An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Nov. 8, 2023

Virginia Army National Guard Battles Wildfires From the Air

By Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

MADISON COUNTY, Va. - Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion 224th Aviation Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, are helping fight wildfires in Madison County. 

In the first 24 hours, VNG aviation crews dropped nearly 10,000 gallons of water on the fires.

After Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency Nov. 6, the VNG deployed two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters equipped with 660-gallon water buckets at the request of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to support the Virginia Department of Forestry. 

The Guard planned to continue to assist in the firefighting efforts Nov. 8.

“We are extremely proud of how quickly and safely our aviation crews responded to start assisting with aerial fire suppression in Madison County after Governor Youngkin’s emergency declaration,” said Brig. Gen. Todd H. Hubbard, the Virginia National Guard director of the joint staff. 

“The role of the National Guard in domestic operations is to provide additional capabilities to partner agencies to help our fellow citizens in times of need, and this is a perfect example of how that works,“ Hubbard said. “The Department of Forestry and firefighting crews from across the region have been battling the fire in Madison County for nearly two weeks, and now our capabilities give them extra resources in the fight. It is an honor to work with such dedicated professionals towards a common goal.”

VNG aviation crews conducted water bucket training in October at Fort Barfoot. Aviation assets can support firefighting efforts using water buckets, which require periodic training for flight crews to ensure proficiency with the equipment.

The training provided currency and qualifications for three flight crews, capitalizing on lessons learned fighting fires during the unit’s deployment to Kosovo in 2022.

During domestic operations, the VNG receives missions from VDEM and responds as part of a multi-agency team with other state and local agencies.

 

 

Related Articles
Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Richmond-Based 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package conduct a collective training exercise Jan. 6, 2024, at Fort Barfoot, Virginia. The exercise enabled new personnel to train on the basics of incident management and emergency response.
Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen Train on Emergency Response
By Spc. Ericka Gillespie, | Jan. 31, 2024
FORT BARFOOT, Va. – Virginia National Guard members of the 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package conducted a collective training event Jan. 5-7 to instruct...

Approximately 70 Soldiers assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Headquarters, 329th Regional Support Group, begin federal active duty with a departure ceremony Jan. 28, 2024, in Virginia Beach. The troops will deploy to Poland and serve under the command of U.S. Army’s 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade to provide sustainment command and control and support to forward-stationed U.S. and allied forces in the region.
Virginia Guard Begins Federal Duty Before Poland Deployment
By Mike Vrabel, | Jan. 31, 2024
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.  –  Approximately 70 Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to Headquarters, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, began a federal active-duty mobilization with a...

Virginia National Guard Soldiers conduct a medical evacuation tactics exchange with the Republic of Tajikistan Dec. 4-9, 2023, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The training supported the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
Virginia National Guard Conducts Medevac Exchange in Tajikistan
By Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | Jan. 8, 2024
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Virginia National Guard Soldiers conducted a medical evacuation tactics exchange with the Republic of Tajikistan Dec. 4-9 in support of the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership...