November 26, 2003

Engineers to enter active federal service

BLACKSTONE, Va. - Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, announced that approximately 525 soldiers of the 276th Engineer Battalion, Virginia Army National Guard, located in Richmond, Powhatan, Richlands, and West Point, Va. will enter active federal service at their home armories on December 18, 2003. The Virginia Army National Guard soldiers are currently scheduled to travel to their mobilization station, Ft. Dix, N. J. after a short period of duty at their home armories.

The soldiers of the 276th Engineer Battalion will be ordered to active federal service for up to 18 months beginning December 18, 2003. The Secretary of the Army may extend this period up to a total of 24 months based on operational needs or other requirements. Williams declined to speculate on what the final deployment location of the unit may be.

The 276th Engineer Battalion last saw active federal service during World War II. The unit was designated as the 176th Infantry when it entered active federal service on February 3, 1941. Some of the general missions the 276th Engineer Battalion is capable of conducting include emplacing and removing obstacles, constructing fortifications, and maintaining roads.

Company A, 276th Engineer Battalion is one of the oldest units in the Virginia Army National Guard. Company A, located in Powhatan and know as the "Guard of the Commonwealth," traces its history back to 1844.

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