NEWS | Jan. 21, 2022

Virginia National Guard to stage personnel for possible winter weather response

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Virginia National Guard alerted personnel for possible winter storm response operations and plans to stage approximately 45 Soldiers and Airmen Jan. 21, 2022, in key locations along the southern I-95 corridor and Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore areas. All personnel are expected to be ready for missions by late Friday afternoon.

“For the third time in two weeks, the Virginia National Guard is staging personnel to be ready in case they are needed to help state and local authorities respond to possible severe winter weather,” explained Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, the VNG Director of the Joint Staff. “The key to a rapid response is giving the advance notice to our units so that they can be in place before the bad weather makes travel more challenging.  We are on track to have VNG forces ready to go. Once again we want to extend a special thanks to our families and employers for their continued support; which is so critical to our mission success.”

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management requested high mobility transportation and debris reduction capabilities, so the VNG is staging personnel at their home station readiness centers with heavy duty vehicles capable of traveling through deep snow and chain saws for reducing debris from fallen trees.

Additional Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force will also be on duty to provide logistics, administrative and operations center support in the Richmond area.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s emergency declaration Thursday  authorized the VNG to bring personnel on state active duty to support state and local authorities in advance of possible significant winter weather.

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. VDEM determines where capabilities are allocated, and the VNG does not respond to direct requests for assistance.

Localities looking for VNG support should make their requests to VDEM, and they determine which organization can best provide the requested assistance as they coordinate the regional and statewide response.

VNG Soldiers and Airmen recently helped open roads in Stafford County and cleared trees along power line routes in Louisa County. Archive photos and video of the recent snow response available at the links below:

VNG Soldiers assigned to the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group cleared trees along a power line route to help with electricity restoration efforts Jan. 8, 2022, in Louisa County, Virginia. After confirmation the power lines on the route were not active, Soldiers used chain saws to clear trees so Rappahannock Electric Cooperative crews could rehang the lines to help restore power in the area. 
Photos and video on Flickr at https://ngpa.us/17746.
Video on YouTube at https://ngpa.us/17745.
Download the video in .MP4 format at https://ngpa.us/17744.

VNG Airmen assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, 192nd Mission Support Group, 192nd Wing use chain saws to help reduce debris and clear roads of fallen trees Jan. 7, 2022, in Stafford County, Virginia. The Airmen cleared about 25 trees to open a road that had been blocked since Tuesday.
Photos and video on Flickr at https://ngpa.us/17734.
Video on YouTube at https://ngpa.us/17739.
Download the video in .MP4 format at https://ngpa.us/17738.

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