By Sgt. 1st Class Michael Hampton
FORT PICKETT, Va. – As the Virginia Army National Guard continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of America’s fighting force, Soldiers stand ready to meet the challenges that these changes pose. This was demonstrated as the 329th Regional Support Group (RSG) held its activation ceremony at Fort Pickett Nov. 19, when over 200 troops came out to support this momentous occasion.
Among those on hand for the event were Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, Adjutant of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Eugene Stockton, assistant adjutant general for Army, Brig. Gen. Frank Betts, Deputy Commander, Joint Force Headquarters - Virginia, and Command Sgt. Maj. Cliffton White, state command sergeant major.
Now under the command of Col. Janice G. Igou, the 329th Regional Support Group was established to provide combat service support to a designated geographical theater communications zone. The 329th provides command and control over the full spectrum of logistical units and missions. Within the state’s chain of command, it serves as one of the major subordinate commands, controlling specialized non-divisional units throughout the commonwealth.
The 329th was first established in April 1963 and served Virginia with distinction until it was deactivated in October 1996. The 329th, headquartered in Virginia Beach, has reemerged as one of the highest priority units in the state.
According to Igou, the 329th was reactivated to assist with today’s combat mission.
“We have been tasked to become a leaner and swifter fighting force, which necessitates the ability to resource our Soldiers on the ground in the most expedient and efficient way” she said. “Operationally and strategically, we are set up to meet those needs.”
The units making up the 329th Regional Support Group are the 1030th Transportation Battalion, (comprised of the 1032nd Trans. Company, the 1173rd Trans. Co., and the 229th Chemical Co.), the 529th Combat CSSB, (comprised of the 1710th Trans. Co., the 3647th Maintenance Co. and the 183rd Personnel Service Detachment) and the 329th HHD.
The activation ceremony is a symbolic event that is rich in tradition. The highpoint of the ceremony is the uncasing of the colors which symbolizes the heartbeat of the unit, bringing it back to life. The colors represent the lineage and honors of the unit as well as the loyalty and unity of its Soldiers. The colors are a symbol of the commander’s authority and represent her leadership and responsibility for the unit.
Igou said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve in such a significant way, but says it is the dedicated Soldiers that make things happen.
“It is truly an honor to have been given such an awesome responsibility, but as commanders, we could not carry out the mission without the dedicated men and women in uniform--our Soldiers,” she said.