April 23, 2008

Virginia Defense Force- ready to respond in 2008

Courtesy of the Virginia Defense Force

RICHMOND National Volunteer Week will be celebrated April 27 to May 3. It recognizes the many volunteers in our state that contribute individual time and efforts that benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth. This effort is exemplified by many organizations in communities throughout the state. The Virginia Defense Force is just one of many volunteer organizations involved in support to our citizens.

The Virginia Defense Force is an all volunteer force that is a member of the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. It provides support after disasters, specifically when authorized to assist citizens throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia whenever and wherever relief is needed in support of the Virginia National Guard under the command of Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, the Adjutant General.

The volunteer members are located in over 38 Virginia Army National Guard installations throughout the Commonwealth. They support the Virginia National Guard in performing state missions to provide interoperable communications, less-than-lethal security, emergency medical triage, traffic control, fix-wing aviation flights, and general manpower support as specified by the Governor of Virginia.  

The division headquarters is located in Richmond and there are three operational brigades- Lafayette, located in the Tidewater area; Black Horse, located in Northern Virginia; and the High Land in Roanoke. Two new battalions will be activated on the Eastern Shore and in Northern Virginia in this year.

The division currently has a total of over 700 members and in 2007 they contributed over 7,500 mandays of volunteer service. This resulted in a financial contribution to the Commonwealth of over $1,000,000. The future trend is for the VDF to exceed the past year’s mandays for volunteer service to the state based on the increase in new members throughout the Commonwealth. The long term goal is to have 1,200 volunteers in four to five brigades and 12 to 15 battalions.

For more information about the Virginia Defense Force go to www.vdf.virginia.gov; or contact by e-mail at vdfinfo@vdf.virginia.gov; or call the Division Headquarters in Richmond at 804-228-7018 or 866-791-9164.

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