SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group has received a mobilization order to enter federal active service for duty in Kuwait as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to an announcement made Nov. 7, 2013, by Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia. Approximately 70 Soldiers will begin serving on federal active duty June 19, 2014.
“I am proud of the Virginia National Guard’s continued service to the Global War on Terror,” Long said. “This is an experienced group of Soldiers, they are well led, and I am confident they will be very successful in accomplishing their mission.”
The Soldiers are scheduled to report to Fort Hood, Texas, for approximately 45- 60 days of mobilization training before deploying. Once they arrive in Kuwait, they will operate as a mission command headquarters with the task of planning and executing combat sustainment support for U.S. and coalition forces in Kuwait and the surrounding region.
The U.S. Army uses the term “sustainment” to describe a wide range of logistics support such as maintenance, food service, fueling, personnel and cargo transportation and medical support.
Most of the Soldiers in the unit are from the Hampton Roads area. About 10 Soldiers are from the Richmond area, approximately 10 are from the Southwest Virginia area, and about 5 are from the Northern Virginia area.
“We’ve been working hard to assemble and train our team in preparation for this deployment,” said Maj. Michael Waterman, the commander of the 529th CSSB. “We’re excited about the challenge of the mission and the opportunity to provide logistics support in Kuwait. We have a very experienced and enthusiastic team and I’m confident we’ll be prepared and will excel in the challenges that we’ll face.”
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.In preparation for its upcoming deployment, the 529th recently conducted training on the military decision making process. The training included a visit from Brig. Gen. Edward M. Daly, deputy chief of staff, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.When the 529th’ last deployed, it reported to the 43rd Sustainment Brigade, where Daly served as the brigade commander.
He traveled to Camp Pendleton on Oct. 31 to speak to the unit about logistics operations, the future of logistics operations and what the unit can and should expect on their deployment.
“I’m an absolute fan of the National Guard,” Daly said. “And I’m a bigger fan of this unit. I’ve served with you before and I’m sure you’re going to do a great job.”
The 529th was formed in December 2006 and is under the command of the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group. While in Virginia, the 529th has command and control of the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, the Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company, the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, and the Virginia Beach-based 1940th and 1945th Contingency Contracting Teams.
About 150 Soldiers from the 1710th Transportation Company are currently on federal active duty and stationed at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan where they are conducting transportation support operations. They mobilized for federal active April 1, 2013, and are scheduled to serve on federal active duty for 12 months.
The Virginia National Guard has approximately 10 Soldiers and Airmen on federal active duty as individuals at various locations across the world.
Two Soldiers from the Fort Pickett-based 134th Chaplain Support Team are scheduled to deploy to Qatar in early 2014 and the four Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 1945th Contingency Contracting Team will deploy to Afghanistan, also early next year.
The 529th CSSB was honored at both the state and national levels earlier this year for its training excellence.
Long presented the 529th with both the Excellence in Training Award and the Superior Unit Award at the Virginia National Guard Officer Association Conference in April.
To earn the Excellence in Training Award, a unit must have 90 percent of all personnel qualified in their military occupational specialty, have 95 percent of all personnel present for annual training or receive constructive credit for AT attendance, maintain monthly drill attendance of 90 percent, have 95 percent of all assigned personnel qualify with their assigned weapon, have 95 percent of all crews qualify on their assigned crew-served weapons, have 90 percent of all assigned personnel pass the Army Physical Fitness Test and pass the Organizational Inspection Program in all training categories.
To earn the Superior Unit Award, a unit must maintain an assigned strength of 95 percent of authorized each month of the training year for which being nominated, maintain monthly drill attendance of 95 percent, attain annual training attendance of 95 percent, have 95 percent of all assigned personnel qualify with their assigned weapon and have 90 percent of all assigned personnel pass the Army Physical Fitness Test.
In September the National Guard Association of the United States presented the 529th CSSB with the Milton A. Reckord Award for training excellence during the 135th NGAUS General Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. NGAUS presents the Reckord Award each year to the Army National Guard battalion that achieves the highest state of readiness in the country. For the Reckord Award, the battalion must have demonstrated superior performance in the areas of personnel strength, retention, duty MOS qualification, individual and crew served weapons qualification, the Army Physical Fitness Test, drill weekend attendance and annual training attendance. The battalion, along with its organic units, must have demonstrated a commitment to the welfare of its members and their families and to its communities during the training year for which being nominated.
This is the second deployment for the 529th. The unit previously deployed in March 2010, when it operated from the remote forward operating base at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan. While there it pioneered logistical support operations as the first U.S. combat support battalion in the area to conduct operations. The battalion was responsible for building an expeditionary life support complex and infrastructure for the entire airbase while providing seamless sustainment operations for supported units as well as helping improve quality of life and promoting economic development in local Afghan communities.
The battalion provided command and control for more than 500 Soldiers from three active duty units- the 104th Transportation Company from Fort Benning, Ga., the 183d Maintenance Company from Fort Carson, Colo., and the 226th Quartermaster Platoon from Fort Stewart, Ga.
Working directly with Italian, Spanish, Slovenian and Afghan forces, the unit’s mission was to provide supply, maintenance and transportation support to U.S. and coalition warfighters throughout the region.
Va. Beach-based 529th CSSB receives national training award – Sept. 30, 2013
529th CSSB welcomes new commander, receives recognition from Governor – June 20, 2013
1710th Trans. Co. Soldiers receive combat patches – June 30, 2013
Virginia National Guard recognizes top units – April 25, 2013
1710th Trans. Co. heads south for final training phase before Afghan deployment – April 8, 2013