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NEWS | March 1, 2024

Virginia National Guard Soldiers Validated for Poland Mission

By Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas – Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion have been validated for their upcoming federal active duty mission to Poland after conducting a collective training exercise Feb. 12-16.

“We received some terrific training over the past few weeks from our First Army partners to get ready for Poland, and I am excited for the progress and cohesion this team has shown,” said Lt. Col. Carlos Maldonado, commander of the 529th. 

During the exercise, 529th Soldiers worked through different potential scenarios simulating operations they will conduct in Poland. They will provide sustainment command and control and support to forward-stationed U.S. and allied forces in the region.

The CTE was the final training event for the 529th in Texas, and observer/controller/trainers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 120th Infantry Brigade, provided feedback throughout the exercise.

Senior Virginia Army National Guard leaders visited the 529th as they conducted the CTE Feb. 14. Brig. Gen. Charles B. Martin Jr. and Command Sgt. Maj. Irving Reed Jr., the VaARNG command team, Col. Paul C. Gravely, the VaARNG chief of staff, and Chief Warrant Officer 5 John Calley, the VaARNG state command chief warrant officer, met with Soldiers to learn more about their roles in the upcoming mission and thank them for their service.

“The 529th has a strong reputation for excellence, and I know you are going to execute the mission like the great team you are,” Martin said. 

Before the CTE, Soldiers of the 529th conducted administrative and medical tasks to transition from traditional National Guard status to federal active duty.

A combat sustainment support battalion is a multifunctional logistics headquarters exercising mission command for assigned companies, teams and detachments to provide maintenance support and distribute food, fuel, ammunition and other supplies. They expect to have supply, transportation and maintenance companies under their command, but additional units could be assigned to meet mission requirements.

Soldiers of the 529th gained valuable experience for the upcoming mobilization when they supported Joint Readiness Training Center rotation 23-8.05 July 6 to Aug. 6 at Fort Johnson, Louisiana. Conducted in support of the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 529th was in charge of running the division support area, where they provided command and control of more than 400 National Guard Soldiers from five units from five states, providing food, water, fuel, ammunition and other supplies.

While the JRTC rotation built the foundation of the team mobilizing to Poland, the CTE at Fort Cavazos provided an opportunity to integrate new members into the team, Maldonado said.



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