Delaware National Guard

official photo

Governor John Carney officially reviewed the troops this past Saturday, the first time that governor of the First State has done so since 1993.

WBOC reports that it took place at Delaware State University’s stadium.

He was joined by Senator Tom Carper and Lt. Gov. Lisa Blunt Rochester.

He told the gathering that he was looking at the finest men and women in the state.

Carney also promoted General Frank Vavala to a four star general becoming the first to reach that rank in the Delaware National Guard.

official photo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the General Assembly's budget-writing committee are ready to begin delving into Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $4.1 billion operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Joint Finance Committee was to convene Tuesday to begin a monthlong series of hearings and discussion on individual agency budget requests for fiscal 2017, which starts July 1.

There may not be a snow storm this weekend but forecasters are predicting high winds at the beaches along the Delaware coast.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there could be some power outages in the southern portion of the state.

The National Weather Service says offshore gusts could reach as high as 40 mph.

In the aftermath of last weekend’s storms the Delaware National Guard still has trucks in Sussex County and along the beaches.

These include 15 Humvees and six 5-ton trucks.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware political leaders are taking time out to commemorate Veterans Day.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join members of Delaware's congressional delegation and other officials Wednesday for the state's annual Veterans Day service.

Delaware National Guard Adjutant General Major General Francis Vavala also is participating in the event,  which will include local high school bands, leaders from religious organizations and community members,

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the General Assembly's budget-writing committee are set to begin hearings and discussion on Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $3.9 billion operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Joint Finance Committee was to convene Tuesday to begin a monthlong series of hearings on individual agency budget requests.

The committee was to begin its work with an overview of state revenues and Markell's budget proposal, followed by individual agency hearings for the state budget office and the Delaware National Guard.

Delaware Air National Guard website

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The Delaware National Guard says it has increased security at an air base after its staff reported what might be suspicious activity nearby.
The guard said in a news release Wednesday that the activity was reported recently at the New Castle Air National Guard Base.
It says no specific threat has been identified. The guard says its measures to increase security are "simply a matter of procedure and increased vigilance."

creative commons

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware National Guard officials are preparing to welcome home members of an aviation battalion following their 10-month deployment to Kuwait.

Some 70 members of 238th General Support Aviation Battalion are scheduled to arrive in New Castle Saturday morning.

The battalion performs command, control and communications flights and air movement operations. While deployed, its primary mission was to perform air movement operations, primarily the movement of troops.

Don Rush

Delmarvans are emerging from up to 10 inches of snow that struck the peninsula yesterday and into last night leaving behind single digit temperatures.

Most school systems are closed today on Delamrva.

Local and state government offices are closed while federal offices are expected to open up two hours late.

Delaware National Guard Website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The National Guard's director is telling Delaware National Guard leaders they must maintain a ready posture despite federal budget cuts over the next decade.

The Wilmington News Journal reports Gen. Frank Grass told state Guard leaders Saturday that a federal budget deal in December provides some relief from automatic spending cuts approved by Congress. But the National Guard still expects to see its share of spending cuts.

A debate is ongoing over how to achieve spending reductions in the military while still maintaining a strong defense.

Delaware National Guard Website

The Delaware National Guard will set a record this year for overseas deployment.

With the pending departure of the 3rd Battalion of the 238th General Support Aviation Battalion more than a quarter of state’s 27-hundred Army and Air National Guardsmen have served overseas this year.

The 70 troops operate and maintain Black Hawk helicopters for the Delaware National Guard.

Delaware officials say this has probably been the busiest year since the 911 terrorist attacks 12 years ago.

The first stop will be Fort Hood, Texas for extensive aviation training.

Delaware National Guard website

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A Delaware National Guard unit is set to come home early.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the 198th Signal Battalion, most of which arrived in Afghanistan in early June, will begin returning to the United States next month.

Dover Air Force Base website

Most of the 869 federal civilians who were furloughed by the military in Delaware last week are coming back to work.

All of the 500 furloughed workers at Dover Air Force base are back on duty.

And, the Delaware National Guard says there’s another 340 employees around the state who were being notified that they should return to work.

official photo

The district offices of Congressman Andy Harris have been closed and his district staff furloughed as the effect of the government shutdown begins to spread.

The Eastern Shore Republican says he is preparing to donate his paycheck as the government shutdown takes hold.

His Washington office will be manned by two staff members.

In a statement issued on Tuesday Harris blamed the President and Senate for the shutdown calling the Affordable Care Act a disaster that will cripple the Maryland economy.

153 Military Police website

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Delaware's 153rd Military Police Company of the National Guard has returned early from Afghanistan to the cheers of friends and family members.

The News Journal reports thousands of people gathered Saturday in Delaware City at the Gov. Bacon Parade Field for the early homecoming. A marching band played "God Bless America," and there were 127 homemade posters - one for each member of the unit.

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, joined the homecoming event. She was also there when the troops left in January.

creative commons wikimedia

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - The National Guard says Delaware City's 153rd Military Police Company will return home from Afghanistan some six to eight weeks early.

Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Len Gratteri told The News Journal of Wilmington on Monday that it was not known why the 130-member unit will be returning next month instead of early December.

Delaware National Guard

Those civilians who work for the military in Delaware are being hit with mandatory furloughs.

Today marks the first of several months for some 14-hunered employees due to budget cuts.

WBOC reports that the Pentagon says most of the civilians will be furloughed one day each week over the next three months amounting to a 20 percent pay cut.

Military officials in Dover told the Wilmington News Journal that more than 1-thousand workers at the 436th and 512th Airlift Wings, the Air Force Mortuary operations and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System will be impacted. 

Official photo

Major General Frank Vavala says he’s worried that the recent spending cutbacks by the federal government are going to damage the ability of the Delaware National Guard to respond to the nation’s security needs.

The Pentagon is now facing a loss of nearly a half a billion dollars over the next decade.

During the annual meeting of the National Guard Association of Delaware had this warning for the audience, “Remember 9/11?“

In its aftermath the Reserves became a key component in manning the military operations abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Delaware National Guard logo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is bidding farewell to 325 Delaware National Guard members as they prepare for a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Markell will address the members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion before they board a plane for Fort Bliss, Texas, on Friday morning.

The troops will spend 4 to 6 weeks training at Fort Bliss before deploying to Afghanistan, where they'll remain until next year.

The 198th is the Delaware Guard's oldest unit, known as "The First Regiment of the First State."

Delaware Naitonal Guard Logo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware National Guard officials say they have a busy year facing them.

Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala says the 2013 schedule is stacking up as the busiest since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Missions scheduled this year include travel to Afghanistan by the 153rd Military Police Company to work with native law enforcement. The National Guard is also continuing its "War on Hunger," which is in its fourth year of donations to the Food Bank of Delaware. Vavala says 40,000 pounds of food had been provided by the end of last year.

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A National Guard unit from Delaware is set to deploy to Afghanistan to train national security forces there.

Gov. Jack Markell and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, were scheduled to be on hand for Thursday's send-off of the Delaware Army National Guard 153rd Military Police Company.

More than 120 members of the unit, headquartered in Delaware City, are leaving from a 12-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Delaware National Guard

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The Delaware National Guard is saying goodbye to 175 members deploying to Afghanistan.

The National Guard is planning a departure ceremony for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Army Aviation Support Facility in New Castle. The National Guard's 153rd Military Police Company is scheduled to deploy for a 12 month tour. Their primary mission during their deployment will be to train their Afghan counterparts in security operations.

Delaware National Guard,

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Two Delaware National Guard units are training for deployments to Afghanistan next year.

Lt. Col. Len Gratteri, a spokesman for the guard, tells The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., that about 150 to 175 members of the 153rd Military Police Company will leave in January for a 10-month tour of Kandahar Province. About 300 to 350 members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion will deploy in April.

Both units have been training at Fort Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg, Pa.

Delaware National Guard,

Construction of Delaware’s new National Guard headquarters is underway along Airport Road in New Castle.

The $39 million project is currently a two-story steel frame spread out over a concrete slab.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that by May work crews are expected to have completed the basic structure which should be ready for moving in the furnishings.

The building will be wired for modern communications as well as being energy efficient.

When is finished the structure will include a sharply angled stone-and-glass facade.