Irregular Warfare Center & W.VA. National Guard sign Memorandum of Understanding

Irregular Warfare Center & W.VA. National Guard sign Memorandum of Understanding

The West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) during a Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare exercise at Camp Dawson, in Kingwood, West Virginia, April 19, 2024.

Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, and Dr. Dennis Walters, Director of the Irregular Warfare Center, signed the memorandum to formalize the existing WVNG/IWC partnership which includes enhancing opportunities for joint training exercises such as Ridge Runner and Ridge Healer programs and additional sponsored events.

U.S. Army National Guard photo by Edwin L. Wriston

“Building U.S. and partner capacities and skillsets to compete in nonconventional arenas against state, non-state, and near-peer competitors is fundamental,” stated Crane. “Our partnership with the IWC helps strengthen existing and developing ties between defense industry, educational institutions, and governmental and private sector partners both here and abroad. And it drives the authorities that gives us the ability to aggressively pursue opportunities here in West Virginia that will help to train and prepare our own U.S. troops as well as our allies and partners to face the future fight.”

Walters stated that the WVNG brings unique capabilities that support the IWC mission.

“This signing symbolically represents a union of innovative thinkers that will help move the United States and our allies and partner nations forward in irregular and unconventional warfare concepts during conflicts and competition,” he said. “Our mission is to empower our servicemen and women to operate in places and in ways they might not otherwise be able to do. Since our inception, our relationship with WVNG has been essential to our mission, and we couldn’t be more excited about our future together.”

The Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare training exercise, held at Camp Dawson and at locations around West Virginia, is a special forces multi-domain exercise for both U.S. and Allied and Partner Nation forces, tailored to specific evolving threat scenarios faced by modern special operations and conventional forces. Exercise participants experience scenarios in real-world settings having to deal with rugged terrain and austere conditions requiring innovative solutions to movement and mission execution. The recent exercise included participants from multiple U.S. branches, and eight separate allied and partner nations.

The IWC serves as the central mechanism for developing the Department of Defense’s (DoD) irregular warfare knowledge and advancing the Department’s understanding of irregular warfare concepts and doctrine in collaboration with key allies and partners.

The Center’s foundation is built upon three Lines of Effort:

  • AMPLIFY and collaborate to build an innovative and adaptable global networked IW community of interest.
  • Strategically ILLUMINATE current and future irregular threats, crises, and obstacles.
  • ADDRESS current and future irregular threats to the US, allies, and partners by providing optionality to leaders.

Through these LOEs, the Irregular Warfare Center addresses current and emerging security concerns and challenges with world-class research, rigorous analysis, top-tier strategic education and training for U.S. and international partners.