SANDSTON, Va. — Approximately 150 Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company will gather Sunday, June 8, 2014, at the Greensville County High School gymnasium located at 403 Harding Street in Emporia at 10 a.m. to conduct a Freedom Salute in honor of their service in Afghanistan. The Soldiers returned to Virginia Feb. 22, 2014, after conducting transportation support operations in Afghanistan since June 2013. They began serving on federal active duty April 1, 2013.
FOR THE NEWS MEDIA: Members of the news media who would like to attend the Freedom Salute should arrive no later than 9:30 a.m.
Soldiers from the 1710th Transportation Company drove more than 304,000 miles and conducted 43 sustainment and retrograde missions where they hauled more 3,200 20-foot container units for resupply operations and 100 pieces of rolling stock for transport out of country. During these operations, they maintained a 99% operational readiness rate and received a safety streamer for having no serious accidents. The company’s maintenance performed nearly 800 quality assurance and quality control inspections before each vehicle left on a mission. They also performed 95 repairs and completed 55 annual services.
The company had no Soldiers killed in action or seriously wounded.
The Freedom Salute will recognize the Soldiers, their families, employers and organizations that contributed significantly to supporting the unit during its deployment. The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history, designed to publicly acknowledge Army Guard Soldiers and those who supported them during the President’s call to duty for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
As part of the Freedom Salute ceremony, the Soldiers are scheduled to receive the Virginia Governor’s National Service Medal. The medal was created in 2005 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner to recognize the service of the men and women of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard called to active federal service since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The award was first presented Nov. 11, 2005 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.
Prior to this deployment to Afghanistan, the 1710th Transportation Company served on active duty in Iraq from May 2008 to February 2009.
Photos: 1710th Transportation Company Soldiers return to Virginia after duty in Afghanistan – Feb. 22, 2014
Soldiers from 1710th Trans. Co. return to Virginia from duty in Afghanistan
Va. Guard’s Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company returns to United States after duty in Afghanistan
Governor McDonnell visits Virginia Guard Soldiers in Afghanistan
Governor thanks Va. Guard Soldiers serving in Afghanistan
Sen. Kaine visits families of deployed 1710th Trans. Co. Soldiers
1710th Trans. Co. Soldiers receive combat patches
Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company ordered to federal active duty in April 2013