February 6, 2009

Virginia Guard to mobilize logistics advisory teams for active duty service in Iraq

By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group has received a mobilization order to organize and train four 10-Soldier Logistics Military Advisor Teams to serve on active duty in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, the Adjutant General of Virginia, announced Feb. 6.

The Soldiers are expected to conduct pre-mobilization training at Fort Pickett in early March, then depart to Fort Riley, Kansas for mobilization training. The four teams are expected to begin duty at various locations in Iraq beginning in early June. The mobilization is expected to last 12 months.

The mission of the teams will be to mentor, coach and advise the Iraqi Army or National Police with professional advice on various issues relating to logistics with the goal of helping the Iraqi forces improve their ability to function independently, Newman said

“As our military efforts in Iraq shift from combat operations to sustainment operations, the assistance provided by these teams will be invaluable in helping the Iraqis function more and more on their own,” Newman said. “We recognize the importance of this mission, and we have selected some of our most experienced logisticians in the Virginia National Guard to deploy.”

FOR THE NEWS MEDIA: The Soldiers taking part in the mission will be available for interviews Feb. 7 after 3:30 p.m. Any news organization that would like to interview Soldiers should coordinate with Maj. Cotton Puryear by 6 p.m. on Feb. 6. Soldiers will be available for in-person interviews at the Virginia Beach armory, and phone interviews can also be scheduled.

Each team will be led by a lieutenant colonel who will serve as a senior logistics advisor, and two other officers will act as a logistics staff advisor and base management and engineer advisor. Highly experienced noncommissioned officers will act as advisors for ammunition supply and storage, food service, administrative support, bulk fuel and supply, equipment maintenance and medical services. An additional noncommissioned offer will serve as the team’s noncommissioned officer in charge.

Soldiers from all over Virginia have been selected for the mission with approximately five Soldiers coming from Northern Virginia, approximately 10 Soldiers from the Richmond area, approximately five Soldiers from the Hampton Roads area and approximately 10 coming from the Roanoke and Southwest Virginia area.

The mobilization orders call for an active duty period not to exceed 400 days, but the Secretary of Defense can extend tours for operational needs not to exceed 24 months or 730 days.

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