Governor McDonnell visits Fort Pickett and JBLE

Col. Doug Messner, commander of the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute, briefs Governor Bob McDonnell on the organization's training capabilities Aug. 11, 2013, during the Governor's "This Commonwealth of Opportunity" statewide tour. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Col. Doug Messner, commander of the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute, briefs Governor Bob McDonnell on the organization’s training capabilities Aug. 11, 2013, during the Governor’s “This Commonwealth of Opportunity” statewide tour. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Governor Bob McDonnell visited Fort Pickett Aug. 11, 2013, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis Aug. 13 to thank Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen for their service to both commonwealth and country and learn more about the Guard’s capabilities during the “This Commonwealth of Opportunity” statewide tour. At Fort Pickett, he saw firsthand some of the facilities that make Fort Pickett one of the premier military and public safety training destinations on the East Coast, and he received a briefing on the capabilities of the F-22 Raptor and the 192d Intelligence Squadron where he received a mission briefing on the Distributed Ground System capabilities during his visit to JBLE.

“It is a remarkable operation,” McDonnell said after his tour of Fort Pickett.

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker and Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, joined McDonnell on the tours of both facilities.

McDonnell recently visited Afghanistan and met with Soldiers from the Va. Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company.

Fort Pickett is approximately 41,000 acres and operated by the Virginia National Guard and features a combination of open and wooded terrain maneuver areas and 21 ranges capable of supporting almost any weapons system in the U. S. Army inventory. In addition, the installation has a rail spur and C-17 capable airfield as well as barracks to support more than 5,000 personnel and morale, welfare and recreation facilities including a gym, post exchange and leisure center.

McDonnell also visited the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site at Fort Pickett where more than 120 personnel assigned provide maintenance support on more than 500 combat vehicles and other equipment positioned at Fort Pickett including M1A1 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, howitzers and a variety of other tracked and wheeled vehicles. In addition to Virginia National Guard vehicles, MATES personnel maintain equipment assigned to the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Army National Guard that is drawn when units from those states come to Fort Pickett for training. In addition to vehicle maintenance shops, MATES also contains supply areas and a variety of repair shops including vehicle painting, body work, communications equipment and small arms.

The final stop on his tour of Fort Pickett was 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute where Col. Doug Messner, commander of the 183rd RTI, briefed McDonnell on the organization’s training capabilities. He toured the RTI’s state-of-the-art training center where Virginia Guard personnel teach infantry, military police and transportation military occupational skills as well as conduct commissioning programs for officers and warrant officers. The education facilities and living quarters for personnel conducting training at RTI were dramatically improved with a new education complex completed in December 2010 and barracks facilities completed in September 2012 at a total cost of $57 million.

The 192nd Fighter Wing is a classic associate wing with more than 900 Airmen serving across five missions: F-22 operations and maintenance, global intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, global logistics support, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package or CERFP and base operating support. The 192nd achieves its mission via Total Force Integration with the 1st Fighter Wing, 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing and the 735th Supply Chain Operations Group.

The 192nd’s federal mission is to train, equip, and deploy Airmen ready to fly, fight, and win; to provide continuous imagery analysis and intelligence support and deliver fighter/bomber MICAP supplies worldwide. Their state mission is aligned to support unit federal missions and capabilities, Defense Security Cooperation Agency based teams and responding to the needs of the Governor and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Governor Bob McDonnell stands with Airmen from the 192d Fighter Wing in front of an F-22 Raptor at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Aug. 13, 2013, during his "This Commonwealth of Opportunity" statewide tour.  (Photo by Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Governor Bob McDonnell stands with Airmen from the 192d Fighter Wing in front of an F-22 Raptor at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Aug. 13, 2013, during his “This Commonwealth of Opportunity” statewide tour. (Photo by Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

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View photos of the visit to Langley Air Force Base on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.592073027515584.1073741829.111055992283959

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