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Virginia National Guard to provide music, support, more for inauguration

northam inaugural committeeMore than 200 Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel will be on duty Jan. 13, 2018, supporting the inauguration of Dr. Ralph Northam as the 73rd Governor of Virginia in Richmond.

Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen and members of the VDF will conduct a variety of missions including playing ceremonial music, firing a 19-gun salute with artillery howitzers and providing command and control of the inaugural parade marching elements. A formation of Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will also lead the inaugural parade, and aviation crews will conduct a flyover with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

“Supporting the Governor’s inauguration is a great opportunity for us to honor the new governor as our commander in chief, and it also has tremendous training value for our National Guard civil support mission,” explained Maj. Gen. Timothy Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “We are working hand-in-hand with our partners in state government, and that will help us be better prepared if we are called to assist with any sort of domestic response operation.”

Williams is scheduled to present one of the shell casings from the ceremonial 19-gun salute at the completion on the inaugural parade.

Personnel from the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force are scheduled to conduct the following missions:

•Soldiers assigned to the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division will provide mission command for all Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel taking part in the inauguration.

• Soldiers assigned to the Troutville-based 29th Division Band will provide ceremonial music for all the inaugural activities.

• Soldiers assigned to the Hanover-based Battery A, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will fire a ceremonial 19-gun salute with four M119A3 105mm howitzers.

• Brig. Gen. Walter Mercer, Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General-Army, and Command Sgt. Maj. Cheyenne Johnson, Virginia Army National Guard State Command Sergeant Major, will lead the marching formation of the inaugural parade consisting of a color guard and personnel from the Virginia Army National Guard and Virginia Air National Guard.

– The 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I was observed in 2017, and it marked the first time that volunteer state militia units were activated and deployed overseas for combat operations for federal duty under a formal Army structure. To commemorate the centennial, a color guard of Virginia National Guard Soldiers in World War I uniforms will lead the marching formation.

– Immediately following the World War I color guard will be the organizational colors from the Virginia National Guard’s deployable major commands: the 29th Infantry Division, the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 329th Regional Support Group, the 91st Cyber Brigade and the 192nd Fighter Wing, as well as the organizational colors of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and the Virginia Defense Force.

– Virginia National Guard aviation crews assigned to the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment will conduct a flyover with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters

• Virginia National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and members of the VDF will provide mission tracking and coordination support at the Virginia Guard Joint Operations Center in Sandston and a forward command post in Richmond.

• Personnel from the Virginia Army National Guard and VDF will provide command and control for the inaugural parade and assist with staging and marshaling the parade marching elements.

– Members of the Virginia Defense Force will also provide communications support for the operation.

About the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Virginia Defense Force

The Virginia National Guard is a unique dual-status force with a federal mission to provide a combat reserve to fight our nation’s wars and a state mission to provide a response force that answers the call of the Governor to defend the commonwealth.

The Virginia Department of Military Affairs is the state agency that provides leadership and administrative support to the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force. DMA plans, coordinates, maintains situational awareness and employs forces for homeland security and homeland defense in order to respond to any incidents within the Commonwealth.

The Virginia National Guard has mobilized nearly 2,000 Soldiers and Airmen for federal active duty overseas deployments since January 2014, and a medical evacuation detachment recently mobilized to support the NATO mission in Kosovo. They join more than 15,000 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who served in combat operations, homeland defense, peacekeeping and stabilization missions since Sept. 11, 2001.

Since January 2014, the Virginia National Guard has mobilized nearly 2,570 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the VDF on state active duty to respond to hurricanes, winter storms and flooding across the Commonwealth. The Virginia Guard also mobilized more than 500 personnel for security operations in Charlottesville Aug. 12, and also deployed more than 500 Soldiers from the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to assist with hurricane recovery operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Virginia National Guard also had nearly 40 Soldiers and VDF members conduct cyber vulnerability assessments in seven different Virginia localities in the last 18 months.

The Virginia Defense Force is authorized by the Code of the Virginia as the all-volunteer reserve of the Virginia National Guard and serves as a force multiplier integrated into all Virginia National Guard domestic operations. Members of the VDF volunteer their time for training and community support and are only paid when called to state active duty by an authorization from the Governor of Virginia.

  • UVA starting 5: Hall, Guy, Jerome, Wilkins, Salt

  • Standing room only tickets were going for $50. Should be a raucous environment.

  • I honestly expected a little more orange in the crowd than we’re seeing here.

  • VCU students turn their back to the floor when the opponents are announced. Cute.

  • Jack Salt has been beaten three times in the post for layups.

  • UVA 21, VCU 15, 11:09/1st. ‘Hoos are 5-of-7 from three. That will not last, of course.

  • I am closer to the floor than I usually am in the upper media area at JPJ. But here, I am in the last row of the arena.

  • 102 consecutive sellouts and counting here at Siegel.

  • Gov. McAuliffe and Gov.-elect Northam in the house.

  • Timeout VCU. UVA leads 25-15, 10:10/1st. Tempo favors VCU: we’re on a 72-possession pace.

  • UVA 30, VCU 19, 7:06/1st. Rams have seven turnovers. Both teams shooting 50%+. Turnovers are the difference right now.

  • Back-to-back Isaac Vann threes cut the UVA lead to 30-25, 5:49/1st.

  • UVA 34, VCU 27, 2:42/1st. Virginia has missed five of its last six from three. Getting good looks.

  • Half: UVA 38, VCU 32

  • Virginia led by as many as 12 in the first half, but VCU fought back to get the deficit to six, 38-32, at the break.
    Back-to-back threes by Isaac Vann got the Rams to within five with 5:51 to go.
    The ‘Hoos made just five of their last 15 from the field and shot 46.9 percent (15-of-32) in the first half.
    Kyle Guy led Virginia with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
    Each team had 33 possessions in the opening 20 minutes.

  • UVA will be playing offense into the student section in the second half. These kids are loud, so it will be an issue.

  • UVA 50, VCU 43, 13:27/2nd. Khris Lane is killing Jack Salt. Lane: 12 pts, 5-7 FG. UVA has missed seven of its last eight from three. Continuing to get good looks.

  • It is freezing cold in this arena. Frigid, et cetera. Cold. Brrr.

  • UVA 57, VCU 50, 9:43/2nd. Every time Virginia seems poised to put some distance into this one, VCU hits a big shot.

  • Not feeling a Cavalanche here. Doesn’t seem like the UVA Pack Line has been as intense.

  • This game is playing to a 68-possession pace. Very much to VCU’s liking.

  • Fouls (second half): UVA 7, VCU 0.

  • 10-2 VCU run, UVA lead down to two, 59-57, 8:02/2nd.

  • UVA is getting no interior defense. VCU penetrating the lane, no backside help. Salt getting killed in the post.

  • UVA needs to get some stops to keep VCU out of its press. VCU is controlling tempo with the press. But it starts for UVA on the defensive end.

  • Teams good at the dribble drive tend to get UVA problems. VCU has guards who can break down the D at the perimeter.

  • VCU has a 34-21 advantage on the boards.

  • Last media timeout: UVA 63, VCU 60, 3:42/2nd. VCU hasn’t led since the 19:41 mark of the first half.

  • Fun game, good test for both. For Virginia, a stern challenge in a tough road environment.

  • The threes are raining down. Guy and Jerome with big shots for UVA, Williams answers for VCU. UVA leads 71-67, 1:08 left

  • Kyle. Fucking. Guy.