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116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
The 116th IBCT is authorized approximately 3,500 Soldiers and is the largest major command in the Virginia National Guard. The 116th has units throughout Virginia from Winchester to Pulaski along I-81, from Staunton to Virginia Beach along I-64, from Danville to Lynchburg to Warrenton along Route 29 as well as Fredericksburg, Manassas and Leesburg. An infantry battalion based in Barbourville, Kentucky, is also aligned with the 116th for training and readiness oversight. A brigade combat team is the basic deployable unit of maneuver in the U.S. Army and carries with it support units necessary to sustain its operations away from its parent division. The 116th consists of three infantry battalions, a cavalry squadron, a field artillery battalion, a brigade support battalion and brigade engineer battalion.
The Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team returned from overseas in 2022, officially ending their mission as Task Force Saint Lo and the mission command headquarters for NATO Kosovo Force Regional Command-East with a transfer of authority ceremony Nov. 2, 2022, at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. NATO KFOR troops conduct peace support operations contributing to a safe and secure environment for all people in Kosovo while healthy political dialogue continues between Kosovo and Serbia.
As the multi-national brigade assigned to Regional Command - East, Task Force Saint Lo commanded more than 1,000 personnel from 10 different nations to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement throughout Kosovo. The leaders and staff planned and executed three separate named operations to decrease tensions related to Serbian elections, License Plate Reciprocity, and securing energy infrastructure.
The brigade was also responsible for working with the Serbian armed forces to ensure all parties were in compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999 and the Military Technical Agreement. The focus of RC-East was to provide the opportunity to resolve tensions in the Balkans through political dialogue focused on normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
They planned and participated in multinational training events with the German contingencies to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and Schützenschnur and with the Danish contingencies to participate in the DANCON march. They also hosted the U.S. marksmanship badges for two NATO nations. Senior leaders took part in more than 70 engagements with the Kosovo Police, local mayors and Serbian armed forces. The Civil-Military Cooperation section executed 10 projects valued at more than 70,000 euros.
Read more about Task Force Saint Lo at https://ngpa.us/22642.
Approximately 1,000 Virginia and Kentucky National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, ended their mobilization as Task Force Red Dragon during a transfer of authority ceremony Sept. 19, 2022, to officially end their security mission for Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. They began serving on federal active duty Nov. 27, 2021.
Task Force Red Dragon provided security forces throughout the Horn of Africa, maintaining a presence in Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. This defensive mission included 24/7 perimeter security of military installations, to include manning guard towers and vehicle entry control points to constantly safeguard U.S forces, partner forces, and civilian contractors. The task force also provided land-side security for multiple U.S. Navy port calls, enabling refueling and refit operations for U.S. ships operating in the vicinity of the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb strait. Throughout this base defense mission, the task force effectively integrated their enabler units into the defensive plan by augmenting medical personnel at each site, establishing indirect fire capabilities, and continuously worked to improve their defensive posture.
Additionally, TFRD provided the ground component of the East Africa Response Force, tasked with execution of a broad range of military operations, to include crisis response and security augmentation to Department of State or other U.S. facilities, support for military-assisted departure or non-combatant evacuation operations and other missions as directed. The EARF conducted monthly emergency deployment readiness exercises to ensure readiness and preparation in responding quickly to crises within East Africa. Over the course of the deployment, the EARF supported Department of State missions in Nairobi, Kenya; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Durban, South Africa. The EARF also conducted two emergency deployment readiness exercises to rehearse the reinforcement of contingency support locations in East Africa.
Read more about TF Red Dragon’s mobilization at https://ngpa.us/21523.
Virginia and Ohio National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, conducted a transfer of authority ceremony Nov. 12, 2022, at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, to officially end their short-range air defense mission for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
While deployed, approximately 330 Soldiers were tasked to provide short-range air defense against unmanned aerial systems and rocket artillery and motor attacks, protecting more than 10,000 coalition forces and critical assets throughout the Central Command area of operations in the Middle East using the Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System, or C-RAM.
Throughout the deployment, the 1-111th successfully engaged two UAS systems and multiple rockets with kinetic defeat systems and more than two dozen UAS systems with non-kinetic systems. They were also responsible for upgrading and expanding counter UAS operational capabilities.
Read more about the 1-111th’s mobilization at https://ngpa.us/22853.
Visit the 116th IBCT on Facebook:
Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team https://www.facebook.com/1stBattalion116thInfantry/
Portsmouth-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team https://www.facebook.com/2nd183rdCav/
Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team https://www.facebook.com/3rdBattalion116thInfantry/
Norfok-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team https://www.facebook.com/1stBattalion111thFieldArtillery/
Fredericksburg-based 229th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Danville-based 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team