Va. Guard supports state’s multi-agency severe weather response

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team transport a Chesapeake firefighter to assess localized flooding Sept. 3, 2016, in Chesapeake, Virginia. The Virginia National Guard has more than 270 Soldiers staged and ready for possible severe weather response operations Sept. 3, 2016, in the Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore areas. As part of the stateÕs multi-agency response, the Guard has Soldiers with Humvees, light/medium tactical trucks and chain saws ready to assist with high water transport and debris reduction if needed. Read more at http://go.usa.gov/xWSE3. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team transport a Chesapeake firefighter to assess localized flooding Sept. 3, 2016, in Chesapeake, Virginia.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard staged more than 270 Soldiers at readiness centers and fire stations Sept. 3, 2016, in the Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore areas as part of the state’s multi-agency severe weather response effort in the wake of Hurricane Hermine. The Guard received seven mission taskings to support local officials with possible evacuation of citizens and transportation of first responders through high water. With Virginia escaping any significant impacts from the severe weather, the Guard returned to routine operations late in the day Sept. 4.

“Once again the Virginia National Guard has demonstrated why they are such an important part of our state emergency response team,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Guard leaders worked with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to develop a plan to deploy critical capabilities to key regions that could be impacted by the severe weather. Members of the Guard are in place Saturday morning and ready to assist the Virginia State Police, local law enforcement and emergency services to keep our citizens safe.”

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Sept. 2, 2016, and authorized the Guard to bring up 400 personnel on state active duty.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how quickly and safely our personnel responded to the call of duty,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “This severe weather has impacted everyone’s holiday weekend, but our Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force troopers left their jobs and their loved ones to muster in areas of the state threatened by heavy rains and high winds. We owe a special thanks to their families and employers for their continued support that is so critical to our ability to conduct the mission.”

Soldiers assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group and the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were located at multiple readiness centers and fire stations in the Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia.

While the weather impacts did not require any significant employment of any of the Guard’s capabilities, Williams explained that every time personnel are called on state active duty it helps prepare the Guard to be even better prepared for the next possible mission.

Additional Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force personnel were on duty in Sandston, Richmond and Fort Pickett to provide mission command, logistical support and public information support for the Guard’s operations.

During domestic operations, the Virginia National Guard receives missions through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to assist the Virginia State Police and other state and local emergency response organizations.

View and download high resolution photos on Flickr:

Va. Guard transports firefighter to survey localized flooding
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157670261980663

Va. Guard staged and ready for possible severe weather response operations
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157672288989990