**To watch Senator Capito’s questions, click here or on the image above.**

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, questioned Reserve Component leaders during a hearing to review the president’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 funding request for the National Guard and Reserve Component of each military branch.

During her questions, Senator Capito asked about the importance of the West Virginia National Guard’s (WVNG) Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare Exercise to U.S. Special Forces and partner militaries. Senator Capito also asked each Reserve Component leader about their most pressing modernization needs to prepare for future operations.

Additionally, Senator Capito highlighted the role of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program in building enduring ties with U.S. allies and partners.



SEN. CAPITO: The West Virginia National Guard has done the Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare training every year, which is a partnership with the Irregular Warfare Center and the Ridge Healer exercise, which focuses on austere medicine. So, I'm proud of these programs and have supported them through the appropriations process. And there are 11 partner countries now from the European and Indo-Pacific theaters that are training in irregular warfare and prolonged field care, not to mention this provides the training and the validation for the Air National Guard and Special Forces. So, I'm not sure how familiar you are with Ridge Runner, but do you view this as a value add for the Guard Bureau and for the [Department of Defense]? And I'd be interested in your perceptions if you're familiar with this program.”

GEN. DANIEL R. HOKANSON, CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU: “So, Senator Capito, I'm familiar with the exercise, and it's done there for a reason. And 11 nations come there for a reason: because of the capability and what they can learn in that environment. The team there does a great job. And the reason why it continues to grow is people see the value for that. It also helps us validate our special operations forces before they deploy. And so, when you look at that field of special operations, they go where it works, and that works extremely well.”


SEN. CAPITO: In terms of the state partnerships, just quickly, I'll say I just returned from a trip with Senator Moran, some others, and we were all over the place: Finland, Sweden, Egypt, Greece. These state partnerships are not just meaningful to us and our states, but it's they all mentioned it as we went around how how the benefits that they reap, how they're stronger than ever, and how they really, not just like them, but feel like it's such a necessity as we see the globe sort of shrinking right before us. So, thank you all very much.”

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