Last updated: July 23. 2014 1:14AM - 420 Views
Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

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West Virginia’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is partnering with the Logan County Chamber of Commerce to host a BOSS tour Fri., July 25 at the W.Va. National Guard’s Camp Branch landing zone in Logan County.

The ESGR is excited for the event, which will allow employers of soldiers and airmen a chance to see what their employees do while servicing the country.

“Many don’t know what that means,” a spokesperson said.

ESGR is a Department of Defense office that was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. ESGR informs and educates Service members and their civilian employers regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

The event is designed to highlight the partnership between Alpha Natural Resources and the National Guard. These organizations have a history of land-use agreements that allow reclaimed mine property to be converted into valuable training sites for military organizations across the globe.

“We want to show them the partnership that Alpha has with the military and how the Guard is working with employers for opportunities for guard members,” said Lt. Col. Joel Miltenberger, ESGR Program Coordinator. “These training venues allow West Virginia to remain relevant in the national picture.”

Local leaders and area employees will have the opportunity to see C-130 assault landings at the Camp Branch site. Camp Branch was developed for air crews to practice their wartime skills in a non-hostile environment. The site has expanded to include short dirt landing strips — similar to those they may face in operations overseas.

The landing strip allows guardsmen the opportunity to practice landing the aircraft on what they described as “warlike conditions.” In other words, landing the planes on something other than a paved runway.

The ESGR said almost anyone can land on a two-mile paved strip of land, but it takes special practice to land on bumpy, unrefurbished terrain. And the one in Logan is so great that it receives national and international attention; this is an opportunity for Logan County to bring in revenue from outside of the state.

For more information on the W.Va. ESGR, visit their website at esgr.mil/Contact/Local-State-Pages/West-Virginia

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