July 30, 2010
Virginia Beach-based military police company returns to Virginia from Iraqi duty
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Senior leaders from the Virginia National Guard joined family, friends and members of the Virginia Beach community July 29 to welcome home Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company after serving in Iraq since October 2009. Approximately 80 Soldiers from the Hampton Roads and Richmond areas returned to Birdneck Elementary School and approximately 40 Soldiers from the Roanoke and Southwest Virginia area returned to Patrick Henry High School to be reunited with their families. The Soldiers began their tour on federal active duty Aug. 3, 2009.
Family members, friends and members of the Virginia Beach community welcomed home approximately 80 Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company July 29 at Birdneck Elementary School in Virginia Beach. The unit returned after serving in Iraq since October 2009. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)
Please visit the Virginia Guard Flickr page for more photos.
“On behalf of the Soldiers of the 229th MP Company, thank you for your support,” Capt. David O. Sutton, commander of the 229th, told the family and friends present for the welcome home. “To the Soldiers of the 229th MP Company, job well done. It has been an honor to serve as your commander.”
The Soldiers arrived safely at their demobilization station at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and conducted a number of different administrative activities to transition from active duty back to traditional National Guard status prior to returning to Virginia.
While headquartered in Virginia Beach, the 229th deployed with Soldiers from all over the state. Approximately 60 Soldiers are from the Hampton Roads area, about 20 are from the Richmond and Petersburg area, approximately 40 are from the Roanoke and Southwest Virginia area, about 10 are from the Northern Virginia area and the other Soldiers are from various locations across the state.
The unit was expected to provide police training to the Iraqi Police, but was task organized and provided additional training to also conduct protection service detail missions. The unit was requested by name to provide route security for Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Iraq on Jan. 22, 2010.
When the Iraqi national elections were conducted in March 2010, Soldiers from the 229th helped maintain security, working side by side with Iraq Police. During the six-day time period of the elections, Soldiers lived with their Iraqi Police counterparts at the Provincial Division of Police and the Patrol Headquarters.
The unit was also very active in conducting humanitarian missions while in Iraq. On their own initiative Soldiers improved the conditions and safety at a local elementary school in West Rasheed, Baghdad as well as establishing a partnership with the adjoining hospital. In addition to distributing school supplies donated by family members, the company also filled in a sinkhole and installed 26 windows.
Soldiers in the company conducted more than 400 combat patrols and travelled more than100,000 miles on Iraqi roads. The company provided personnel for traffic control points for several high level ceremonies to help make sure they were conducted safely.
No Virginia Guard Soldiers were killed or wounded in action during the company’s tour of duty in Iraq.
Soldiers from the company were awarded 11 Combat Action Badges, 22 Bronze Star Medals, one Meritorious Service Medal and 107 Army Commendation Medals.
Additional information on 229th MP Company:
229th MP Company Soldiers make positive impact on Iraqi children
Virginia Guard Soldiers involved with Iraq national election
229th MPs help protect Vice President Biden in Iraq
229th Military Police Company adopts Iraqi school
Virginia Beach-based military police company begins duty in Iraq
Virginia Beach-based 229th MP Company mobilizes for Iraq