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NEWS | July 24, 2023

Joint Task Force Supports Scout Jamboree in Mountain State

By Army Sgt. Zoe Morris, West Virginia National Guard

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. – For the 10th year, the West Virginia National Guard is leading military and interagency support for the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree July 19-28 at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.

Based at the WVNG’s Armory in Glen Jean, the NSJ Unified Command and Joint Task Force (JTF-NSJ) first welcomed the BSA’s largest event when it moved from Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, in 2013. The following decade saw two National and one World Scout Jamboree before COVID-19 canceled 2021’s National Jamboree.

“After a delay caused by the pandemic, the National Jamborees’ are back into full swing, and we are proud to continue our partnership with the Boy Scouts of America and a wide variety of government agencies to make these events some of the most memorable moments of these young Scouts’ lives,” said West Virginia Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Gene Holt, JTF-NSJ dual status commander.

“The Jamboree provides a unique opportunity for our military forces — whether serving on Active Duty, in the Reserves or the National Guard — to work collaboratively together on a common mission,” Holt said. “They get to experience integrating with civilian support agencies in a truly whole-of-government effort.”

More than 500 service members from the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard will provide logistics, transportation, security, medical, communications and public affairs support. Military bands, performing units, aviation assets and static displays will also participate.

Under Unified Commander Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, WVNG adjutant general, about 200 military and civilian support personnel are ensuring the JTF-NSJ is prepared for all contingencies. The WVNG is joined by FEMA, the Civil Air Patrol, the West Virginia Emergency Management Division, State Police, highway and health and human services departments and the State Emergency Operations Center.

The Jamboree allows for a merging of training and operations, with more than 25 federal, state and local agencies increasing the synchronization of forces during Defense Support to Civil Authorities missions.

The military presence reinforces basic military training,  mentorship, values-based character building and compassion for the nation’s youth. Congress mandated Department of Defense support of the National Jamboree in 2005 because “support for youth organization events simulates the preparation, logistics and leadership required for defending our national security and preparing for combat.”

More than 15,000 Scouts, Venturers, Explorers, staff, volunteers, and community members are attending the 20th National Jamboree on more than 14,000 acres of forested mountains in southern West Virginia alongside the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

Every state in the nation is represented at the Jamboree, with attendees from Austria, Canada, Egypt, Ghana, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Trinidad, and Tobago.



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