RICHMOND, Va. –
The Virginia National Guard has staged approximately 40 Soldiers and Airmen for possible severe winter weather response duty Jan. 6, 2022. About 20 Soldiers are on duty in the Southwest Virginia area and ready to respond, and about 20 Airmen are mustered in the Virginia Beach area and will begin movement into the Northern Virginia area Thursday afternoon. Both groups are equipped with chain saws to conduct debris reduction operations to clear fallen trees to open blocked roads, and they will travel in heavy duty trucks capable of navigating through heavy snow.
An additional 20 Soldiers will muster in the Richmond area Thursday evening with chain saws and heavy duty trucks to support the Central Virginia area.
“Once again our Soldiers and Airmen have quickly answered the call to be ready to assist their fellow Virginians during a potentially hazardous weather situation,” said Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, the VNG Director of the Joint Staff. “It is important our state agency partners know we are able to quickly respond when we are requested, and we owe a special thanks to our families and employers. Without their support, we couldn’t perform our mission.”
Virginia Governor Northam’s emergency declaration Jan. 5 authorized the VNG to bring personnel on state active duty to support state and local authorities in advance of possible severe winter weather.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management requested the VNG provide debris reduction teams capable of clearing roads of fallen trees.
Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Cedar Bluff-based 1033rd Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group are mobilized in the Southwest Virginia area. Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers are staging in the Virginia Beach area and preparing to move into the Central Virginia area.
Additional Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel will be on duty in the Richmond area providing logistics, administrative and operations center support to the personnel in the field.
All personnel were alerted Wednesday evening and are scheduled to be staged and ready for duty by noon on Thursday.
During domestic operations, the VNG receives missions from VDEM and responds as part of a multi-agency team with other state and local agencies to provide support capabilities requests by Virginia communities.