2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter archive

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe host a reception for families of deployed Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Dec. 6, 2015, at Virginia's Executive Mansion in Richmond, Virginia. Children were invited to decorate holiday cookies as part of the activities at the reception. The Virginia National Guard currently has nearly 500 Soldiers from all over the state conducting security and support operations in Southwest Asia and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe host a reception for families of deployed Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Dec. 6, 2015, at Virginia’s Executive Mansion in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #25 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Dec. 18, 2015

In this issue:


Lt. Gen. Michael Tucker (left), First Army commanding general, speaks with Brig. Gen. Blake Ortner, commanding general of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Division, during the Warfighter Exercise 16-2 Nov.18, 2015, at Camp Atterbury, Ind. More than 3,000 Soldiers, Airmen and Civilians from the Army and Air National Guard, Army Reserve, and active duty Army and Air Force, participated in the culminating training event which requires units to respond to several complex simulation events such as: encountering the enemy, air and fire support and refugee displacement. In this year’s event, the 29th ID worked in partnership with the active duty Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Tucker visited the training site to ensure the exercise was being performed to the Army’s standards. Note: Photo altered for security purposes. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Nazly Confesor, First Army Public Affairs Office)

Lt. Gen. Michael Tucker (left), First Army commanding general, speaks with Brig. Gen. Blake Ortner, commanding general of the Virginia Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Division, during the Warfighter Exercise 16-2 Nov.18, 2015, at Camp Atterbury, Ind. . Note: Photo altered for security purposes. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Nazly Confesor, First Army Public Affairs Office)

Issue #24 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Dec. 4, 2015

In this issue:


Col. Lapthe C. Flora, commander of 91st Troop Command, visit with D-Day veteran John Kessler before Virginia's Veterans Parade Nov. 7, 2015, in Roanoke, Va.(Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Col. Lapthe C. Flora, commander of 91st Troop Command, visit with D-Day veteran John Kessler before Virginia’s Veterans Parade Nov. 7, 2015, in Roanoke, Va.(Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Issue #23 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Nov. 20, 2015

In this issue:


Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Fairfax-based Data Processing Unit join representatives from 14 states in displaying cyber capabilities at the U.S. House of Representatives National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus State Cyber Day Oct. 22, 2015, at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Fairfax-based Data Processing Unit join representatives from 14 states in displaying cyber capabilities at the U.S. House of Representatives National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus State Cyber Day Oct. 22, 2015, at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #22 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Nov. 6, 2015

In this issue:


Family members, friends, members of the community and senior leaders from state government and the Virginia National Guard bid farewell to the Virginia Beach-based Delta Platoon, 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group Oct. 18, 2015 in Virginia Beach, Va., at a ceremony to mark their start of federal active duty. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Family members, friends, members of the community and senior leaders from state government and the Virginia National Guard bid farewell to the Virginia Beach-based Delta Platoon, 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group Oct. 18, 2015 in Virginia Beach, Va., at a ceremony to mark their start of federal active duty. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Issue #21 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Oct. 23, 2015

In this issue:


Soldiers assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s Portsmouth-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th IBCT conduct reconnaissance patrols Oct. 4, 2015, in Gloucester, Va. During the recon the Soldiers monitored road conditions in low lying area and reported information back to to Gloucester Emergency Management personnel. They also worked with sheriff’s deputies to make site visits to inform citizens in low areas to make sure they were not in need of assistance. (Contributed Photo)

Soldiers assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s Portsmouth-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th IBCT conduct reconnaissance patrols Oct. 4, 2015, in Gloucester, Va. (Contributed Photo)

Issue #20 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Oct. 9, 2015

In this issue:


Lt. Col. Kurt K. Kobernik, commander of Task Force Normandy, and Command Sgt. Maj. Alvin N. Martin, the task force command sergeant major, case the unit's organizational colors to signify their departure from Virginia at a ceremony held Sept. 9, 2015 at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. The colors will be uncased when they begin their federal active duty mission in Qatar.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Lt. Col. Kurt K. Kobernik, commander of Task Force Normandy, and Command Sgt. Maj. Alvin N. Martin, the task force command sergeant major, case the unit’s organizational colors to signify their departure from Virginia at a ceremony held Sept. 9, 2015 at Fort A. P. Hill, Va.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #19 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Sept. 25, 2015

In this issue:


Soldiers of the Virginia National Guard Marksmanship Team pose with their trophies following the regional marksmanship competition, held Aug. 27-30, 2015, at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.

Soldiers of the Virginia National Guard Marksmanship Team pose with their trophies following the regional marksmanship competition, held Aug. 27-30, 2015, at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.

Issue #18 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Sept. 11, 2015

In this issue:


Army Staff Sgt. Brian Merritt, right, a recruiting and retention noncommissioned officer form the Virginia Army National Guard, is awarded the Army Commendation Medal by Army Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, the director of the Army National Guard, during a ceremony at Arlington Hall Station, Aug. 3, 2015 in Arlington, Va. Merritt was recognized for his achievements during the 9 in 90 Recruiting Challenge, a challenge to Army Guard recruiters to enlist nine recruits in 90 days. Merritt was able to enlist 17 during challenge. (Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Darron Salzer, National Guard Bureau/Released)

Army Staff Sgt. Brian Merritt, right, a recruiting and retention noncommissioned officer form the Virginia Army National Guard, is awarded the Army Commendation Medal by Army Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, the director of the Army National Guard, during a ceremony at Arlington Hall Station, Aug. 3, 2015 in Arlington, Va. (Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Darron Salzer, National Guard Bureau/Released)

Issue #17 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Aug. 28, 2015

In this issue:


Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct Army Warrior Task training on individual movement techniques Aug. 14, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va., during their three weeks of pre-mobilization training to prepare for an upcoming deployment. A platoon of approximately 30 Soldiers from the 229th will enter active federal service for duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Oct. 15, 2015, and they expect to be in Cuba for about nine months. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conduct Army Warrior Task training on individual movement techniques Aug. 14, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va., during their three weeks of pre-mobilization training to prepare for an upcoming deployment.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #16 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Aug. 14, 2015

In this issue:


Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner takes command of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division from Maj. Gen. Charles W. Whittington Jr. in a traditional change of command ceremony held July 24, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va. Lt. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, the Commanding General of First Army, presided over the exchange of unit colors that represented the transfer of command from Whittington to Ortner. The 29th Division Band provided musical accompaniment to the ceremony. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Brig. Gen. Blake C. Ortner takes command of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division from Maj. Gen. Charles W. Whittington Jr. in a traditional change of command ceremony held July 24, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va.  (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #15 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Jul 31, 2015

In this issue:


Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard's Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct final preparations for their pre-mobilization annual training  July 9, 2015, in Winchester, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct final preparations for their pre-mobilization annual training July 9, 2015, in Winchester, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #14 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – July 17, 2015

In this issue:


Shawn Mason, Support Services Manager for the Western Region for the Department of Corrections, hands over the keys to the former Botetourt Correctional Center to Lt. Col. Charlton Dunn, Virginia National Guard construction and facilities management officer, June 16, 2015, in Troutville, Va, (Contributed photo)

Shawn Mason, Support Services Manager for the Western Region for the Department of Corrections, hands over the keys to the former Botetourt Correctional Center to Lt. Col. Charlton Dunn, Virginia National Guard construction and facilities management officer, June 16, 2015, in Troutville, Va, (Contributed photo)

Issue #13 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – July 3, 2015


Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin, the 53rd Quartermaster General and Commandant of the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers, the 12th Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the Army Quartermaster Corps, attach the Distinguished Unit of the Regiment streamer to the organizational colors of the Virginia National GuardÕs Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group during the Quartermaster Regimental Honors and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony June 5, 2015, at Fort Lee, Va. Maj. Dennis Rohler and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. White represented the battalion at the ceremony. The 529th recently returned from federal mobilization in Kuwait where Rohler served as the executive officer and White as the battalion command sergeant major. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin, the 53rd Quartermaster General and Commandant of the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers, the 12th Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the Army Quartermaster Corps, attach the Distinguished Unit of the Regiment streamer to the organizational colors of the Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group during the Quartermaster Regimental Honors and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony June 5, 2015, at Fort Lee, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #12 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – June 19, 2015

In this issue:


Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and his wife Cheryl place the Virginia National Guard wreath at the Eternal Flame in the Shrine of Memory honoring the Virginia National Guard at the 2015 CommonwealthÕs Memorial Day Ceremony May 25, 2015, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and his wife Cheryl place the Virginia National Guard wreath at the Eternal Flame in the Shrine of Memory honoring the Virginia National Guard at the 2015 CommonwealthÕs Memorial Day Ceremony May 25, 2015, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #11 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – June 5, 2015

In this issue:


Senior leaders from the Virginia National Guard, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and state government gather to celebrate the 408th birthday of the Virginia National Guard and the founding of the Jamestown colony with a cake cutting May 14, 2015, at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Va (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia. National Guard Public Affairs)

Senior leaders from the Virginia National Guard, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and state government gather to celebrate the 408th birthday of the Virginia National Guard and the founding of the Jamestown colony with a cake cutting May 14, 2015, at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Va (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

 Issue #10 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – May 22, 2015

In this issue:


Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, prepares to symbolically turn the switch to send power from the newly-constructed solar array to the administrative and classroom facilities at the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute and signifying the Virginia National Guard's commitment to sustainable an energy security at a switch-on ceremony April 30, 2015, at Fort Picket, Va. (Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, prepares to symbolically turn the switch to send power from the newly-constructed solar array to the administrative and classroom facilities at the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute and signifying the Virginia National Guard’s commitment to sustainable an energy security at a switch-on ceremony April 30, 2015, at Fort Picket, Va. (Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

 Issue #9 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter. – May 8, 2015

In this issue:


Lt. Col. Michael Waterman, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy White, the command team of the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, case their unit colors during a ceremony at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 14, 2015. The 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion relinquished authority of operations to the Fort Riley-based 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion after they completed their nine-month mission. (Photo by  Spc. Rochelle Prince-Krueger, 3rd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Lt. Col. Michael Waterman, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy White, the command team of the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, case their unit colors during a ceremony at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 14, 2015. The 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion relinquished authority of operations to the Fort Riley-based 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion after they completed their nine-month mission. (Photo by Spc. Rochelle Prince-Krueger, 3rd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Issue #8 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – April 25, 2015

In this issue:


Spc. Adam Sotelo (far left), the 2014 Virginia National Guard Soldier of the Year and Sgt. John Fracker (far right) the 2014 Virginia Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, stand with Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, the Virginia Army National Guard State Command Sergeant Major, March 29, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Spc. Adam Sotelo (far left), the 2014 Virginia National Guard Soldier of the Year and Sgt. John Fracker (far right) the 2014 Virginia Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, stand with Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, the Virginia Army National Guard State Command Sergeant Major, March 29, 2015, at Fort Pickett, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #7 of the Commonwealth’s Guardian bi-weekly newsletter – April 10, 2015

In this issue:


A computer rendering shows an early design concept being considered for the new Virginia National Guard state headquarters facility to be built at Defense Supply Center-Richmond in Chesterfield County, Va. (Contributed Artwork)

A computer rendering shows an early design concept being considered for the new Virginia National Guard state headquarters facility to be built at Defense Supply Center-Richmond in Chesterfield County, Va. (Contributed Artwork)

Issue #6 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – March 27, 2015

In this issue:


The Virginia Air National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron holds a memorial service March 3, 2015, at Camp Pendleton to honor 18 unit members and three Florida Army Guard aviators killed 14 years ago. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The Virginia Air National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron holds a memorial service March 3, 2015, at Camp Pendleton to honor 18 unit members and three Florida Army Guard aviators killed 14 years ago. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #5 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – March 13, 2015

In this issue:


A Virginia Army National Guard aviation crew from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment delivers food, mail and medicine Feb. 19, 2015, to iced-in Tangier Island, Va. The 1.2 square mile island has been iced in since freezing temperatures blanketed the commonwealth last week, making routine seaport deliveries impossible. The state active duty mission was authorized by Governor Terry McAullife's Declaration of Emergency issued on Monday and coordinated by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management with Maryland public safety officials and the United States Coast Guard. The aviators first picked up Accomack County personnel to help move the needed cargo, then flew to Chrisfield, Md. to pick up the supplies before heading to Tangier Island where the aircraft and cargo were met by residents of island. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

A Virginia Army National Guard aviation crew from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment delivers food, mail and medicine Feb. 19, 2015, to iced-in Tangier Island, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #4 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Feb. 27, 2015

In this issue:


Rep. Barbara Comstock visits 5th grade students from Indian Hollow Elementary School taking part in activities at the Winchester STARBASE Academy Jan. 30, 2015, at the Virginia National Guard's Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center in Winchester, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Rep. Barbara Comstock visits 5th grade students from Indian Hollow Elementary School taking part in activities at the Winchester STARBASE Academy Jan. 30, 2015, at the Virginia National Guard’s Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center in Winchester, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #3 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter. – Feb. 13, 2015

In this issue:


Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force demonstrate and display some of their domestic response capabilities and equipment outside the Virginia General Assembly Building Jan. 21, 2015, in Richmond, Va.  (Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force demonstrate and display some of their domestic response capabilities and equipment outside the Virginia General Assembly Building Jan. 21, 2015, in Richmond, Va. (Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #2 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Jan. 30, 2015

In this issue:


Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force demonstrate some of their domestic operations capabilities with equipment displays outside the Virginia General Assembly Building Jan. 15, 2014, in Richmond. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force demonstrate some of their domestic operations capabilities with equipment displays outside the Virginia General Assembly Building Jan. 15, 2014, in Richmond. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Issue #1 of the 2015 “Commonwealth’s Guardian” bi-weekly newsletter – Jan. 16,2015

In this issue: