Aug. 12, 2009
Virginia National Guard units leaving Roanoke
By Maj. Cotton Puryear
Virginia Guard Public Affairs
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia National Guard will relocate four units currently stationed at the Roanoke Readiness Center to Virginia Guard facilities in Petersburg, Martinsville, Lynchburg and Virginia Beach, Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, announced Aug. 14. The city of Roanoke plans to destroy the building where the units are currently stationed in order to make room for future development.
“The city offered another building in exchange for the current building, but it was not sufficient for our needs, so we are relocating units to different locations in Virginia,” Newman said. The units are expected to be out of the building by late December.
The number of Soldiers and units impacted by the move are:
- 29th Army Band, consisting of approximately 40 Soldiers, will relocate to the Petersburg Readiness Center
- 229th Chemical Company, consisting of approximately 60 Soldiers, will relocate to the Martinsville Readiness Center
- Company E of the 429 Brigade Support Battalion, consisting of approximately 125 Soldiers, will relocate to the Lynchburg Readiness Center
- Detachment 1 of the 229th Military Police Company, consisting of approximately 50 Soldiers, will relocate to the Virginia Beach Readiness Center and consolidate with the rest of the company
Newman said that any Soldier who would have to drive more than 50 miles to their new duty location would be given the option of being reassigned to a unit closer to Roanoke.
“Maintaining a presence in the Roanoke area is still a priority for the Virginia National Guard, and we hope to be able to return units to the area in the future,” Newman said. “Our long term goal is to build a new readiness center in Roanoke area, but that is going to take funding that is not currently available in the either the state or federal budget systems. We plan to begin the work necessary to secure the funding to build a new readiness center.”
The Virginia Guard is still working to finalize plans for the location of the field maintenance shop currently housed at the Roanoke Readiness Center, and Newman said the Guard hopes to keep the facility in the Roanoke area.
Moving units to other Virginia Guard facilities will not have a major impact on the Guard’s ability to respond to any requests for assistance, Newman said. “The Virginia National Guard will still be able to rapidly respond to requests for assistance if the citizens of Roanoke need us,” he said. “When we responded to assist with battling wild fires in the Roanoke area in February 2008, most of those Soldiers came from the units stationed in Lynchburg and Bedford.”