CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –
The Virginia National Guard rapidly responded when requested to assist local law enforcement and Virginia State Police with security operations Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville after Governor Terry McAuliffe made a state emergency declaration when violence escalated at a “Unite the Right” rally. Guard Soldiers were part of the multi-agency team assembled in advance of the rally, held in Emancipation Park, and helped law enforcement restore order after the gathering was determined to be an unlawful assembly. Later in the day, one person was killed in a car attack and two Virginia State Police troopers died when their helicopter crashed.
“The entire Virginia National Guard team offers our thoughts and prayers to our partners in the Virginia State Police as well as those impacted by the injury and loss of life on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “I am incredibly proud of how well our Soldiers responded in support of local law enforcement and the Virginia State Police, and I am impressed by the level of professionalism and discipline they displayed in the face of extremely challenging conditions. During domestic operations, we are part of a multi-agency team with a shared goal of keeping our fellow Virginians safe, and we clearly demonstrated that the Guard is ready to rapidly respond with vital capabilities when needed.”
Local law enforcement was the lead agency for security operations with support from the Virginia State Police. The Virginia National Guard provided additional capabilities to law enforcement with the goal of keeping citizens in the Charlottesville area safe.
Soldiers assigned to the Manassas-based 229th Military Police Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group arrived on Friday and were placed on standby in order to rapidly respond if needed. When law enforcement requested Guard assistance Saturday morning, the Soldiers deployed and provided assistance in restoring order.
Williams also said there was great mission command and sustainment support from Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force members as well as state and federal civilian employees in Sandston, Richmond and Fort Pickett.
“We also owe a special thanks to the employers and families for their invaluable support to our mission,” Williams said. “It was a magnificent team effort on all fronts.”
It was the first time in nearly 30 years that the Virginia National Guard mobilized on state active duty to support law enforcement during a civil disturbance, Williams said. Guard personnel assisted local authorities in the Virginia Beach area in response to civil disturbances related to Greekfest during Labor Day Weekend 1989.