NEWS | April 30, 2021

Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group to deploy to Middle East in Fall 2021

By Maj. Alexa Carlo-Hickman 329th Regional Support Group

The Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based Headquarters, 329th Regional Support Group has received a mobilization order for federal active duty in the Middle East, according to an announcement made April 29, 2021, by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. In Fall 2021, more than 80 Soldiers assigned to the 329th will begin a 10-month deployment in the Central Command Area of Operations under the operational control of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve serving as the base operating support-integrator for multiple installations. While based in Virginia Beach, Soldiers assigned to the 329th Regional Support Group live throughout Virginia.

“The 329th is yet another one of the Virginia National Guard’s highly trained and specialized units being called upon to demonstrate their superior skills and provided needed capabilities for a federal mission,” said Williams. “In addition to the outstanding state-level COVID-19 related support they have provided over the past year, they have been able to seamlessly shift their focus to prepare for their deployment. And while the 329th has been busy, they’ve remained resilient, and I believe we have their families and employers to thank for supporting their multiple military missions.”

According to their official website, the Department of Defense formally established CJFT-OIR Oct. 17, 2014, in order to formalize ongoing military actions against the rising threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In conjunction with partner forces CJTF-OIR defeats ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability.

“The Soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers of the 329th have answered the call many times in the past with everything from battalion missions to small advisor teams, from deployments in Virginia and elsewhere within the United States to overseas,” said Col. Todd Pegg, commander of the 329th. “It's always difficult on our service members, their families, and their jobs both in the preparation for and in the execution of the mission. But what we do is important, and this is no different. I know the 329th will do it right and make Virginia proud.”

Soldiers will conduct mobilization training at various locations in Virginia over the next few months, will then report to Fort Hood, Texas, for the final mobilization training and will deploy from there.

More information about a departure ceremony will be published when details are finalized.

This is the first deployment of the 329th Regional Support Group Headquarters, but the unit carries the lineage of the 54th Field Artillery Brigade. Soldiers assigned to the 54th served on federal active duty as a liaison team for military activities in Afghanistan from February 2004 to August 2005.

Four 10-Soldier Logistics Military Advisory Teams from the 329th served on federal active duty from March 2009  to April 2010 where they served as mentors, coaches and advisors the Iraqi Army with professional advice on various issues relating to logistics with the goal of helping the Iraqi forces improve their ability to function independently.

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve website:
https://www.inherentresolve.mil/About-CJTF-OIR/

About the 329th Regional Support Group:

Constituted July 18, 1917 in the Virginia National Guard as Headquarters, 54th Field Artillery Brigade, and assigned to the 29th Division, the unit was converted and reorganized September 1, 2008, as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 329th Regional Support Group. The RSG consists of the 276th Engineer Battalion, the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and the 1030th Transportation Battalion.

Today, the unit deploys to provide contingency and expeditionary base operations support, with responsibilities for managing facilities, providing administrative and logistical support of Soldier services, and ensuring the security of personnel and facilities on a base camp. The RSG provides mission command of assigned units during homeland security, homeland defense, and civil support missions within the United States, to include managing the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of supporting forces.

Despite restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 329th RSG successfully adjusted to a “new normal” and accomplished several major objectives throughout 2020.

For months in late 2019, the 329th RSG diligently planned and prepared to participate in DEFENDER-Europe 20, a joint, multi-national, U.S. Army Europe-led, U.S. European Command exercise designed to test the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force to Europe and integrate with partners and allies. While DEFENDER-Europe 20 was cancelled due to the global pandemic the planning and training involved proved invaluable to the operations the 329th would support in 2020.

In early 2020, the 1033rd Engineer Support Company provided much needed assistance to flood ravaged areas of southwest Virginia.

In the spring, the 329th HHC and its subordinate battalions mobilized over 270 Soldiers to provide significant support to the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Missions included N95 mask fit training, support to COVID-19 testing sites, logistics support for shipments of personal protective equipment around the Commonwealth, support to local food banks and personnel to conduct the command and control for three Virginia Guard COVID response Task Forces.

In the fall of 2020, the 276th Engineer Battalion and 1032nd Transportation Company began their state-side deployments to support domestic federal operations. Prior to mobilizing for their federal mission, the 276th, with the help of their subordinate companies, provided civil disturbance support to Virginia agencies as violent protests spread across the Commonwealth in the spring and summer of 2020.

As the 329th entered 2021, operations showed no signs of slowing. The RSG provided requested support to civil disturbances and continued COVID-19 efforts while simultaneously planning for upcoming federal mobilizations.