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NEWS | Jan. 18, 2022

National Guard works with partners on winter storm response

By National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. – Hundreds of members of the National Guard assisted state and local officials responding to winter weather over the weekend in multiple states, including Virginia, North and South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The South Carolina National Guard staged 120 personnel and equipment throughout Upstate South Carolina to respond to requests for support from state agencies.

“The South Carolina National Guard is prepared with teams of service members working with civil authorities to ensure the major roadways remain clear during the inclement weather conditions and after the storm has passed,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, the adjutant general of South Carolina.

The South Carolina National Guard coordinated with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

“Our Soldiers and Airmen are trained professionals who have responded time and time again to natural disasters within the state and are prepared to assist civil authorities in response to snow, sleet or freezing rain,” said McCarty. “... This is why the National Guard exists: to be prepared to respond to the needs of the state and nation.”

Some 75 members of the Virginia National Guard were also positioned for winter storm response operations across Virginia Jan. 16.

At the request of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the VNG deployed members with chainsaws for clearing fallen trees and heavy-duty tactical vehicles capable of traveling through deep snow at key locations along the I-81 corridor and the northern sections of the I-95 and Route 29 corridors.

“When we have advanced notice of possible severe weather, it enables us to stage personnel at key locations for a more rapid response,” explained Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, VNG director of the Joint Staff. “We appreciate our personnel being willing to leave their loved ones and their jobs on very short notice to help their fellow Virginians in times of need. We thank the families and employers for their continued support.”

Additional Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force provided logistics, communications and operations center support in the Richmond area.

Earlier in January, VNG Soldiers and Airmen helped open roads in Stafford County and cleared trees along power line routes in Louisa County. 

In Pennsylvania, more than 100 members of the National Guard supported State Police, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to prepare for possible winter storm assistance missions.

The Pennsylvania Guardsmen were positioned throughout the commonwealth, primarily in Pittsburgh, Erie and Wilkes-Barre.

To the south, about 40 Soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard’s 113th Sustainment Brigade deployed to the NCNG Readiness Center in Greensboro for Winter Storm Izzy.
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Capt. Jessica Donnelly, South Carolina National Guard; Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard; Sgt. 1st Class Robert Jordan, North Carolina National Guard, and Capt. Travis Mueller, Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard, contributed to this story.