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    West Virginia National Guard secures new drop zone for airborne operations

    WV, UNITED STATES

    04.17.2019

    Story by Capt. Holli Nelson 

    West Virginia National Guard

    The West Virginia National Guard has entered into a Land Use Agreement with West Virginia University for use of property at Reedsville, W.Va., that will facilitate airborne drop zone operations close to Camp Dawson in Preston County.

    Currently, National Guard units conducting airborne operations stage at Camp Dawson but then travel more than 40 miles across state lines to areas such as Red House, Maryland, to execute jumps. This places a logistical strain on the units and reduces their overall training opportunities.

    Airborne drop zone operations include Special Forces and other Soldiers parachuting from helicopter and fixed wing aircraft and can occur year-round as weather permits.

    The new drop zone in Reedsville is one-half the distance away from Camp Dawson as current drop zones, and is located between Camp Dawson and Morgantown. This will allow for additional training cycles per day and will result in added safety for Soldiers and Airmen due to the proximity of area first responders and trauma centers.

    “There are multiple benefits to having a drop zone closer to Camp Dawson,” stated Camp Dawson Post Commander and Base Operations Manager U.S. Army Maj. Jason Diaz. “Flight times between Morgantown and the new site will allow for additional jumps per day, providing increased training windows for many of the units who utilize Camp Dawson’s facilities.”

    “When approached by the West Virginia National Guard to potentially allow them to make use of our property to enhance their training opportunities, it seemed like the right thing to do,” said Matt Wilson, Associate Dean for research in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “We’re happy to provide a location that adds an additional margin of safety for soldiers and airmen.”

    “We see this agreement with WVU, who has always been an ardent supporter of the West Virginia National Guard, as an opportunity to help further build capabilities and partnerships locally in Preston County,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “By keeping the training in the Preston County area rather than out of state, it adds to the ever-increasing positive economic impact Camp Dawson provides the local community and state.”

    Residents of Reedsville and the surrounding area can expect to see an increased tempo of military aircraft, including possibly C-130Hs, and National Guard presence in the near future.

    The first airborne drop operations at the new property is scheduled to take place in May 2019.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.17.2019
    Date Posted: 04.17.2019 13:47
    Story ID: 318523
    Location: WV, US

    Web Views: 65
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