Va. Dept. of Military Affairs personnel scheduled to display equipment outside General Assembly building Jan. 21

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)

RICHMOND, Va. — Members of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force will be on hand Jan. 21, 2015, with equipment displays in the Darden Garden outside the Virginia General Assembly Building in Richmond from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to demonstrate some of the capabilities the Virginia Guard and VDF can provide while on state active duty.

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, will host a reception for members of the General Assembly from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the 4th 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.

Approximately 70 Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group are currently on federal active duty in Kuwait where they are the mission command headquarters for approximately 1,600 military and civilian contractor personnel performing critical combat sustainment operations for U.S. and coalition forces in the region. The Virginia National Guard also has approximately 12 Soldiers and Airmen deployed all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, UAE, Philippines, Qatar and Kosovo.

The Virginia National Guard has lost 10 Soldiers to hostile enemy action since Sept. 11, 2001, and four of those Soldiers were honored at ceremonies held in Winchester in August and and Fredericksburg in December where the readiness center was renamed in their memory. The full list is online at the following link:

In addition to its federal mission, the Virginia National Guard also has a state mission. Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Defense Force conducted a variety of domestic operations missions including supporting Governor Terry McAuliffe’s inauguration, assisting with water sampling in West Virginia following a chemical spill, assisting citizens of the commonwealth during heavy snow and hazardous road conditions, assisting with the search effort after an F-15 fighter crashed and demolishing derelict structures in Petersburg.

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 192nd Intelligence Squadron, the 200th Weather Flight and a Mobile Communications Platform from the VDF.

The Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Program places Guardsmen in support of 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.

During domestic operations, Airmen from the 192nd Intelligence Squadron use full motion video from fixed and rotary wing platforms to provide incident awareness and assessment. The 192nd IS also provides systems interoperability for emergency managers and first responders to enable effective communication across agencies and jurisdictions. IAA synchronizes and integrates the planning and execution of various information capabilities which provide situational awareness and assessment to civil authorities in support of domestic operations.

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 state military 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 and provide liaison teams for incident management assistance as well as communications and security augmentation.

Photos from last year’s event on Flickr:

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. The National Guard has a unique state and federal mission set, and members bring a wide variety of specialized civilian-acquired skills, experience and mature leadership to any mission in addition to their military skills.

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.

Since 2001, the Virginia National Guard has called up more than 7,300 personnel for duty to support domestic emergency operations as part of a coordinated state-wide response, as well as missions in Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, New York and Vermont.

Read more about DMA activities:

Va. Department of Military Affairs supports Governor’s Inauguration
RICHMOND, Va. – The inauguration of Terry McAuliffe as the 72nd Governor of Virginia, held Jan. 11, 2014, in Richmond, Va., included the support of more than 225 Virginia National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force. The Department of Military Affairs personnel provided ceremonial music during the rain-soaked event, fired a 19-gun salute with artillery howitzers and acted as the command and control for the inaugural parade, as well as the lead marching element.

Va. Guard personnel part of multi-state West Virginia water sampling operation
CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, along with personnel from other states, used the skills and training they have for sampling and identifying unknown chemical or biological agents to help West Virginia officials evaluate the quality of water after a chemical spill left more than 300,000 residents without drinking water. Weapons of mass destruction civil support teams from five different states have been working in the Charleston area since Jan. 9, 2014, to assist the West Virginia National Guard’s 35th CST with the collection, data entry and transport of water samples for evaluation. Fourteen Soldiers and Airmen from the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 34th Civil Support Team arrived Jan. 18 to assist with the ongoing water sampling operation.

Va. Guard Soldiers provide assistance at locations across the commonwealth
SANDSTON, Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers provided a variety of assistance Feb. 12-13, 2014, after heavy snow created hazardous road conditions across the commonwealth. Operating from readiness centers along the I-81, I-95, Route 29 and Route 460 corridors, Soldiers working in coordination with the Virginia State Police conducted more than 40 missions assisting and transporting local fire, police and emergency medical services personnel and nearly 30 missions assisting stranded motorists and citizens as well as numerous route assessment patrols to determine road trafficability and provide situational awareness in their area of operations.

Va. CERFP Soldiers, Airmen participate in Vigilant Guard exercise
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. — More than 130 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen joined approximately 2,500 military and civilian emergency responders in Vigilant Guard, a multi-agency emergency preparedness exercise hosted May 13-15, 2014, by the Pennsylvania National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The exercise allowed the Virginia personnel to focus on their core skill training but also provided them with valuable experience on working with other similar organizations within a large-scale incident framework.

Va. Defense Force supports Apple Blossom Festival
WINCHESTER, Va. — More than 120 members of the all-volunteer Virginia Defense Force augmented local law enforcement May 1-3, 2014, to help make sure the Winchester Apple Blossom Festival went smoothly for the thousands of visitors attending the annual event. Members of the VDF operated traffic control points on May 2 and 3 for several parades and races, and VDF personnel also conducted mission command support at a civil military operations center at the Virginia National Guard’s Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center in Winchester as well as in mobile communication platforms in the city.

Search effort ends after Mass. Guard F-15C crash in Virginia
DEERFIELD, Va. — Massachusetts National Guard officials confirmed late in the day Aug. 28, 2014, that the pilot of an F-15C Eagle that crashed in remote mountains near Deerfield Valley, Va., was fatally injured in the crash. Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen joined a multi-agency search effort immediately after the Aug. 27 crash with aerial search and rescue by Lakota and Black Hawk helicopters. Soldiers and Airmen from the Fort Pickett-based 34th Civil Support Team provided communications and incident management assistance and additional Guard personnel coordinated the overall aviation operation.

Va. Guard engineers destroy derelict and dangerous structures
PETERSBURG, Va. – Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen demolished abandoned, decrepit and drug-trade related houses Aug. 18-29, 2014, in Petersburg, Va., as part of Operation Renew, a program that provides National Guard engineer assets to assist in reclaiming control of known drug trafficking areas by destroying structures with connections to the local drug trade. Approximately 25 Soldiers from the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion and Airmen from the Camp Pendleton-based 203rd RED HORSE Squadron participated in this year’s demolition of seven structures.

529th CSSB unfurls colors, begins mission in Kuwait
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, a Virginia Army National Guard unit from Virginia Beach, Va., took the reins from the 751st CSSB, a South Carolina Army National Guard unit from Columbia, S. C., in a transfer of authority ceremony Aug. 11, 2014, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Counterdrug Task Force demonstrates skills to Virginia leaders
RICHMOND, Va. – Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s Richmond-based Counterdrug Task Force provided Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran with a capabilities brief and demonstration Oct. 16, 2014, at the Counterdrug headquarters in Richmond, Va. Deputy Secretaries of Public Safety and Homeland Security Adam K. Thiel and Tonya D. Vincent, along with Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and senior leaders from the Virginia National Guard also attended the briefing, which discussed and highlighted the support to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, or LEAs, as well as community coalitions, the CDTF provides in the fight against narcotic’s production and trafficking.

192nd Intelligence Squadron trains to support state emergency operations
CAMP PENDLETON, Va. – Virginia National Guard Airmen and Army aviators conducted Sentinel Phoenix II, an Incident Awareness and Assessment exercise Sept. 7-12, 2014, at Camp Pendleton, Va. Members of the Air Guard’s 192nd Intelligence Squadron and the Army Guard’s Detachment 1, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment worked jointly to provide live full-motion video during a simulated wildfire at the Great Dismal Swamp. The exercise was a test of the 192nd IS’ ability to capture the full motion video from the UH-72 Lakota’s sensor ball, analyze it and support first responders during a state emergency.

Memorial service honors Va. Guard Soldiers killed in action 10 years ago
WINCHESTER, Va. – Current and former members of the Virginia National Guard’s Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team joined family and friends of Staff Sgt. Craig Cherry and Sgt. Bobby Beasley for a memorial ceremony to commemorate their loss and honor their memory Aug. 1, 2014, at the Winchester readiness center that was named in their honor. Beasley and Cherry, both infantrymen assigned to 3rd Battalion’s Headquarters Company, were killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed their vehicle Aug. 7, 2004, during a patrol near Ghazikel in eastern Afghanistan.

Fredericksburg readiness center dedicated in honor of Va. Guard Soldiers killed in 2004 Iraq bomb attack
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Nearly a decade after a 2004 Iraq suicide bomb attack took the lives of Sgt. Nicholas C. Mason and Sgt. David A. Ruhren, their families, friends and fellow Virginia National Guard Soldiers joined together Dec. 6, 2014, in Fredericksburg, Va., in a ceremony held to remember their sacrifice and dedicate the Fredericksburg readiness center in their honor.