RICHMOND, Va. –
The Virginia National Guard has staged approximately 60 Soldiers and Airmen at key locations in the Abingdon, Roanoke, Richmond and Virginia Beach areas for possible severe weather response operations related to Hurricane Ian Sept. 30, 2022, and they are prepared to provide high mobility transportation and debris reduction assistance if needed. The VNG is not sending any personnel to assist in Florida, but numerous other states are providing requested National Guard support.
- Photos of personnel preparing for possible response operations are on Flickr at https://ngpa.us/21860
Additional personnel have been alerted in the Richmond area to be prepared to provide rotary wing rescue hoist, reconnaissance and aerial transport capabilities. More personnel have been alerted for possible additional high mobility transport and debris reduction capabilities if needed.
“The key to rapid response is staging personnel and equipment at key locations before the severe weather hits,” explained Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, VNG Director of the Joint Staff. “Our Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force personnel quickly left a their loved ones and their jobs on very short notice to assist their fellow Virginians in times of need, and we extend a special thanks to their families and employers for their continued support."
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s emergency declaration authorized the VNG to bring personnel on state active duty to support state and local authorities in advance of possible severe weather.
Typical missions for the VNG during hurricane or tropical storm response operations are transporting first responders or distributing food and water to citizens in remote areas as well as providing chain saw teams to help reduce debris to clear roads or power line routes.
Additional Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force will provide logistics, administrative, operations center and public information support in the Richmond area and at the staging locations.
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 personnel last supported severe weather response operations in late January 2022 when approximately 15 Airmen and Soldiers staged on the Eastern Shore. The personnel linked up with local authorities and were ready to assist, but did not receive any missions. It was the fourth time in just over three weeks the VNG deployed for winter storm response. Earlier in the month, VNG Soldiers and Airmen helped open roads in Stafford County and cleared trees along power line routes in Louisa County. Read more about VNG response operations at https://ngpa.us/21818