Va. Guard Soldiers provide assistance at locations across the commonwealth

Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Fredericksburg-based 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team assist a stranded motorist Feb. 13, 2014. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski, Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Fredericksburg-based 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team assist a stranded motorist Feb. 13, 2014. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski, Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers provided a variety of assistance Feb. 12-13, 2014, after heavy snow created hazardous road conditions across the commonwealth. Operating from readiness centers along the I-81, I-95, Route 29 and Route 460 corridors, Soldiers working in coordination with the Virginia State Police conducted more than 40 missions assisting and transporting local fire, police and emergency medical services personnel and nearly 30 missions assisting stranded motorists and citizens as well as numerous route assessment patrols to determine road trafficability and provide situational awareness in their area of operations.

“The civilian population were very receptive and seemed to appreciate our presence, waving hello and ‘thumbs up’ signs were common during our rounds,” said Spc. Savannah Conley from Company B, 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Soldiers from Company B conducted route assessment patrols and assisted stranded motorists in the Manassas and Leesburg areas.

More than 200 Virginia National Guard personnel were staged at readiness centers across Virginia and ready to support state and local emergency response organizations by early afternoon on Feb. 12. An additional 50 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force are on duty at the Joint Operations Center in Sandston and Logistics Operation Center at Fort Pickett to provide mission command, administrative and sustainment support for units in the field.

“We accomplished our objective of getting our units into place before the snow started to fall, and now we are staged and ready to assist with response operations if we are needed,” said. Col. James Zollar, director of joint operations for the Guard.

Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Feb. 11, 2014, and authorized up to 300 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force could be brought on state active duty.

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