CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A weeklong training exercise testing the ability of U.S. military personnel from several branches of the armed forces to stage operations from austere, remote locations, as well as established, traditional bases, is underway at sites across West Virginia.
Sentry Storm 2021, hosted and coordinated by the West Virginia Air National Guard, involves 200 soldiers and airmen and 300 support personnel from Air National Guard, Army National Guard, U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, U.S. Navy and Civil Air Patrol units in eight states.
The event got underway Monday, when members of the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron parachuted onto Camp Branch, a West Virginia Air National Guard base in Logan County with a 3,500-foot dirt runway, in a simulated airfield assault.
Once the airfield was “secured,” C-130 Hercules aircraft from Charleston’s 130th Airlift Wing and the 143rd Airlift Wing of the Rhode Island Air National Guard began air-dropping supplies and equipment at the site, later used for staging flight operations for the Air Guard C-130s. The remote airstrip is one of only a few dirt airfields in the nation certified for use in military training flights…