New Guard unit coming to West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Army Guard officials have announced the opening of a new Special Forces Airborne unit in the Eastern Panhandle.

The unit will create a variety of jobs and economic investment in the region, The Journal reported.

The 1528th Forward Support Company Special Operations Airborne unit will activate in the fall of 2021, but is already accepting applications from those interested in joining the newest unit to come to the Eastern Panhandle, said Master Sgt. Charles Withrow.

“It’s going to create new opportunities. Because we have this unit, future plans are to add a new facility to the area in the near future,” Withrow said. “As for a young person looking to join the military, now we can offer these support company things — airborne training, the possibility of travel and a number of positions that weren’t available here.

“And, with new units, there are new full-time positions for current members to apply for, as well as positions for retirees. Really, it’s a big investment in the community,” Withrow added.

The new unit’s mission will be to provide logistics support for U.S. Army Special Operations Forces units worldwide.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at