Virginia Defense Force

VIsit the VDF at https://vdf.virginia.gov/

The VDF is authorized by Title 44 of the Code of the Virginia as the all-volunteer reserve of the Virginia National Guard, and it serves as a force multiplier integrated into all Guard domestic operations. The VDF reports to the Adjutant General of Virginia as part of the Virginia Department of Military Affairs along with the Virginia Army and Air National Guard.

Members of the VDF volunteer their time for training and are only paid when called to state active duty by an authorization from the Governor of Virginia.

In recent months when severe weather struck the commonwealth, VDF personnel worked in a number of different capacities. In the Virginia Emergency Operations Center, they assisted with processing requests for support in Emergency Support Function 16, the Guard’s response cell in the VEOC. They also assisted with mission tracking in the Guard’s Joint Operations Center and helped with public information support as well as providing interoperable communications and incident management assistance to units in the field.

During domestic operations, the Virginia National Guard receives missions through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to assist the Virginia State Police and other state and local emergency service organizations as part of the state emergency response team.
In addition to current mission sets like interoperable communications, operations center augmentation, incident management assistance and public information, the VDF will train personnel for more general support to civil authorities and emergency response capabilities.
The VDF is also growing cyber defense capabilities and has assisted with numerous Virginia National Guard network security assessments for Virginia localities in a state active duty status.

The VDF plans to conduct four three-day training assemblies at Fort Pickett this year that will focus on professional military education, small unit leadership and headquarters staff operations as well as refresher training on communications equipment and initial entry training for new members. Operational readiness evaluations will also be conducted to ensure personnel and equipment are ready for possible state active duty response missions.

In the last 18 months, members of the VDF volunteered in their communities assisting organizers and law enforcement at events like the Virginia War Memorial during Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the Winchester Apple Blossom Festival and the World War II Commemoration in Richmond.
The Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force trace the heritage and traditions of citizen service to the founding of Jamestown when Capt. John Smith organized the colonists for defense. Since the colony’s founding on May 14, 1607, there has not been a day since without a military presence in Virginia to protect citizens at home and defend freedom overseas.

Virginia Defense Force News

Brig. Gen. K. Weedon Gallagher and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Smith, the Virginia Army National Guard command team, led the marching formation of the parade at the inauguration of Glenn Youngkin as the 74th Governor of Virginia Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia. The formation consisted personnel from the Virginia Army National Guard and Virginia Air National Guard and a joint color guard featuring the U.S. and Virginia flags and the organizational colors of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Virginia Defense Force. At previous inaugurations, the organizational colors for the 29th Infantry Division, the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the 329th Regional Support Group were included in the marching formation, but all three unit headquarters are currently mobilized on federal active duty.
VNG supports the Inauguration of the 74th Governor of Virginia
Jan. 26, 2022
More than 200 Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel were on duty Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia, supporting the inauguration of Glenn Youngkin as the 74th Governor of Virginia.

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group clear 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. Read more about VNG winter weather response operations at at https://go.usa.gov/xtY3H.
VNG assists with statewide response for series of winter storms
Jan. 26, 2022
The Virginia National Guard staged personnel and equipment for three different winter storms over a two-week period in January 2022 as part of the statewide emergency response.

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Portsmouth-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct pre-mission checks on equipment Jan. 21, 2022, in Portsmouth, Virginia, to prepare for possible winter storm response operations.
Virginia National Guard to stage personnel for possible winter weather response
Jan. 21, 2022
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.

Virginia National Guard Soldiers stage vehicles for possible winter storm response operations Jan. 15, 2022, in Staunton, Virginia.
Virginia National Guard staged, ready for possible winter weather response operations
Jan. 16, 2022
The Virginia National Guard has approximately 75 personnel staged for possible winter storm response operations Jan. 16, 2022, at multiple locations across Virginia.

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Hanover-based Battery A, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire a ceremonial 19-gun salute with M119A3 105mm howitzers at the inauguration of Dr. Ralph Northam as the 73rd Governor of Virginia Jan. 13, 2018, in Richmond, Virginia.
Virginia National Guard to provide support for Governor’s Inauguration
Jan. 10, 2022
More than 200 Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel will be on duty Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia, supporting the inauguration of Glenn Youngkin as the 74th Governor of Virginia.