Jan. 29, 2010

Virginia National Guard staging personnel for possible snow duty

By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va., — The Virginia National Guard is staging personnel more than 200 personnel at key locations in the commonwealth in preparation for a possible winter storm expected to hit Virginia on Saturday.

“We are moving Virginia Guard Soldiers into position today in order to be on standby for possible missions to assist local emergency response organizations with rescue and transportation operations,” said Col. Rob McMillin, Virginia National Guard joint operations officer.

McMillin stressed that the Virginia National Guard receives their missions through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to assist local emergency response organizations and is not able to respond to direct requests from the public.

“During the winter storm in December, we received calls directly from citizens, and we are not able to respond to those.” McMillin said. “We urge people who need assistance to make a request through their local dispatcher or 911 service, and that request will be forward to the Guard when appropriate.”

Virginia National Guard Soldiers are on duty in the following locations:

  • Approximately 45 Soldiers are on duty in Sandston conducting planning and command and control functions.
  • Approximately 70 Soldiers from the Portsmouth-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry are on duty in Portsmouth, Norfolk and Emporia.
  • Approximately 25 Soldiers from the Danville-based 429th Brigade Support Battalion are on duty in Danville.
  • Approximately 70 Soldiers from the Gate City-based 1030th Transportation Battalion are on duty in Gate City, Christiansburg and Cedar Bluff.

The Virginia Guard last served on state active duty a little over a month ago. Nearly 700 Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen served on state active duty to assist state and local authorities with the response to a major winter storm that began Dec. 18, 2009. Soldiers and Airmen were on duty along the I-81 corridor from Winchester to Danville, and also conducted support operations in Lynchburg, Stafford and Charlottesville. Soldiers continued to operate in the Southwest Virginia area through Dec. 24.

December 2009 winter storm wrap up:

http://vko.va.ngb.army.mil/VirginiaGuard/news/jan10/stormwrapup.html

Photos from December 2009 snow duty:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157622903254321/detail/

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