Virginia National Guard helicopter crew departs to support Southwest border mission

Soldiers from the Sandston-based Detachment 1, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment depart for the Texas border aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter July 29, 2013, from the Virginia National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility in Sandston, Va. The four-person crew will provide aerial reconnaissance support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in support of the national effort to counter illegal immigration along the U.S. southwest border. Approximately 15 Virginia Guard Soldiers will rotate through Texas between now and the end of October in support of the National Guard border mission. Virginia Guard air crews also provided aerial reconnaissance support along the world last year, from Aug. 27 to Dec.6, 2012. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Soldiers from the Sandston-based Detachment 1, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment depart for the Texas border aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter July 29, 2013, from the Virginia National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility in Sandston, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. – Soldiers from Detachment 1, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment departed today for the Texas border aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter from the Virginia National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility in Sandston, Va.

The four-person crew will provide aerial reconnaissance support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in support of the national effort to counter illegal immigration along the U.S. Southwest Border. Approximately 15 Virginia Guard Soldiers will rotate through Texas between now and the end of October in support of the National Guard border mission.

Virginia pilots and maintainers last supported U.S. Customs and Border Protection with aerial reconnaissance support along the U.S. southwest border from Aug. 27 to Dec. 6, 2012.

During their time in Texas, the Virginia Guard Soldiers worked under the Texas National Guard and alongside air crews and aircraft from states including South Carolina, Florida, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Each rotation of Soldiers included pilots, crew chiefs, and maintainers to keep the aircraft flying and Virginia Guard Soldiers filled additional manpower gaps, even helping to fly other state’s aircraft as needed.

Virginia Guard aviators also supported the Southwest Border mission in 2008. Soldiers from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment spent weeks assisting United States Customs and Border Protection with the effort to secure the U.S./ Mexico border in Arizona as Task Force Raven and Task Force Diamondback for Operation Jump Start.

More on this event:

Photos: Va. Guard helicopter crew departs to support Southwest border mission — July 29, 2013

Last Virginia Guard air crew returns from Southwest Border mission — Dec. 6, 2013