The Virginia National Guard is sending approximately 40 guardsmen and 20 tactical vehicles to support the North Carolina National Guard with recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence caused widespread flooding.
A spokesperson for the Virginia National Guard said the guardsmen departed Saturday. The VNG will keep a force of Soldiers on standby and postured for possible support to the Southwest Virginia region if needed, and personnel not on standby will return to routine operations.
"We are incredibly fortunate that Hurricane Florence seems to have missed Virginia, so now we will turn our attention to supporting our neighbors to the south," said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. "We will keep a small force on standby in Virginia in case the Southwest Virginia area needs any assistance. I am incredibly proud of the great team effort that enabled us to have personnel and equipment ready to respond here in Virginia, and we welcome the opportunity to lend a hand in North Carolina. We know they would do the same for us if we needed the help."
VNG Soldiers assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 1173rd Transportation Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group conducted pre-mission checks Saturday morning, and they are traveling south to link up with the North Carolina National Guard.
VNG Soldiers will remain staged at key locations so they could rapidly respond to the Southwest Virginia area if needed. The Soldiers could provide high water mobility transport, debris reduction with chainsaw teams and engineer equipment capabilities. The VNG had more than 1,300 personnel staged and ready to support local and state emergency management officials with response to Hurricane Florence Sept. 12.