrently-conducted Pathfinder Course, starting with 47 Soldiers and graduating 34. The goal of the Air Assault Course is to teach Soldiers air assault operations, sling-load operations and rappelling, and aims to graduate Soldiers able to make maximum use of helicopter assets in training and in combat in order to support their unit operations. The three-phase, 10-day course requires Soldiers to prove themselves physically before the course even officially begins. Soldiers hoping to earn the coveted Air Assault Badge first had to […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. – Eight of the Virginia National Guard’s top shooters traveled to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., Aug. 21-24, 2014, to compete in a regional marksmanship competition. The Soldiers, making up two teams, took both first and second place in the overall team events, beating out marksmanship teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware for the top spots. “I’ve always viewed marksmanship as the primary skill of any Soldier,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Joel Kliesen, assistant marksmanship coordinator for the state. “To have any value at all, training must be ongoing and competition is one way to do that.” The first place regional marksmanship team included Sgt. Steven Fletchter, assigned to the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry […]

    Virginia dominates at regional marksmanship match

    SANDSTON, Va. – Eight of the Virginia National Guard’s top shooters traveled to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., Aug. 21-24, 2014, to compete in a regional marksmanship competition. The Soldiers, making up two teams, took both first and second place in the overall team events, beating out marksmanship teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware for the top spots. “I’ve always viewed marksmanship as the primary skill of any Soldier,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Joel Kliesen, assistant marksmanship coordinator for the state. “To have any value at all, training must be ongoing and competition is one way to do that.” The first place regional marksmanship team included Sgt. Steven Fletchter, assigned to the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. – Air traffic controllers at the Blackstone Army Airfield put their new CM-300 radios to the test Sept. 4, 2014, during a planned parachute training exercise. “We’ve been able to replace some antiquated analog radio technology with updated digital radios,” said Jeffery Olson, air traffic controller. According to General Dynamics, the CM-300 air traffic control radio is one of the first radio systems designed to support voice over internet protocol local standards and can support an unlimited number of radios from one location. Standardized radio reduces costs and increases flexibility with existing radio equipment. The radio systems have the capability to reach VHF 25kHz AM and 8.33kHZ frequency channel spacing and wideband VHF 112-150 MHz. UHF reaches 225-399.975 MHz […]

    Air traffic controllers support air drop with new radios

    FORT PICKETT, Va. – Air traffic controllers at the Blackstone Army Airfield put their new CM-300 radios to the test Sept. 4, 2014, during a planned parachute training exercise. “We’ve been able to replace some antiquated analog radio technology with updated digital radios,” said Jeffery Olson, air traffic controller. According to General Dynamics, the CM-300 air traffic control radio is one of the first radio systems designed to support voice over internet protocol local standards and can support an unlimited number of radios from one location. Standardized radio reduces costs and increases flexibility with existing radio equipment. The radio systems have the capability to reach VHF 25kHz AM and 8.33kHZ frequency channel spacing and wideband VHF 112-150 MHz. UHF reaches 225-399.975 MHz […]

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  • SANDSTON, Va. — Col. Walter L. Mercer will be promoted to brigadier general and take command of the Virginia Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner effective Oct. 1, 2014, according to an announcement made Sept. 3, 2014, by Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Ortner will succeed William R. Phillips, II, as the Deputy Commanding General of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division . Phillips will retire, as will Brig. Gen. Janice G. Igou, who currently serves as the Virginia National Guard Director of Interagency Operations. “Bill Phillips and Janice Igou both served Virginia and our nation in a stellar fashion,” Williams said. “Each made significant contributions to Virginia National Guard domestic and […]

    Mercer to command Va. Army Guard, Ortner named 29th ID deputy commander

    SANDSTON, Va. — Col. Walter L. Mercer will be promoted to brigadier general and take command of the Virginia Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner effective Oct. 1, 2014, according to an announcement made Sept. 3, 2014, by Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Ortner will succeed William R. Phillips, II, as the Deputy Commanding General of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division . Phillips will retire, as will Brig. Gen. Janice G. Igou, who currently serves as the Virginia National Guard Director of Interagency Operations. “Bill Phillips and Janice Igou both served Virginia and our nation in a stellar fashion,” Williams said. “Each made significant contributions to Virginia National Guard domestic and […]

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  • Labor Day officially is a celebration of the American worker and the contributions they have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. But the holiday weekend is also the seen as the end of summer and an opportunity for family and friends to gather and celebrate. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend, but it is always important to keep safety in mind: - Privately owned vehicle accidents are the great threat to our safety. If you get in your car to go anywhere, always remember to wear your seat belt. If you are traveling a long distance, make sure you have conducted a maintenance check prior to departure. You should also have a clear plan […]

    Adjutant General’s Labor Day Safety Message

    Labor Day officially is a celebration of the American worker and the contributions they have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. But the holiday weekend is also the seen as the end of summer and an opportunity for family and friends to gather and celebrate. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend, but it is always important to keep safety in mind: - Privately owned vehicle accidents are the great threat to our safety. If you get in your car to go anywhere, always remember to wear your seat belt. If you are traveling a long distance, make sure you have conducted a maintenance check prior to departure. You should also have a clear plan […]

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  • DEERFIELD, Va. — Massachusetts National Guard officials confirmed late in the day Aug. 28, 2014, that the pilot of an F-15C Eagle that crashed in remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va., was fatally injured in the crash. Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen joined a multi-agency search effort immediately after the Aug. 27 crash with aerial search and rescue by Lakota and Black Hawk helicopters. Soldiers and Airmen from the Fort Pickett-based 34th Civil Support Team provided communications and incident management assistance and additional Guard personnel coordinated the overall aviation operation. “Today was a tough day for the Massachusetts National Air Guard as we learned we lost great American, a warrior, a leader, and most importantly, a family member,” said […]

    Search effort ends after Mass. Guard F-15C crash in Virginia

    DEERFIELD, Va. — Massachusetts National Guard officials confirmed late in the day Aug. 28, 2014, that the pilot of an F-15C Eagle that crashed in remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va., was fatally injured in the crash. Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen joined a multi-agency search effort immediately after the Aug. 27 crash with aerial search and rescue by Lakota and Black Hawk helicopters. Soldiers and Airmen from the Fort Pickett-based 34th Civil Support Team provided communications and incident management assistance and additional Guard personnel coordinated the overall aviation operation. “Today was a tough day for the Massachusetts National Air Guard as we learned we lost great American, a warrior, a leader, and most importantly, a family member,” said […]

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  • FORT PICKETT, Va. – Col. Thomas Morgan took command of the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute from Col. Douglas Messner Aug. 24, 2014, at a ceremony held at Fort Pickett, Va. Brig. Gen. Steven T. Scott, the Assistant Adjutant General for Support, presided over the guidon exchange that signified the transfer of command from Messner to Morgan. “This is indeed a special day for the Regiment and in the careers of these two outstanding officers,” Scott said. “We say farewell and thank you to Col. Doug Messner as he gives up the reigns and moves on to his next challenge and we welcome Col. Thom Morgan as he assumes the mantel of commander and anticipates all the joys […]

    183rd RTI welcomes new commander

    FORT PICKETT, Va. – Col. Thomas Morgan took command of the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute from Col. Douglas Messner Aug. 24, 2014, at a ceremony held at Fort Pickett, Va. Brig. Gen. Steven T. Scott, the Assistant Adjutant General for Support, presided over the guidon exchange that signified the transfer of command from Messner to Morgan. “This is indeed a special day for the Regiment and in the careers of these two outstanding officers,” Scott said. “We say farewell and thank you to Col. Doug Messner as he gives up the reigns and moves on to his next challenge and we welcome Col. Thom Morgan as he assumes the mantel of commander and anticipates all the joys […]

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  • PETERSBURG, Va. – Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen demolished abandoned, decrepit and drug-trade related houses Aug. 18-29, 2014, in Petersburg, Va., as part of Operation Renew, a program that provides National Guard engineer assets to assist in reclaiming control of known drug trafficking areas by destroying structures with connections to the local drug trade. Approximately 25 Soldiers from the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion and Airmen from the Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron participated in this year’s demolition of seven structures. “This is certainly a great day for the city of Petersburg,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “We have 25 Soldiers and Airmen that are part of this event and […]

    Va. Guard engineers destroy derelict and dangerous structures

    PETERSBURG, Va. – Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen demolished abandoned, decrepit and drug-trade related houses Aug. 18-29, 2014, in Petersburg, Va., as part of Operation Renew, a program that provides National Guard engineer assets to assist in reclaiming control of known drug trafficking areas by destroying structures with connections to the local drug trade. Approximately 25 Soldiers from the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion and Airmen from the Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron participated in this year’s demolition of seven structures. “This is certainly a great day for the city of Petersburg,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “We have 25 Soldiers and Airmen that are part of this event and […]

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