Governor, First Lady host receptions at Virginia’s Executive Mansion

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe host receptions for the Virginia National Guard Dec. 2 and 3, 2017, at Virginia’s Executive Mansion in Richmond, Virginia, to recognize the Soldiers and Airmen who returned from federal active duty deployments this year and their families as well as families of those personnel who are currently deployed. (U.S. National Guard photo by Cotton Puryear)

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe hosted receptions for the Virginia National Guard Dec. 2 and 3, 2017, at Virginia’s Executive Mansion in Richmond, Virginia, to recognize the Soldiers and Airmen who returned from federal active duty deployments this year and their families as well as families of those personnel who are currently deployed. Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Virginia National Guard senior leaders and members of the Virginia National Guard Family Programs Office joined the McAuliffes in thanking the Soldiers, Airmen and their families for their service, sacrifice and support for the missions around the world.

The Virginia National Guard has mobilized nearly 1,600 Soldiers and Airmen for 16 different federal active duty overseas deployments since January 2014 when McAuliffe took office.

Since January 2014, the Virginia National Guard has mobilized nearly 2,570 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force on state active duty to respond to 12 different incidents of hurricanes, winter storms and flooding across the Commonwealth. The Virginia National Guard also had more than 500 on duty for security operations in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, and deployed more than 500 Soldiers to assist with hurricane recovery operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, the Virginia National Guard had nearly 40 Soldiers and VDF members conduct cyber vulnerability assessments in seven different Virginia localities.

The following units returned from federal active duty in 2017:

The Virginia National Guard’s 116th Military Engagement Team marked the official completion of their overseas mission Jan. 9, 2017, during a Transfer of Authority ceremony held at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. During the ceremony, the 116th MET passed the mission to the Kentucky National Guard’s 149th Military Engagement Team. During their nine-month overseas mobilization, the 116th MET was based in Kuwait, with Soldiers also training in Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman. The 26-Soldier team conducted 53 engagements with military members from 12 countries, including Uzbekistan, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and Tajikistan. In Jordan, team members completed more than 150 engagements with leaders of the Kingdom’s military. Collectively, the team flew more than 1 million kilometers, drove more than 100,000 kilometers and spent more than 1,200 man days on mission, traveling throughout the region and working with military members of partner nations.

Read more at http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2017/01/28/9465/

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The last groups of Virginia and Maryland National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division returned to Virginia July 25, 2017, after serving on federal active duty since November 2016. The Soldiers served in the Middle East in support of Task Force Spartan Shield as the first intermediate division headquarters under U.S. Army Central Command. During the deployment, the 29th ID Soldiers provided mission command for joint training exercises and military-to-military engagements with partner nations to promote regional stability and theater security cooperation.

Read more at http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2017/07/25/10126/

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More than 100 Maryland and Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division returned stateside July 9, 2017, after serving on federal active duty in Jordan since September 2016. The Soldiers and Airmen of Task Force 29 conducted joint training and engagements in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with personnel from the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army as well as other allied countries in an effort to promote regional stability.

Read more at http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2017/07/09/10076/

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Virginia National Guard Soldiers serving in two Sandston-based aviation units returned to Virginia in late April and early May 2017 after serving on federal active duty since June 2016. Approximately 40 Soldiers each assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, and Detachment 2, Company B, 777th Aviation Support Battalion provided rotary wing aviation and aviation maintenance support to the U. S. Central Command area of operations. Soldiers from Alpha Company were assigned to 1st Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment, 77th Combat Aviation Brigade to support Operation Inherent Resolve and Combined Joint Force Land Component Command-OIR. These aircrew members flew more than 3,300 combat flight hours and conducted more than 7,000 passenger transports, 300 VIP movements and executed more than 275 aviation mission requests. Soldiers assigned to Detachment 2 deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve. While operating primarily out of Camp Buehring, Kuwait, they were responsible for the maintenance of 67 army rotary wing aircraft and 24 unmanned aircraft for the Central Command area of operations.

Read more at http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2017/05/04/9849/

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The final groups of Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, also known as the Red Dragons, returned to Virginia April 1, 2017, after serving on federal active duty since May 2016 conducting security operations in Qatar. Approximately 450 Soldiers mobilized for the mission from the battalion headquarters in Lynchburg and units in Bedford, Lexington and Christiansburg. The first groups of Soldiers from the unit returned to Virginia March 25. As part of their security mission, Soldiers searched more than 100,000 vehicles and 303,000 individuals, and they conducted more than 900 security patrols.

Read more at http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2017/04/02/9681/

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Photos on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/albums/72157690608084555

Photos from the receptions courtesy of the Governor’s office are posted on Flickr:

12-02-17 Deployed/Returned Service Members Reception 10AM – 12PM
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorva/sets/72157667089939829

12-02-17 Deployed/Returned Service Members Holiday Reception 3PM – 5PM
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorva/sets/72157690621111495

12-03-17 Deployed/Returned Service Members Reception 10AM – 12PM
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorva/sets/72157663348132238

12-03-17 Deployed/Returned Service Members Reception 3PM – 5PM
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorva/sets/72157661304838707

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