A great partnership for West Virginia — and the world

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Washington, April 27, 2018 | comments
West Virginians have long had the reputation of proudly serving their country in times of need. We’ve also earned stature as hard workers.
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West Virginians have long had the reputation of proudly serving their country in times of need. We’ve also earned stature as hard workers.

So it only seems natural that when Qatar was looking for a partner to strengthen its military and security, it turned to the West Virginia National Guard.

The voluntary program sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Defense allows for joint operations and training to be led by the state’s National Guard.

The partnership has been on state officials’ radar for some time and has been championed by Gov. Jim Justice, Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. David McKinley.

“This partnership proves what we’ve been saying all along — that the West Virginia National Guard is the most skilled and professional force and is known as the best in the country,” Manchin said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with Qatar and to this new partnership.

Justice said the military-based partnership is the first step toward a relationship that will also include economic development and agricultural and cultural endeavors.

“We will leverage our National Guard’s extensive military capabilities to expand upon military to military, military to civilian and civilian to civilian engagements that create mutually beneficial outcomes for Qatar and West Virginia,” Justice said.

“There are tremendous opportunities to utilize West Virginia’s proud military heritage and expertise toward regional challenges facing Qatar.”

McKinley said the program is mutually beneficial.

“The announcement of this new state partnership between the West Virginia National Guard and the state of Qatar is exciting news. The West Virginia National Guard has played a critical role in our state’s disaster response and security operations, and have been a force to reckon with when deployed overseas,” McKinley said. “This new partnership will benefit West Virginia as we learn from their extensive natural gas and energy infrastructure programs.”

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