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Robots in Yes, West Virginia – say what?


If you’re a fan of action movies, you’d be pleased to know that some real-life military training exercises happened in West Virginia recently. The Civil-Military Innovation Institute (CMI2) hosted a military field training exercise and experimentation event, known as Driving Innovation in Realistic Training (DIRT) Days 23-001, in partnership with the United States Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) and the 101st Airborne Division. It was held at CMI2’s Adaptive Experimentation Facility in Fola, West Virginia, which is actually a repurposed coal mining facility. 

The event allowed soldiers to participate in and lead the development and field testing of emerging tactics and technology while bolstering their operational skill sets through challenging, realistic exercises. The event was designed to emulate future operational environments the soldiers could experience in an age of intensifying technology and threats. In short, it was a chance for soldiers to have fun, learn some new skills, and prepare for whatever the future might bring them.

But what does this have to do with defense companies?

  1. First, the state’s Adaptive Experimentation Facility is one of the best-equipped facilities in the country for military training and experimentation. This means that defense companies can have access to cutting-edge technology and resources that are essential for developing new tactics and technologies.
  2. Second, West Virginia offers a strategic location that is close to key military bases and facilities. The state’s proximity to the Pentagon, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and other important military installations makes it an ideal location for defense companies that want to work closely with the military.
  3. Finally, West Virginia offers a business-friendly environment that is conducive to growth and innovation. The state has a low cost of living, a skilled workforce, and a range of tax incentives and other benefits that are designed to attract businesses. This means that defense companies can operate more efficiently and effectively in West Virginia than in other states.

Although West Virginia may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of defense companies, recent events show that the state has a lot to offer. With its world-class military training facilities, strategic location, and business-friendly environment, West Virginia is an ideal location for defense companies that want to develop new tactics and technologies and work closely with the military. The Adaptive Experimentation Facility is a prime example of using West Virginian terrain, which is ideal for high difficulty training exercises. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see some of those tactics and technology in action in future blockbuster movies. Yes, West Virginia showing us once again that cool things are happening here! 

To connect with a West Virginia Department of Economic Development representative, call +1-304-558-2234.

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