July 6, 2018 (by Capt. Holli Nelson) - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, joined the commander of the 130th Airlift Wing, Col. Johnny Ryan, to unveil a new name for one of the 130th AW’s C-130H (#95-6712) aircraft as “Pride of West Virginia” during a formal ceremony held today at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston.
Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, discusses the economic impact of the WVNG during a plane naming ceremony held July 6, 2018 at McLaughlin ANGB. The 130th AW unveiled a C-130H ((#95-6712) with the name "Pride of West Virginia" during the ceremony. [ANG photo by Capt. Holli Nelson]
“Today, we unveil ‘Pride of West Virginia,’ a C-130 Hercules that showcases our dedication to the state in which we serve and underscores the value of the support we receive from our citizens,” Ryan said during the ceremony.
He continued, “each day this plane takes off from this, or any other airport, it will be a visual reminder of the prideful, wild and wonderful West Virginia and all the service members that make sacrifices to support a home in which we will always return.”
Justice and Hoyer joined Ryan at the aircraft to unveil the name “Pride of West Virginia” before Hoyer address the audience to discuss the impact of the West Virginia National Guard on the State’s economy.
Hoyer highlighted that since October, the West Virginia Guard has created more than 200 permanent full time and temporary positions in West Virginia which have contributed to an additional $5.7 million in payroll coming into the state. He also highlighted that the organization contributes more than half a billion dollars in economic impact each year.
“Governor, these are the people that make things happen, that rescue victims from high water, that make sure these airplanes fly when our nation needs it,” Hoyer said. “But also, these are good citizens in their communities in West Virginia.”
Justice took the opportunity to thank the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard for their service and sacrifice during this Fourth of July week and to personally interact with them one-on-one.
“Oftentimes we easily forget what you do for us,” Justice said. “We easily just let it slip away to the back of our minds. But truly what you give us is unbelievable.”
“I thank you in every way,” he said highlighting that more than 150 West Virginia Guardsmen are serving in 18 different counties around the world.
“Every freedom and everyone opportunity of everything we have, we owe to you,” he concluded.
The “Pride of West Virginia” is one of four C-130H’s to be named in the 130th Airlift Wing’s inventory and will join “Spirit of Charleston”, “The General Mac”, and “Spirit of the Kanawha Valley.”