SANDSTON, Va. – Approximately 230 personnel from the Virginia Department of Military Affairs will be on duty Jan. 11, 2014, supporting the inauguration of Terry McAuliffe as the 72nd Governor of Virginia in Richmond. Soldiers from the Virginia Army National Guard, Airmen from the Virginia Air National Guard and members of the Virginia Defense Force will support a variety of missions including ceremonial music, firing a 19-gun salute with artillery howitzers and command and control of the inaugural parade elements. A formation of Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen will also lead the inaugural parade.
“The Governor is the commander in chief of the Virginia National Guard, and it is an honor for us to support his inauguration,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia. “This is also a great training opportunity for our forces. Working with our state partner agencies to plan the support for the inauguration will help us hone our capabilities.”
Long is scheduled to present one of the shell casings from the ceremonial 19-gun salute at the completion on the inaugural parade.
The Virginia Department of Military Affairs is the state agency that provides leadership and administrative support to the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force. DMA plans, coordinates, maintains situational awareness and employs forces for homeland security and homeland defense in order to respond to any incidents within the Commonwealth.
Personnel from the Virginia Department of Military Affairs are scheduled to conduct the following missions:
• Soldiers from the Covington-based 29th Division Band will provide ceremonial music for all the inaugural activities.
• Soldiers from the Sandston-based Battery A, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will fire a ceremonial 19-gun salute with four M119A2 105mm howitzers.
• Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, Virginia National Guard land component commander, will command the lead marching formation of the inaugural parade consisting of a color guard and personnel from the Virginia Army National Guard and Virginia Air National Guard.
• Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force will provide mission tracking and coordination support at the Virginia National Guard Joint Operations Center in Sandston and Virginia Defense Force Headquarters in Richmond.
• Soldiers from the Bowling Green-based 91st Troop Command will provide mission command for all Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel taking part in the inauguration.
• Personnel from the Virginia Army National Guard and Virginia Defense Force will provide command and control for the inaugural parade and assist with staging and marshaling the parade marching elements.
The DMA plans to conduct rehearsals at the state capitol Jan. 10 after 2 p.m.
About the Department of Military Affairs and Virginia National Guard:
The Virginia National Guard trains to be a premier ready, relevant, resilient and rapidly responding operational force capable of executing the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of Virginia to deploy mission-tailored forces to save lives, protect people and property, ensure safety, relieve suffering and provide reassurance. The National Guard is a great value for the commonwealth and the nation and can maintain readiness at a fraction of the cost of active duty forces. The National Guard has a unique state and federal mission set, and members bring a wide variety of specialized civilian-acquired skills, experience and mature leadership to any mission in addition to their military skills.
Since September 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized on federal active duty for homeland security missions and combat operations, sustainment support and peacekeeping in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and other locations around the world. Approximately 150 Soldiers from the Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company and about 10 Soldiers from the Sandston-based Detachment 26, Operational Support Airlift Command are currently on federal active duty in Afghanistan, and about 20 Soldiers and Airmen are on federal duty at other locations around the world.
Since 2001, the Virginia National Guard has called up more than 7,300 personnel for duty to support domestic emergency operations as part of a coordinated state-wide response, as well as missions in Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, New York and Vermont.
The Virginia Defense Force is the DMA ‘s all-volunteer reserve authorized by the Code of Virginia and integrated into all Virginia National Guard operations. The VDF provide valuable additional capabilities in a wide variety of areas including operations center augmentation, incident management assistance, interoperable communications and state managed sheltering operations.
Photos from past Virginia National Guard inauguration support missions:
Governor McDonnell (2010):
Below are the links for sets of photos for each element of the Governor McDonnell Inauguration support mission.
Photos of the 29th Army Band:
Photos from the 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment ceremonial 19-gun salute:
Photos from the 192nd Fighter Wing F-22 flyover:
Photos from the Inaugural parade:
Photos of the presentation of the final shell casing and TAG escort to Governor’s Residence:
Photos of the Virginia Defense Force:
Photos of Inauguration prep:
Gov. Kaine (January 2006):
Gov. Warner (January 2002):