The West Virginia National Guard is a part of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. It comprises the West Virginia Army National Guard and the West Virginia Air National Guard and it has 38 units and activities stationed in 22 counties throughout West Virginia and overseas. The WVARNG has a mission, Federal Mission, As a Reserve Component of the Army, maintain combat ready units. It has a rather than an operational role. West Virginia is also home to the 249th Army Band, stationed in Morgantown, the bands history dates back to the turn of the century when it consisted of two bands, the 201st Infantry Band in Morgantown, WV and the 150th Infantry Band in Bluefield, WV. Upon release from service in World War Two, these two bands were consolidated into the current 249th and was stationed in Fairmont, West Virginia. In 1995, the 249th was stationed in Morgantown, the band is made up of members from throughout the state as well as surrounding states. Located in Preston County, Camp Dawson is the training site for the units of the West Virginia National Guard. Comprising over 4,000 acres, Camp Dawson has multiple ranges, training sites, the West Virginia Guard also hosts the Center for National Response at the Memorial Tunnel in Kanawha County. The West Virginia Air National Guard is the air force militia. It is part of both the United States Air Force and the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia Air National Guard was officially federally recognized on March 7,1947, as the 167th Fighter Squadron, based at Kanawha Airport in Charleston. During the early years of the 167th, it flew the T-6 Texan trainer, P-51 Mustang, the unit was activated October 10,1950 during the Korean War, and was designated the 167th Fighter Bomber Squadron when it returned on July 10,1952. In December 1955, the unit was redesignated as the 167th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, as of 2015, the 167th is flying the C-17 Globemaster III and the 130th is flying the C-130 Hercules in support of operations worldwide. In addition, the 130th and the 167th Wings took part in Operation Desert Shield, both units report to Air Mobility Command. On 13 May 2005, the Department of Defense released its Base Realignment and Closure,2005 report, and its complement of eight C-130H aircraft would be realigned to Pope Air Force Base, and its complement of expeditionary combat support personnel to the 167th Airlift Wing. Following an outpouring of community support, money was raised for newspaper ads and radio ads, bill Peters, Jr. former commander of the 130th and chair for Keep Em Flying. Following this visit, and taking in all the information that was presented to them during that time, since the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D. C. the unit has had members deployed to the Afghan and Iraq wars. Unit members have received six Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts in support of these operations, in December 2006, the 167th received its first C-5 Galaxy, out of a total of 11 aircraft
Logo of the West Virginia National Guard
WVARNG Quick Reaction Force train in Washington, D.C., prior to the 2009 Presidential inauguration.