EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNATIONAL GUARD TRAINING
from Eyewitness News Online
Paint Creek Offers Training Facility For Guard In Budget Crunch
Reported by: Katy Brown
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Mar. 10, 2013 4:42 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 10, 2013 8:03 PM EDT
Paint Creek , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A recent federal sequester has budgets being cut and money being saved. With the military being one of the victims of the sequester, local troops are using what they have to make it work.
Training is one of the most important parts about the military, and with budget cuts, it can be hard to make training possible. But the West Virginia Army National Guard found a way to make it work, and is taking full advantage of local landscapes.
With rough terrain and mountain ranges much like environments they see overseas, troops from all over the country are now using the coal fields of Paint Creek as a training facility.
"Compared to what we're used to, it's like a Hilton hotel," said Sgt. Chris Legg of the West Virginia Army National Guard.
But for local soldiers, there was one goal in mind.
"Taking care of the soldiers, providing them something local to make sure that they can train here and be home with their families," said Lt. Col. Chris Selvey, West Virginia Army National Guard. "It gives us a lot more time to train, and not all that eight-to-nine hour travel time. It's better to be close to home."
And not only is it saving time, it's saving the Guard about $40,000, a savings that is important, especially considering recent budget cuts due to the federal sequester.
And because the training is taking place on West Virginia turf, it is also a benefit to the local economy.
"It also helps the local economy,” Legg said. “We're contracting food through a local diner and paying fuel to local people and things like that. We're not supporting people out-of-state. We're supporting our own people close to home."
And for men and women who are already called away from their families quite often to serve our country, they say they're thankful for what West Virginia has to offer.
"It's closer to home,” Legg said. “It's a lot better for everybody. Everybody seems to be in a better mood, a lot happier and a lot more time to train."
This was the first time for the Guard to use this specific training facility and plans to expand are already in the works.
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