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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2017

Governor christens howitzer, tours new Va. Guard headquarters site

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe christened a 105mm M101A1 towed howitzer December 8, 2017, at the site of the new Virginia National Guard Joint Force Headquarters under construction at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, then toured the facility for a construction update.

“We have the best Guard in the country, and you have always made me proud, not only by what you have done in Virginia, but for what you have done for our country,” McAuliffe said. “You are part of what makes Virginia such a great place, and I can’t thank you all enough.”

Soldiers from the Virginia Army National Guard Combined Support Maintenance Shop prepared the howitzer for display after receiving it from the Center of Military History in Anniston, Alabama, in April 2017. It will be outside the new headquarters scheduled for completion in Spring 2018. The 111th Field Artillery Regiment was equipped with the same model M101 howitzer in World War II, and its operational lifespan continued into the Vietnam War-era.

Joining McAuliffe for the christening and tour of the building construction site were Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, Brig. Gen. Linda S. Hurry, commander of Defense Supply Center Richmond and Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, members of the Governor’s cabinet and senior leaders from the Virginia National Guard and state partner agencies.

The 102,000 square foot facility is being built on a 13.6-acre site in the northern section of DSCR with a cost of approximately $30 million. It will provide workspace for the Adjutant General of Virginia, the Virginia National Guard Joint Staff and Air National Guard Staff currently located at Mullins Readiness Center in Sandston, Virginia.

The current state headquarters in Sandston houses the adjutant general and his senior staff, as well full-time federal and state employees and traditional Soldiers and Airmen of the Virginia National Guard Joint Staff and Air National Guard staff. The readiness center also houses the Joint Operations Center that manages Virginia National Guard operations during routine and emergency response operations. The Virginia Army National Guard staff is located at Fort Pickett near Blackstone, and the Virginia Defense Force staff is located at Waller Depot in Richmond.

The Virginia National Guard Joint Staff provides support for the entire state in the areas of operations, human resources, family programs, sustainment and logistics and public affairs.

The Virginia National Guard currently has several activities and units already on DSCR including the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office Supply Support Activity that includes the Guard’s Central Issue Facility, the Combined Support Maintenance Shop and Company B, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The current facility in Sandston only provides 58 percent of the authorized space for a state headquarters, and the new facility increases available space to 98 percent, explained Col. Charlton Dunn, the Virginia National Guard construction and facilities management officer.

The funding for the State Headquarters is predominantly federal, with the Department of Military Affairs contributing approximately $471,000 of its own state funds to provide space for its employees, Dunn said. The Virginia Air National Guard is providing approximately $1.02 million for the Air Guard staff with the remaining funds to be provided by the Virginia Army National Guard.

The new facility will be built in compliance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver requirements and will make use of ground-source heat pumps, photovoltaic solar panels and natural gas to create an energy efficient building now and for future generations of employees, Dunn said. This project utilizes Construction Manager at Risk, Building Information Modeling, and a commissioning agent to ensure the best product at appropriate initial and lifecycle costs within existing time constraints.

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