RICHMOND, Va . – Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., announced that Governor Timothy Kaine has authorized up to 150 Virginia Guardsmen to be ordered to state active duty immediately. These Guardsmen are joining in with other state agencies in response to winter weather conditions developing along the Interstate 81 corridor in the Shenandoah Valley.
Newman said that Virginia National Guard emergency response teams, one stationed at the Winchester armory and one stationed at the Lexington armory, will work with other state agencies to provide services such as emergency transportation and evacuation along the Interstate 81 corridor. Each team will be made up of approximately 30 Soldiers and four High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, HMMWV, equipped with tire chains.
In addition to the Soldiers providing emergency transportation, Newman said Guardsmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force will also be working in the State Emergency Operations Center in Midlothian where they will be assisting with coordinating the response to this storm.
Col. Kim Gugliotta, the Virginia National Guard’s J3/Director of Operations, said, “Guardsmen and Virginia Defense Force personnel are predominantly coming from our units in the Valley - Lexington, Staunton, Winchester, and possibly Harrisonburg and Woodstock. We have Guardsmen and Virginia Defense Force personnel from Central Virginia manning the Emergency Operations Center and augmenting our Joint Operations Center at Fort Pickett.”