SANDSTON, Va. — More than 160 Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team mobilized on state active duty March 6, 2013, in the Central Virginia, Northern Virginia and Shenandoah Valley areas of Virginia in direct support to the Virginia State Police and other state and local emergency response agencies. Before they were released March 7, Virginia Guard personnel assisted with debris reduction, rescuing motorists stranded in heavy snow, clearing a disabled vehicle and conducting incident awareness assessment patrols.
“On short notice, the Virginia National Guard responded quickly when called upon by the state,” said Col. James Ring, Virginia National Guard director of joint operations. “The Virginia National Guard accomplished all missions assigned and had forces on duty within hours of notification in direct support of the State Police and other emergency response agencies.”
While on duty, Virginia Guard personnel conducted the following operations:
- In the Charlottesville area, assisted Virginia State Police and VDOT in clearing an abandoned vehicle on Route 664 near Nellysford and assisted Virginia State Police in removing debris along I-64 from the Albemarle County line to the Fluvanna County line.
- In the Luray area, transported Virginia State Police troopers through heavy snow.
- In the Harrisonburg area, assisted Virginia State Police with debris clearing from secondary and tertiary roads.
- In the Stanley area, assisted a VDOT plow truck stuck on the roadside and, in support of Page County emergency management, assisted a family of three (mother, father and 5-year-old child) stranded in their car by the snow with transportation to link up with family members.
- In the Winchester and Leesburg areas, conducted incident awareness assessment patrols to evaluate road conditions, check for stranded motorists and provide situational updates to VSP and the Va. Guard Joint Operations Center.
- Members of the Virginia Defense Force deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams to provide mission command and communications support to the 116th at several locations.
“Virginia National Guard members remain ready to employ in support of the call of the Governor or the nation during emergency response operations,” Ring said. “Whether deployed overseas or serving in support of emergency responders at home, the National Guard remains a ready force.”