Dec. 1, 2011
Virginia Defense Force HQ moves to Waller Depot
By Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia National Guard United States Property and Fiscal Office handed over responsibility for Waller Depot to the Virginia Defense Force Nov. 30 at Waller Depot, in Richmond. Waller Depot will now serve as the headquarters of the VDF, the Virginia Department of Military Affairs all-volunteer reserve force for the National Guard.
Col. Donald Sutherland, United States Property & Fiscal Officer for the Virginia Guard, hands over an access card to Col. (Va.) Michael Lawson, Virginia Defense Force, Nov. 30 during an informal transfer of responsibilty for one of the buildings at Waller Depot. The USPFO is moving to a new facility at the Defense Supply Center, Richmond and the VDF headqaurters has moved from a location in downtown Richmond to the facility at Waller Depot. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
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Col. Donald Sutherland, the United States Property and Fiscal Officer of Virginia, handed the final gate pass to Col. (Va.) Michael Lawson of the VDF to signify the transfer of responsibility during an informal ceremony. The USPFO logistics section, the unit in charge of supplying National Guard units in the state, vacated the Waller Depot location earlier in the month and moved to the Defense Supply Center, Richmond.
“This is the first time the VDF has been entrusted with actual command of a state asset, so it is a big step for us,” said Lawson. “We have units at over 30 other locations across the state. This is going to be our primary headquarters.”
Waller Depot will now house the Virginia Counterdrug Program, the Virginia Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear High Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package and the Virginia Defense Force.
With the addition of the VDF headquarters to the area, Waller Depot is considered a hub for Defense Support to Civil Authorities in Virginia. Following the closing of the Air National Guard Base in Sandston, the Waller Depot location was an obvious choice to locate the three state units.
“Waller Depot is state property, so it was thought that would be a good place for the VDF to have a home,” said Sutherland. “With the Adjutant General of Virginia’s focus on DSCA operations, this seemed like a good compound, a secure area to bring the CERFP and Counterdrug elements in to better prepare for DSCA operations.”
Waller Depot is a state owned property, occupied by the Virginia Guard since 1949, according to James “Eddie” Ayers, a National Guard technician who has worked at Waller Depot since 1969. The departure of USPFO personnel signals the end of an era, one which has seen many changes in logistics business processes and operations. While some expressed sadness at leaving, they are also excited about the opportunity that exists at DSCR.