Virginia Guard personnel scheduled to display equipment outside General Assembly building Jan. 15

Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force were on hand with equipment displays outside the Virginia General Assembly Building in January 2012 to demonstrate some of the capabilities the Guard and VDF can provide while on state active duty. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

RICHMOND, Va. — Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force will be on hand Jan. 15, 2013, with equipment displays in the Darden Garden outside the Virginia General Assembly Building in Richmond from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to demonstrate some of the capabilities the Guard and VDF can provide while on state active duty.

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long. Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, will host a reception for members of the General Assembly from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the 5th Floor West Conference Room in the General Assembly Building. Senior Virginia Guard leaders will be in attendance to answer questions and provide insights into the missions and capabilities of the Guard.

The Virginia National Guard last performed state active duty when it called up more than 670 personnel to assist in the Commonwealth’s response to Hurricane Sandy from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 2012. Guard personnel assisted Virginia State Police and local emergency response organizations at numerous locations across Virginia, and during that time they transported 42 civilians to safety, conducted almost 60 reconnaissance patrols to assess damage and report on route trafficability and performed 10 debris reduction missions.

The Virginia Guard brought more than 200 personnel on state active duty from June 30 to July 4, 2012, to support recovery operations in the wake of severe thunderstorms that struck across Virginia and caused wide-spread power outages. Soldiers distributed water and ice in Bedford, conducted reconnaissance patrols in the Fredericksburg and Lexington areas and Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force provided mission command and sustainment support in Sandston and Fort Pickett.

The Virginia Department of Military Affairs sponsored one legislative effort for 2013 General Assembly session to provide a flag to the next of kin for a person who honorably served more than 20 years in the Virginia Guard or Virginia Defense Force. The legislation was introduced as HB 1638 by Delegate Thomas A. Greason and as SB 1056 by Senator Richard H. Black. The summary as introduced is as follows:

“Department of Military Affairs; providing of flag to next of kin. Provides that the next of kin of a person who, upon his death, was serving in, or honorably served for a period of 20 years in and retired from, the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, or a combination of both, may receive a flag of the Commonwealth.”

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Units scheduled to participate in the displays outside the General Assembly Building are the Virginia Guard’s Counterdrug Program, the 34th Civil Support Team, the command and control suite of the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear High Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, the 200th Weather Flight and a Mobile Communications Platform from the VDF.

The Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Program places Guardsmen in communities conducting Drug Demand Reduction classes for schools and civic organizations as well as supporting law enforcement agencies with criminal analysts, ion scanning for drug residue on currency, and aviation support. The Program also provides prevention, treatment and outreach services to Guardsmen and family members and manages the Joint Substance Abuse Program for drug testing.

The Fort Pickett-based 34th CST is comprised of 22 full-time Army and Air National Guard personnel with the mission to support civil authorities at a domestic CBRNE incident site with identification and assessment of hazards, advice to civil authorities, and facilitating the arrival of follow-on military forces during emergencies and incidents of weapons of mass destruction terrorism. The unit complements and enhances, but does not duplicate, state CBRNE response capabilities is divided into six sections: command, operations, communications, administration/logistics, medical/analytical and survey.

The CERFP can conduct tasks associated with incident management, search and rescue, mass decontamination, medical triage and treatment and fatality search and recovery. The force is made up of traditional Soldiers and Airmen from units based in Petersburg, West Point, Rocky Mount and Langley Air Force Base as well as the D.C. National Guard.

The 200th Weather Flight provides tailored tactical combat-environment weather observing and forecasting support to the Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Division and to the Adjutant General of Virginia and Joint Staff during hazardous weather situation in the commonwealth. With the assistance of the 200th Weather Flight, the Virginia Guard is able to anticipate the impact of hazardous weather and help determine the most effective employment locations for Virginia Guard personnel.

The VDF is an all-volunteer force authorized by the Code of Virginia and organized under the Virginia Department of Military Affairs reporting to the Adjutant General of Virginia. The organization capitalizes on the civilian skills and expertise of it members and trains to augment the Virginia Guard at command and control operations centers, provide liaison teams for incident management assistance and sheltering management as well as communications and security augmentation.


Additional information:

Virginia Guard completes Hurricane Sandy response operations

Virginia Guard Soldiers rescue stranded citizens in the Eastern Shore area

Governor and First Lady thank Virginia Guard personnel for their service

Week-long exercise tests Virginia Guard’s ability to respond on multiple levels

Virginia National Guard personnel assist in the wake of severe thunderstorms

Communications teams keep units talking during state active duty