October 31, 2011

West Virginia Congressional Delegation and Governor Congratulate WV Air National Guard on Historic Training Exercises

WV Air National Guard Shows Their Increased Capabilities and Preparedness

WASHINGTON, D.C – West Virginia’s Congressional delegation and Governor today congratulated the West Virginia National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing, based in Martinsburg, on completing a historic exercise showcasing the West Virginia Air National Guard’s readiness and capability at a time when our military faces intense demands from both extensive use in multiple conflicts abroad and federal budget issues at home.  

The exercise showed the West Virginia Air National Guard is capable and prepared to fly some of the nation’s largest military aircraft – more than double the regular workload of the planes used by the 167th Airlift Wing.  The C-5 aircraft delivers life-saving equipment, supplies, cargo, and passengers to American military forces stationed worldwide.  

“This exercise is just another example of how the West Virginia Air National Guard has proven time and time again that it is the best in the country,” said Senator Jay Rockefeller.  “I congratulate them on completing this historic exercise.  I’m fighting to make sure that the National Guard gets an equal voice among other branches of the military, with a bill to give the Guard a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and this exercise only reinforces how critical our Guard is to the military.”

“The men and women of West Virginia’s National Guard do extraordinary things every single day, but this exercise shows that they can truly go above-and-beyond,” Senator Joe Manchin said.  “I was proud to call myself their Commander-in-Chief when I was Governor, and I truly believe that our National Guard will continue to play a vital role in keeping America safe.  That’s why I’m so proud to cosponsor legislation to include the National Guard on the Joint Chiefs, where their voice deserves to be heard.”

“The West Virginia National Guard is the best in the country, proving day in and day out – on the battlefront and the home front – they are head and shoulders above all others,” said Congressman Nick Rahall, a Member of the House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus.  “Our fighting men and women deserve a seat at the head table when decisions are made affecting their lives and resources.  It is why I was proud to sponsor legislation, which the House of Representatives has passed, to establish a position for the National Guard on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  I will continue to work to ensure that the Guard has what it needs to carry out its missions.”

“The West Virginia Air National guard continues to be recognized as an exemplary program, and this honor only reinforces that.  I know West Virginia Guard members are up to the challenge of responding during times of crisis, and I wish them luck in this practice endeavor,” stated Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.  

“It is great to hear that the brave men and women of the military based in Martinsburg, West Virginia are taking part in this incredible display of America’s powerful military,” said Congressman David McKinley.  “Our state is known for its impressive military presence and it only makes sense that such a operation like this historic ‘surge’ would be starting in West By God Virginia.  I am proud of the men and women in uniform and their efforts to protect and defend our country’s freedom.”

“The men and women of the 167th Airlift Wing proved they are ready for military support missions on a moment’s notice with ease and confidence,” Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said.  “When they placed seven C-5 Galaxy planes in the air, the 167th sent a strong message of readiness and ability that deserves the respect and admiration from all those who depend on them.  I am truly proud of our Airmen for their commitment to country and to the safety of one another as well as the military missions they support.” 

“The West Virginia National Guard has proven we can accomplish whatever mission is thrown at us,” said Major General James A. Hoyer, West Virginia’s Adjutant General.  “During this time of looming budget cuts yet increased demand for capability, we now need the Guard more than ever.  Accomplishing missions at a reduced cost to the American people proves that the Guard continues to be the best value for America.”