CSX recently supported the West Virginia National Guard’s Ridge Runner irregular warfare training program. The company granted access to an inactive bridge on the abandoned Kingwood Subdivision, allowing members of the U.S. Army Special Forces and the West Virginia National Guard to conduct technical training on the structure.
The training exercise reflects the strong partnership between CSX and the West Virginia National Guard.
“We have a great working relationship with the West Virginia National Guard,” said Randy Cheetham, regional vice president-State Government & Community Affairs. “They supported us at the Mt. Carbon derailment, and we have been supportive of their foundation that provides assistance to Guard members and their families when they are deployed. We also support a program at the University of Charleston for Guard members.”
Pulling off an event of this magnitude required collaboration between several CSX teams. Jason Bishop, manager community affairs and safety, proposed the location and worked locally with the West Virginia National Guard. Becky Snyder, property management specialist, coordinated discussions between CSX Real Property and the Legal department, while Kim Bongiovanni, assistant general counsel, finalized the agreement with the Guard.
The exercise, which took place May 6-9, was by all measures a success.
“The usage of the CSX owned property provided a level of realism that alone, neither the West Virginia National Guard nor the Special Operations Force could have achieved,” said Command Sergeant Major Tom Edmonds, Ridge Runner program manager. “By fostering collaborative relationships between professional organizations before incidents occur, we greatly enhance the effectiveness of all concerned parties. Sharing lessons learned and capturing best practices promote efficiencies and contribute to mission readiness. Both CSX and the West Virginia National Guard can be proud of their contributions of supporting the training requirements of the US Army Special Forces.”