West Virginia Army National Guard
The mission of the West Virginia National Guard is to successfully mobilize and deploy members and units to meet our federal and state missions and to add value to the communities in which we live, work and serve.
The West Virginia Army National Guard maintains 36 armories, and is present in 34 communities. The West Virginia Army National Guard continued to demonstrate that it is among the best by its high degree of readiness judged by the Army readiness criteria. During 1998 a total of 91.6% of West Virginia Army National Guard units met or exceeded the readiness goals established by the Chief, National Guard Bureau. This compared well to the national average of 71.6%. Factors such as a reorganization, deactivation, or a new unit coming on line are reasons for not meeting the readiness goals.
The West Virginia National Guard is authorized and governed by Article I, Chapter 15 of the West Virginia Code and is constituted as both a State and Federal force by authority of the National Defense Act approved June 3, 1916. The National Guard is a reserve component of the Army of the United States and the United States Air Force. In time of peace, the National Guard is a State force, controlled by the Adjutant General as the principal military representative of the Commander-in-Chief, the Governor. The Governor has the power to order the West Virginia National Guard into the active service of the State and to cause them to perform duty such as he shall deem proper. The National Guard is equipped and paid by the Federal Government and must meet organizational and training standards to qualify for Federal recognition. When Congress declares a national emergency and authorizes the use of armed force requiring troops in excess of those in the Active Forces, the President of the United States may order the National Guard into the active military service of the United States.
The West Virginia National Guard has a significant economic impact across the State. The Guard is undergoing a significant construction program to assure the modern facilities necessary to support the demands the early 21st century will place on soldiers and airmen. The Division of Facilities, Engineering, and Environment has made significant strides in improving the training and operational capabilities of the WVARNG. A new $6,500,000 Armed Forces Reserve Center was designed and was under construction in 1998 at Camp Dawson. An agreement was reached with the United States Army Reserve to include their 1st Battalion (Engineer), 80th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 80 th Division (Individual Training) in this center, thus eliminating the requirement for state funding.
The new Robert C. Byrd Regional Training Institute facility will serve the training needs of Active, National Guard and Army Reserve units from the Eastern United States. An appropriation of $13,595,000 in federal funding and $2,200,000 for state additions was used to construct this facility. The WVARNG negotiated with the US Army Corps of Engineers for two sites totaling 43 acres at the Winfield Locks and Dam site in Eleanor to construct a new Combined Support Maintenance Shop and a readiness center. with a combined estimated cost of $24,000,000. A 37-acre site was given to the WVARNG by the Fayette County Development Authority for the purpose of construction of an Army National Guard Readiness Center in Glen Jean.
During 1998, in real property the Division spent $7,198,504 in upgrading/maintaining existing federal facilities; $7,027,713 at Camp Dawson, including a $6.5 million contract to Ross and Kennedy for the Armed Forces Reserve Center; $170,791 at other federal facilities including Distance Learning Centers at 3 locations. There was an expenditure of $529,293 to maintain armories. Future construction throughout the state is valued at $85 million for new facility development that is currently in the planning stages. Design work for the Robert C. Byrd Regional Training Institute at Camp Dawson is 60% complete. A $1 million design contract for the Eleanor complex has been initiated. Over $700,000 was spent for environmental compliance projects. Additionally a joint recycling effort at Camp Dawson with the Preston County Solid Waste Authority was initiated as was a Natural Resource Baseline Survey for Camp Dawson.
The USPFO for West Virginia is accountable for federal funds and equipment issued to Army and Air National Guard units. The Air National Guard has total equipment assets of $656,000,000 and real estate valued at $63,000,000. The Army National Guard has total equipment assets of $308,900,000.
The West Virginia Army National Guard continued its unprecedented growth and support to the state and nation during FY99. The WVARNG broke ground for the construction of the Robert C. Byrd Regional Training Institute, an Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Dawson and an Armed Forces Reserve Center and Combined Support Maintenance Shop at Eleanor. Work continued in 1999 for the construction of new training centers at Williamstown, Glen Jean and Summersville.
The strategy for growth is to build an organization that is fully staffed with soldiers who are mentally and physically prepared to mobilize, deploy and execute their federal and state mission. The objective is to gain and retain high priority federal missions by assuring units achieve the highest level of readiness possible. Through their exceptional effort, soldiers have made the WVARNG a leader in assigned strength, individual qualification and preparedness for federal mobilization. The WVARNG sponsored and operated a Mountaineer Challenge Academy that provides at-risk youth an opportunity to earn a General Education Diploma. This took place in a structured environment that instills self-discipline and motivation in the students. The WVARNG is also involved in eliminating drugs from its communities through the Drug Demand Reduction program.
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