November 12, 16:56 EST

Additional soldiers ordered to duty

BLACKSTONE, Va. - Maj. Gen. Claude A. Williams, adjutant general of Commonwealth of Virginia, announced today that additional Virginia Army National Guard soldiers would be ordered to duty in response to President Bush's call last week for an increased National Guard presence in the nation's airports. Williams said that approximately 70 more Virginia Army National Guard soldiers would be placed on duty to meet this newest homeland defense requirement.

Williams indicated the reason for the additional soldiers was the anticipated increase in holiday air travelers. He pointed out that the Virginia Army and Air National Guard have consistently been able to meet the challenges of Operation Noble Eagle - Virginia since September 11. He said that the Virginia Air National Guard is flying Combat Air Patrols over the East coast and noted the Virginia Army Guard is providing security to the Commonwealth's nine commercial service airports, security to National Guard facilities in Virginia and security to two nuclear power plants at Surry and North Anna. He also indicated approximately 100 soldiers are currently on duty providing security at both the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington and Fort Pickett.

Men and women from Virginia's famed 29th Infantry Division were also on duty in support of NATO's Stabilization Force in Bosnia, Williams said. These troops are in addition to the Virginia Army National Guard's response to Operation Noble Eagle. He also noted that approximately 100 soldiers had also been called to duty by Governor Gilmore to fight forest fires.

Click HERE to return to the top of the page ~ Click HERE to return to the news directory