The Virginia Guard Counterdrug Program places Army and Air Guardsmen in communities throughout the Commonwealth conducting Drug Demand Reduction classes for schools and civic organizations, supporting law enforcement agencies with criminal analysts and aviation support, managing our internal drug testing program, and providing all hazard treatment referral services to Guardsmen and their families. We are a supporting effort at the local, state, and federal levels working both supply and demand sides of the drug crisis. We are collaborative members of the Governor’s Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Governor’s Initiative Against Narcotics Trafficking, and the Attorney General’s Gang Reduction and Intervention Program.
Our Aviation Section utilizes light observation helicopters to provide optical and infra-red surveillance, body wire signal retransmission, and video downlink support to local, state, or federal drug investigations. We typically fly between 650 and 750 hours annually at no cost to the requesting agency. Last year our aviation section trained and certified 141 law enforcement officials as front seat spotters to increase inter-agency effectiveness. Our Counterdrug aviation section supports the “Green Harvest” marijuana eradication program annually which resulted in over 18,000 plants being confiscated in 2009.
Our criminal analyst provide a military approach to analytical and technical case support ranging from traditional link analysis to cutting edge social media exploitation to ion scanning of seized money and evidence for excessive drug residue levels. Last year, we provided support to the Virginia State Police, the Commonwealth’s Fusion Center, the Office of the Attorney General, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the I-95 corridor High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, as well as multiple state and local task forces. Last year, our criminal analyst and Aviation Section supported over 500 arrests and the seizure of over $88,000,000 of narcotics, currency, and weapons.
The program injects $2 million dollars annually into the Commonwealth’s economy funding 25 full time positions as well as providing multiple short term opportunities for traditional guardsmen to support specific events.
The diversity of successful programs in the Virginia National Guard’s Counterdrug Program demonstrates the professionalism, flexibility, and community involvement that are the hallmarks of our Commonwealth’s Guardsmen.
Click on the link below to download a presentation that looks back on the Counterdrug Program’s 2011 accomplishments:
Read the latest news on the Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Program: