Virginia National Guard soldiers distribute food, water in U.S. Virgin Islands

Published: Oct. 1, 2017 at 1:40 PM EDT
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Approximately 1,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are conducting recovery operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are focused on providing much-needed supplies to citizens and assisting local authorities with security after hurricanes battered the region.

The Virginia National Guard’s Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team serves as the mission command headquarters for Joint Task Force Stonewall, a multi-state, multi-service team providing a variety of capabilities to support the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard and territory leadership. They are also coordinating with the more than 250 active duty military personnel assisting with recovery operations as well as civilian responders.

“We are making steady progress,” said Col. Scott Smith, the JTF Stonewall commander. “Our Soldiers and Airmen, a composite group from 18 different states and the District of Columbia, are integrated into all aspects of recovery operations to include delivery of commodities at points of distribution, traffic control, security operations, airfield operations and communications support to critical infrastructure sites with the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard, Federal Emergency Management Association and other territorial and federal agencies.

We were welcomed with open arms by our gracious hosts from the Virgin Islands National Guard, and I am so proud of our Soldiers and Airmen who answered the call of duty to help our fellow citizens.”