Va. Guard’s Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company returns to United States after duty in Afghanistan

1710thGuidonSANDSTON, Va. — Approximately 150 Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group returned to the United States Feb. 15, 2014, after serving on federal active duty in Afghanistan since June 2013 where they conducted transportation support operations at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Soldiers from the 1710th began serving on federal active duty on April 1, 2013.

The Soldiers arrived at their demobilization station of Fort Hood, Texas, where they will spend approximately seven to 10 days for reintegration training, medical evaluation and administrative tasks to transition from federal active duty to traditional National Guard status. The time schedule for the return of Soldiers to Virginia has not been finalized.

The company had no Soldiers killed in action or seriously wounded.

Soldiers from the 1710th Transportation Company drove more than 304,000 miles since they began running transportation support missions in June 2013 in Afghanistan. They conducted 43 sustainment and retrograde missions where they hauled more 3,200 20-foot container units for resupply operations and 100 pieces of rolling stock for transport out of country. During these operations, they maintained a 99% operational readiness rate and received a safety streamer for having no serious accidents.

The company’s maintenance section has performed nearly 800 quality assurance and quality control inspections before each vehicle leaves on a mission. They have also performed 95 repairs and completed 55 annual services.

While headquartered in Emporia, the 1710th is made up of Soldiers from all over the state. Approximately 70 Soldiers are from the Hampton Roads area, about 30 are from the Richmond and Petersburg area, approximately 15 are the Emporia, Franklin and Courtland area, about 10 are from the Northern Virginia area and the other Soldiers are from various locations across the state.

The 1710th Transportation Company last served on active duty in Iraq from May 2008 to February 2009. The unit provided medium lift transportation that moved critical supplies from logistical support areas out to different forward operating bases, traveling supply routes all through Iraq.

“We have a great group of ambassadors here with the 1710th,” said Capt. Rodney Rhodes, commander of the 1710th. “They know the standard, and they apply that each and every day. They are hard working men and women, and I am proud to be their commander.”

Since September 11, 2001, more than 15,000 Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized on federal active duty for homeland security missions and combat operations, sustainment support and peacekeeping in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and other locations around the world.

About the Virginia National Guard

The Virginia National Guard trains to be a premier ready, relevant, resilient and rapidly responding operational force capable of executing the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of Virginia to deploy mission-tailored forces to save lives, protect people and property, ensure safety, relieve suffering and provide reassurance. The National Guard is a great value for the commonwealth and the nation and can maintain readiness at a fraction of the cost of active duty forces and have both a state and federal mission set. National Guard members bring a wide variety of specialized civilian-acquired skills, experience and mature leadership to any mission in addition to their military skills.