Virginia Beach Post 110 sponsored a New Years 5K Race on January 1, 2011 for the Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, which returned to the United States March 18, 2011 after a one year deployment to Shindand, Afghanistan. The approximately 80 Soldiers of the 529th operated as a command and control headquarters with the mission of planning and executing combat sustainment support for U.S. and Coalition forces.
The U. S. Army uses the term “sustainment” to describe a wide range of logistics support such as maintenance, food service, fueling, personnel and cargo transportation and medical support. The only thing on the airbase upon the 529th’s arrival at Shindand last May was the landing strip and basic structures for the airfield operations; the 529th built the sustainment and life support infrastructure from scratch.
The battalion also had the “mayor” duties at Shindand, making it responsible for the quality of life functions for all the personnel on the base, and an area where The American Legion and Virginia Beach Post 110 were able to pitch in. Needing a hand in funding its Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs, Capt. Lindsey Hodgkins, Battalion MWR Officer, reached out to Post 110 asking for its support.
Not hesitating to say yes, the post held several fundraising raffles to generate the money necessary to help purchase race numbers, participant t-shirts, and post-race refreshments. The post also participated “virtually” in the designing the race t-shirt, exchanging several designs back and forth via email over the 8-1/2 hour time zone difference between Shindand and Virginia Beach.
The battalion had no Virginia Soldiers killed in action or wounded in action by hostile enemy action.