CHARLESTON, W.Va., –
On January 30th, nearly 200 members of the West Virginia National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery Regiment and numerous Military Police units returned home after completion of the mission to support the 59th Presidential Inauguration. Our brave service men and women proudly assisted with the peaceful transition of power in our nation’s capital alongside nearly 25,000 other Soldiers and Airmen from across the 54 states and territories.
This deployment of forces to the national capital region happened in record time. Within 48 hours of notification, West Virginia Guard members were mobilized and in route to Washington, D.C. It was a truly monumental task and our men and women stepped up without hesitation and performed flawlessly in the face of a seemingly uncertain time in our nation’s history. This feat is a demonstration of the accessibility, agility and unparalleled value of the National Guard for the United States.
While West Virginia provided nearly 450 service members to Washington, D.C., we simultaneously had more than 550 Soldiers and Airmen engaged in COVID-19 pandemic response here at home with another 120 West Virginia Guardsmen deployed around the globe.
I am immensely proud of what the National Guard has accomplished in the last 18 months. The year 2020 was one that solidified the National Guard’s inherent role in the defense and support of our states and nation, whether through pandemic response, civil disturbance missions, disaster response, or contingency deployments. Not since the attacks of 9/11 has our state and national partners relied upon the National Guard so heavily and we have answered the call each and every time. It’s the cornerstone of our service and epitomizes the values of those who wear the uniform, specifically in West Virginia.
Since taking on the role of Adjutant General just weeks ago, I have witnessed the breadth and depth of experience and expertise that our Soldiers and Airmen bring to the Total Force, which comprises the Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard forces in our nation. They represent all corners of the Mountain State and beyond and serve in the communities where they reside, dedicated to making West Virginia better each day.
West Virginians should rest easy knowing that the West Virginia National Guard has watch over the multiple missions they are engaged in each day. We will continue to be engaged on all fronts through the end of this pandemic to missions that affect our national defense and here at home to support our communities who rely on us to always be ready. Our One Guard is ready to answer any call that comes our way and we are incredibly thankful for the support we receive from our West Virginia citizens and beyond. And, if you see a West Virginia Guardsman out, please thank them and their families for their continuous dedication to always answer the call.