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Brushfork National Guard Armory receiving $1.9 million for upgrades

U.S. President Joe Biden discusses the congressional stopgap government funding bill to avert an immediate government shutdown in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, 2023. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

A local West Virginia National Guard armory is among several across the state sharing more than $34 million in military construction funding and $7 million in defense funding secured through the bipartisan appropriations packages passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden, officials said Wednesday.

The funding, which was supported by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., will increase the capabilities and readiness of the more than 6,500 soldiers, airmen and civilian employees in the West Virginia National Guard while also modernizing facilities throughout the state that in turn support many West Virginia communities.

This funding includes $1.95 million for the planning and design of a new readiness center at the Brushfork Armory that meets all requirements for anti-terrorism and force protection in Bluefield.

“This funding wouldn’t have been possible without the longstanding support we have from Senator Manchin and Senator Capito, who prioritize the needs of our service members and ensure that West Virginia priorities are at the forefront of their work on Capitol Hill,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “This funding will ensure longevity for the West Virginia National Guard, enhance readiness of our military, special operators, allies and partners through the Ridge Runner irregular warfare training and align facilitates with current and future mission sets.”

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I work every day to ensure West Virginia receives the federal resources we deserve, and I fought hard to secure more than $34 million in the latest funding package to support the West Virginia National Guard,” Manchin said. “The funded projects include a wide range of investments in our National Guard’s infrastructure spanning across the entirety of our state. Our guard men and women make our state and country proud every day through their dedicated service and incredible achievements, and I will continue doing everything I can to support their mission.”

The FY24 defense appropriations bill included $3.5 million in procurement and $3.5 million in operations and maintenance to support the WVNG’s Ridge Runner program. Through Ridge Runner, U.S., allies, and international partners are able to train on irregular warfare concepts and austere medicine while building interoperability of forces and enhancing readiness to meet peer and near-peer threats. This appropriation will allow the Ridge Runner program to expand to employ 33 full-time personnel that support six to eight irregular warfare and austere medicine exercises in West Virginia annually.

“The installations and facilities where our service members drill, receive training, and store equipment are a key component of their readiness and their safety,” Capito said. That’s why I was proud to secure funding for these investments in our West Virginia National Guard facilities to ensure that the men and women who serve our country have the resources they need to train, protect our country, and support West Virginia communities.”


(c) 2024 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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