WV Adjutant General denies Boy Scouts are training target


State’s Division of Homeland Security to coordinate Jamboree

GLEN JEAN — Another milestone in preparations for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree is now crossed. On Friday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed an executive order aimed at ensuring that all runs safely and smoothly during the fast-approaching event.



The order designates the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as the principal coordinator for federal, state and local agencies providing support for the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve before and during the Jamboree.

“We’re here today to see to it that the Scouts enjoy the Summit in a safe and secure manner, just as we here in West Virginia would provide for our own families and friends,” Tomblin told representatives from the National Guard, Boy Scouts of America, and local government who gathered at the Glen Jean Armory for the signing of the order.

Tomblin said the “insta-city” created by the Jamboree will put unique demands on local communities. Among other things, he hopes this measure will provide help to local agencies in the lead-up and execution of the event.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jimmy Gianato will serve as the governor’s point person on Summit-related endeavors involving the state. Gianato said a joint inter-agency task force of key federal, state and local agencies will support the “monumental” 2013 event.

He said the task force is working on building communications infrastructure, increasing capacity for cell coverage, and working with hospitals to ensure they are prepared for a major event.

“We’ll try to plan for every contingency, and hope for the best,” he told The Register-Herald.

The executive order also said that the state Homeland Security division, within 60 days, will provide a “financial impact statement outlining the needs that … agencies will have in order to provide the proper support for a successful event.”

The upcoming Jamboree will be the first in many years not held on an active military base. An estimated 50,000 scouts will attend the Jamboree, along with their families and other visitors. Some locals are describing the event as “Bridge Day for 14 days in a row.”

Tomblin said he expects several thousand National Guard from West Virginia and across the country on the ground during the Jamboree “in case of an attack … or health crisis.”

Gianato also said the Jamboree serves as a recruiting tool for the military, which will set up displays and equipment during the event.

BSA Assistant Chief Scout Executive Alf Tuggle told those gathered that the BSA could ask for “no better ally” than the state of West Virginia.

“I feel safer already,” Tuggle said. “This coordination will provide for the safety … of our guests and participants while ensuring efficient use of state and local resources.”

Mount Hope Police Chief Thomas Peal said he recently visited Fort AP Hill, Virginia, to talk to local law enforcement about their experience during past Jamborees. Among other things, he said he learned that he will need to attend to the many vendors who will show up for the Jamboree selling souvenirs and other items.

Fayette County Commission President Matthew Wender said he remembers sitting in the same room over two years ago as the Summit project was launched and thinking that 2013 seemed very far off indeed.

“What seemed an eternity away then is now right on our doorstep,” he said.



By Cecelia Mason

July 16, 2013 · The West Virginia National Guard is training this month at the same time as the National Boy Scout Jamboree and the schedules are attracting the attention of a few conspiracy theorists.


Army National Guard

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, West Virginia adjutant general, says there’s no truth to the rumor that Guard and Department of Homeland Security planned the training to disguise an attempt by the government to use the Jamboree as a vehicle to expand its power.


One of the places the allegations appear is on the web site of David Lory VanDerBeek, who identifies himself as an Eagle Scout, a veteran of the Idaho Army National Guard, a licensed professional marriage and family therapist in Las Vegas and a candidate for Governor of Nevada.


VanDerBeek outlines his theory in a video on his web site, where he also says there is evidence the Boston Marathon bombing was staged by the FBI.


“My objective here is to share knowledge about this drill because what our government does is they stage false flag terrorist drills,” VanDerBeek says, “then they make them go live, people die and they use that as a justification to expand government, to grow DHS, to set up more police state, that’s how wicked and evil and grotesque our government has become, it’s a Nazi police state.”


Hoyer called internet postings like VanDerBeek’s non factual. Hoyer finds it disturbing that folks from outside West Virginia would distribute information claiming there’s a conspiracy behind the training exercises.


“They don’t know what they’re talking about and they don’t know the relationship that we the National Guard have with the citizens of this state both in good times and times of disaster and our opportunities that we try to create, to create jobs for West Virginians,” Hoyer said.


Aside from helping with the Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve near the New River Gorge, the National Guard will be involved with three training exercises over the next two weeks. The drills will bring in National Guard and regular military personnel from across the country.


“There are actually additional training events that are going on in addition to our support of the Jamboree, they’re running simultaneously but they’re not associated,” Hoyer said. “You have Air Guard exercise, SENTRY STORM, Army exercise, Ridge Runner, and a disaster response training exercise that we haven’t given a specific name to that is going on at the tunnel and at Camp Dawson.”


Hoyer was referring to the National Guard training tunnel in Kanawha County. Camp Dawson is in Preston County. He said SENTRY STORM will take place in 10 counties across the state, including at some reclaimed mine sites.


“In those particular cases we’ve got units from five different states practicing parachute operations and supply drops and short field take off and landing,” he said.


One of Hoyer’s goals is showcasing the state’s ability to provide military and national security training.


“And all the while generating opportunities in our state’s economy which clearly we need because look at how we’re dealing with and having to address revenue shortfall issues so why not generate opportunities in the West Virginia economy,” he said.