EMPORIA, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group has received a mobilization order to enter federal active duty beginning April 1, 2013, according to an announcement made Aug. 13, 2012, by Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia. Long said that approximately 160 Soldiers are scheduled to conduct mobilization training for about 45 to 60 days at Fort Hood, Texas, then deploy to Afghanistan where they are expected to perform the mission of transportation support operations. The mobilization is planned to last 12 months.
FOR THE NEWS MEDIA: Soldiers from the 1710th are currently conducting annual training at Fort Pickett and will be available for interviews at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Please RSVP to Cotton Puryear by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13 if you want to come to Fort Pickett to conduct interviews on Tuesday.
Photos of the Soldiers training at Fort Pickett are available at the link below:
The company is currently trained and organized as a medium cargo transportation company, but they will be trained and equipped for transportation operations using the Army’s Palletized Load System in Afghanistan, explained Capt. Rodney Rhodes, commander of the 1710th.
While headquartered in Emporia, the 1710th is made up of Soldiers from all over the state. Approximately 70 Soldiers are from the Hampton Roads area, about 30 are from the Richmond and Petersburg area, approximately 15 are the Emporia, Franklin and Courtland area, about 10 are from the Northern Virginia area and the other Soldiers are from various locations across the state.
The 1710th Transportation Company last served on active duty in Iraq from May 2008 to February 2009. The unit provided medium lift transportation that moved critical supplies from logistical support areas out to different forward operating bases, traveling supply routes all through Iraq. The unit conducted more than 75 missions, traveled more than 900,000 miles and was evaluated as the best of nine companies in the battalion.
The mobilization orders call for an active-duty period not to exceed 400 days, but the Secretary of Defense can extend tours for operational needs not to exceed 24 months or 730 days. Because the Soldiers are scheduled to spend nine months “boots on the ground,” they will not be authorized to take environmental morale leave, sometimes referred to as R&R leave, because of a recent change in Army policy. The unit commander will still have the option of granting emergency leave and leave for special circumstances, according to Army regulations.
The Virginia National Guard currently has no units mobilized on federal active duty, but there are about 100 Soldiers and Airmen mobilized on an individual basis. Since September 11, 2001, more than 14,000 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized for federal active duty for missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and other locations around the world, as well as for homeland security operations in the United States.
1710th Transportation Company returns from Iraq