Posts From March, 2015

Texas signal leaders prepare for deployment 

Story by: Master Sgt. Daniel Griego

Posted: March 29, 2015

Master Sgt. Daniel Griego Staff Sgt. Paul Rivera of the Texas National Guard's 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion conducts grenade familiarization during the organization's Key Leader Pre-Mobilization Training March 25, 2015, at Camp Mabry in Bastrop, Texas. By conducting their training early, unit leaders will be able to help train and guide the battalion's main body personnel through the same lanes in June. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Daniel Griego/Released)
Master Sgt. Daniel Griego
Staff Sgt. Paul Rivera of the Texas National Guard's 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion conducts grenade familiarization during the organization's Key Leader Pre-Mobilization Training March 25, 2015, at Camp Mabry in Bastrop, Texas. By conducting their training early, unit leaders will be able to help train and guide the battalion's main body personnel through the same lanes in June. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Daniel Griego/Released)

BASTROP, Texas - The road to deployment is a long one for National Guard units, with months of preparatory training and administrative tasks to fulfill before the Department of Defense approves them for overseas service. The officers and noncommissioned officers of the 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion got a head start on this process March 21-29 at Camp Swift with a specialized pre-mobilization training for leaders.

Twenty-four members of the signal battalion, which falls under the Texas National Guard’s Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade), trained for more than a week on warriors skills like reacting to incoming fire, reacting to a vehicle rollover, grenade familiarization and others. 

“It’s a value to the unit,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Collins, command sergeant major for the 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, “that when the main body gets here, we can actually monitor what’s going on and we won’t have to be going through while they’re going through. We’re free to do all the administrative things we need to do and prep ourselves to go to the [mobilization] station.”

The leaders on site performing this training included the battalion commander, staff officers, senior noncommissioned officers, and mission-essential personnel who will be able to help guide the main body of the organization through the same drill lanes in June.

“We’ll be going to seven different countries across 32 different sites,” said 136th ESB Commander Lt. Col. Tanya Trout, “so we’re training on all the different areas of operation we could, from IED explosions to individual weapons training and individual movement techniques. We’ll have the big main body PMT in June and then we’ll hit the mobilization platform in July at Fort Hood.”

As a signal unit, the battalion’s primary mission will be to enable communications throughout the region, providing voice and network capabilities for their supported elements. The focus for the next few months, however, will be getting back to the basics of their warrior tasks and providing a tactically and physically fit team of Texas Guardsmen.

“A lot of us get stuck behind desks doing computer work,” said Trout. “It’s good to be out here and remember what it’s like to be a Soldier, to do your three to five second buddy rushes, individual weapons qualification, land navigation, all your basic Soldiering skills.”

The battalion will train through the end of the summer, finishing with a Culminating Training Exercise at Fort Hood to simulate their overseas mission prior to departing. This exercise will be the final certification of their hard work and preparations clearing them for combat service.

“Once we get to platform,” said WO1 Audrey Foushee, the battalion property book officer, “we’ll be validating equipment and personnel in preparation for and during the CTE.”

“The unit’s feeling good,” said Collins. “We know we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015 7:46:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Army Component Texas State Guard Welcomes New General 

Howard N. Palmer, Jr. Promoted to Brigadier General

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment, PAO

Posted: March 28, 2015

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28March2015) - Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  formally assumed command of the Army Component, TXSG, at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG.
CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28March2015) - Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  formally assumed command of the Army Component, TXSG, at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG.

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28 March 2015) – The Army Component Command of the Texas State Guard has a new commander and a new general, Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  Maj. Gen. Jake Betty, Commander, TXSG, promoted Palmer to the rank of brigadier general and formally handed over the Army Component to Palmer at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer assumed command of the ACC, January 1, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state.

"I couldn't be more honored, or more humbled, by the opportunity to lead one of the premier organizations of this type in the United States," Palmer stated. "With my mentors' support and the support of the officers, NCOs, and enlisted members of the Army Component, we're going to continue moving forward as an organization with a culture and a strategy of continuous improvement."

Palmer was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Louisiana Army National Guard after completing the ROTC program at Louisiana College in 1980 and ended his federal service as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard in 2008.  His federal service active duty assignments included deployment to Bosnia for Operation Joint Forge in 2000;  Operation Noble Eagle II in 2003;  Operation Jump Start (Marfa, Texas); and J3, Operation Jump Start (Austin, Texas) from 2006-2008.  He is a graduate of Field Artillery School Officer Basic Course; Field Artillery  School, Cannon Battery Officer Course; Field Artillery School Officer Advanced Course; Combined Arms and Services Staff School; Command and General Staff College-Graduate; and Field Artillery Pre-Command Course.

At the ceremony Palmer also received The State of Texas Outstanding Service Medal for exemplary service in the military forces of Texas.  Palmer's highest awards for military service are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal w/1 OLC, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal w/4 OLC, as well as various other state and federal ribbons.

Palmer joined the TXSG at the rank of Colonel in 2008.  He served as the commander of the 4th Regiment, TXSG, from 2010-2015.

Palmer holds a BA in English and History from Louisiana College-Pineville, Pineville, Louisiana, and a MA in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas.  He is an Assistant Principal at Denton High School, Denton, Texas.  He is married to Dr. Mary "Beth" Palmer. They have a son, 1st Lt. Howard N. Palmer, III, US Air Force, and daughter-in-law Julia C. Palmer.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 10:12:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

Journey to becoming Army Fit 

Week 10- PT Test

PT TEST DAY! It was a chilly morning but the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky on this third day of spring. We arrived early, and discussed how neither of us slept very well the night before. Maybe our nerves were running a little higher than we thought they would. As much as we told ourselves it would be okay if we didn’t pass, we really wanted to do well.

We had the great fortune of having Cpt. Orozco, Deputy State Surgeon, and Sgt. Moten, Texas Army National Guard, administer our test. We also had support from Michelle McBride of the Public Affairs Office, who has been our blogger extraordinaire for the last two months, and Capt. Nigrelle, who has helped tremendously with editing and who was featured in a previous blog demonstrating excellent pushup form. 

Cpt. Orozco and Sgt. Moten were all business. She read us the standard test protocol with she and Sgt. Moten demonstrating proper form for sit ups and pushups. As a reminder, less than 3 months ago, we struggled to do 1 proper pushup, and a handful of ugly sit ups. 

On PT Test day, however, we exceeded our goal of 60%! We tested on pushups at the same time and were both impressed. Tracy did 15 (needed 9 to pass), and Courtney did 22 (needed 12 to pass).

PT Test day PT Test day

Our confidence was up! They reminded us to keep moving to stay warm, as she read the sit up protocol. Tracy knocked out 40 sit ups (needed 28 to pass), and Courtney completed 36 (needed 32 to pass).

We were feeling good, and ready for the run! Although our support team encouraged us to compete with each other to get the best score possible, we decided that we would run just as we trained, together and talking. We felt good the entire two miles- finished strong with10 minute miles- and came in three to four minutes under our passing goal. 

PT Test day

So, what did we learn in our journey? We learned that our bodies can do much more than we thought they could. We learned that making fitness and exercise part of our regular routine was a big part of improving, and having a partner for encouragement, company, and support was absolutely essential. We learned that over time our moods improved with the routine of running. Not only were our bodies moving, but exercising together allowed us time to talk, laugh, and share, and go home feeling ‘lighter’. We learned that we want to keep going! We worked hard to improve and meet our goals and we want to maintain our physical fitness. Lastly, although we had the knowledge that physical and mental fitness were connected, this journey provided an opportunity for us to put this into practice and experience the positive results in both our bodies and our minds. 

We would like to sincerely thank all of the service members, co-workers, and our families, who offered support, advice, and encouragement all along the way. It was very helpful in keeping us motivated, and in steering us in the right direction, and thank you to the Public Affairs Office (PAO) for giving us the opportunity to document our ‘Journey to Becoming Army Fit.’ 

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

Friday, March 27, 2015 12:45:00 PM Categories: Blog

Journey to becoming Army Fit 

Week 9

We are continuing to gather advice about strengthening our form, technique and bodies.  More than one service member and one of our own family members told us to try the ‘Perfect Pushup’ device.  Sounds great!  A tool that will perfect our pushups and help us reach our goal numbers in order to pass the test.  Just like that, the device showed up in the office thanks to a kindhearted service member.  We were thrilled.  If you’ve never seen this apparatus, it is two round disks (that swivel) and there are handles on top of each disk. We immediately tried them out, figuring that they were the magic wand that would fix everything.  Wrong!  We had a tough time figuring out how to use them correctly and the swiveling made us very unsteady.  We looked online for more information. The person in the video we found made it look so easy. We tried again. No luck. 

We asked our co-worker Sgt. Sanders for help since he was the one who first mentioned the device to us. With grace and ease, Sgt. Sanders performed several perfect-form pushups and instructed us patiently when we tried again.  We can see how the device could be helpful, but have decided that it is, unfortunately, still beyond our skill level.  Back to doing pushups the old fashion way!  

Lesson of the week:
What works for some does not always work for others.  This is true for mental fitness as well as physical fitness.  The only way to know what suits you is to listen, watch, gather lots of ideas and then try them. Those that work, add them to your list of techniques.  Those that don’t...well, as with the ‘Perfect Pushup’ device, it is a learning experience.  

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

Friday, March 20, 2015 10:03:00 AM Categories: Blog

Texas Guard Soldier takes home top honors during Task Force Sinai quarterly competition 

Story by: Sgt. Thomas Duval

Posted: March 19, 2015

Story courtesy of: Task Force Sinai

Sgt. Thomas Duval Spc. Ricardo Gonzales, a combat medic from the Minnesota National Guard, currently serving in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt with Task Force Sinai, performs first aid on a simulated casualty during the unit's Best Warrior Competition held March 18, 2015. During the competition Soldiers underwent a number of mental and physical tests that included trauma lanes, physical fitness test, weapons qualification and a formal board, among others. (U.S. Army Photo By: Sgt. Thomas Duval, Task Force Sinai Public Affairs)
Sgt. Thomas Duval
Spc. Ricardo Gonzales, a combat medic from the Minnesota National Guard, currently serving in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt with Task Force Sinai, performs first aid on a simulated casualty during the unit's Best Warrior Competition held March 18, 2015. During the competition Soldiers underwent a number of mental and physical tests that included trauma lanes, physical fitness test, weapons qualification and a formal board, among others. (U.S. Army Photo By: Sgt. Thomas Duval, Task Force Sinai Public Affairs)

EL GORAH, Egypt — After being in the Sinai Desert supporting peace with the Multinational Force and Observers for less than a month, Spc. Tommy Ly has already taken the reins and set the standard for his peers.

Ly, a financial management technician assigned to the 1st Squadron, 112th Cavalry Regiment- currently operating as the Army’s U.S. Security Battalion in Sinai Egypt- won the Task Force Sinai Soldier of the Quarter Competition held here March 18, 2015. 

“I have always set high standards to push myself to be better and to win this is just a relief,” Ly, a Channelview, Texas, native said.

For Ly and the other hopefuls, the two-day event kicked off March 17th as Soldiers were tested on their Army knowledge with a written exam. 

Day Two of the competition began by testing each Soldier’s physical prowess during the Army Physical Fitness Test and continued as each competitor completed a number of situational training lanes. The lanes included weapons qualification, treating a casualty, calling in a nine-line medevac, and communications lane. Each participant was graded on their proficiency in each warrior task and given an overall score. 

That score was carried with the Soldiers as they entered the final obstacle- a formal board in front of their leaders. During the board, senior leaders from Task Force Sinai tested the nominees on their overall knowledge on more than 12 Army categories ranging from regulations to leader values. 

“I really learned a lot about myself throughout this competition,” Ly added. “Studying the different topics taught me what Army leadership is and I was able to pick up different leadership traits.” 

To make the situation more challenging, Ly only arrived to the Sinai three weeks prior to the competition and was told while unpacking that he would be selected to represent his unit. 

Ly, a four-year Army veteran who serves as part of the North Camp Response Team for the MFO, immediately started to study on his limited amount of off-time. Although the amount of dedication each Soldier put into preparing for the competition cannot accurately be measured Ly said he didn’t do it alone and instead attributes his success to his leaders who mentored him along the way.

His platoon leader, Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Harris, ensured Ly stayed motivated by challenging him on a daily basis. 

“I told him you better score a 270 or higher on your PT test or else you’re not going,” Harris said. “I even made him run with someone who I knew would push him.” 

Harris also challenged Ly with by reminding him of the unspoken rivalry between National Guard and active duty Soldiers. 

“There’s always been a rivalry between the guard and active duty,” Ly said. “It’s nice for us to win something like this.” 

At the end of the day, all of Ly’s sacrifices paid off but as he walked away with the title of ‘Best Soldier in the Desert’, for this quarter, he didn’t have time to celebrate. Instead he did what a true Soldier does and got right back to work.

Thursday, March 19, 2015 7:49:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

TXMF Day at the Capitol 

Story by: Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Posted: March 19, 2015

Picture of EventAUSTIN, Texas – The Texas legislature recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation, March 19, 2015, during Texas Military Forces Day at the Capitol in Austin.

As part of the day, legislators and their staff members spent time visiting with numerous guardsmen to discuss the roles and capabilities of the guard in Texas.

The TXMF used the day to showcase the force, which featured representatives from across the force, as well as two different rifle and pistol simulators. Organizers from the TXMF Government Affairs team said their goal was to increase awareness and understanding of the TXMF’s dual state and federal mission to both state representatives and the general public.

Visitors remained engaged dueling on the simulators and learning more about their Texas Guard.  Ana Ramon, chief of staff for state Representative Joe Farias (San Antonio), said she found it fascinating how so many different components came together to serve as one.

 “Often, decision making is done on a very superficial level,” Ramon said. “When you have someone you are talking to who lives it, who sees it every day, it gives you the drive and the motivation to dig deeper and find not just the cause, but what the systemic root of an issue is and how we can help that.”

 Guardsmen set up informational booths focusing specifically on the Army, Air and State Guards, the facilities and maintenance office, the Texas Challenge Academy, the Civil Support Team, Domestic Operations and the unique skill sets and capabilities each of these components provides. 

 “We wanted to make sure as many divisions in the National Guard and State Guard could be represented as possible,” said Jordy Keith, TXMF government affairs deputy director-state. “We wanted the legislators and the general public to see what the Texas National Guard and Texas State Guard does for Texas.”

 Many of the service members working the event took a break to visit the Senate, in session, where they received a standing ovation in thanks, by all representatives and member of the public present, for the service TXMF gives to both the state and nation.

 “I thought today went extremely well,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general – Texas, “They got to meet you all, they didn’t just see Nichols. They got to see the National Guard.”

 Just before the Senate session began, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stopped by the event to visit with the troops and thank them for their service.

 “America depends on a strong Texas,” said Patrick. “And a strong Texas relies on all of you.”

Thursday, March 19, 2015 7:48:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Journey to becoming Army Fit 

continue to work toward our goal of taking and passing a PT testWeek 8

We continue to work toward our goal of taking and passing a PT test; however, we both notice that it is not as easy as we thought it would be. Initially, our motivation was high and our day-to-day jobs were a little less hectic since we were still new and it was the holiday season. Now, our work days are much busier and our bodies have various aches and pains from increased exercise and working under-used muscle groups, which makes working out tougher. We remind ourselves that progress is slow, and we respect that our bodies need a bit more recovery time now than they did when we were in our twenties and thirties. 

It gets us thinking about service members in the National Guard. Active duty service members typically do PT together in an organized group, and as a required part of their daily work routine. Guard members, on the other hand, often live and work apart from each other, and must rely on their own initiative to maintain their physical fitness in order to pass their PT test. It makes us very much appreciate their commitment, dedication, and self-discipline to being in the National Guard. They inspire us, along with a deep desire not to flunk, to keep chugging toward our goal. 

We have received so many good tips and strategies for building our strength and physical fitness. It is interesting to note that all of these tips and strategies are helpful, yet different. Each takes a unique approach to accomplishing the same goal or task. We see the same occurrence in mental fitness. There are varied ideas about how to maintain mental fitness and increase coping skills; all good, yet different. We compiled a list of coping skills, some that are our favorites and some that are borrowed from others:

•    Ask for help 
•    Create a support system
•    Accept imperfection / Be gentle with yourself
•    Take a relaxation break
•    Monitor inner thoughts
•    Take care of your (physical) health
•    Have a friend and be a friend

For more ideas and suggestions about coping and emotional health, check out: https://www.jointservicessupport.org/PHP/Emotional.aspx

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 2:10:00 PM Categories: Blog

Journey to becoming Army Fit 

our PT date is closing in on usWeek 7

As our PT date is closing in on us, we notice we are feeling some anxiety about taking the test.  We are having to use more positive self talk, such as: You can do this; Others have started out weak but got stronger and passed the test;  You are progressing, be patient.  

At the same time, however, we’ve also observed an increase in negative self talk: OMG, you are going to flunk; What were you thinking signing up for a PT test and blogging about it?; You are going to make a fool out of yourself; This is a dumb idea; You are going to embarrass yourself and your colleagues; Everyone is going to laugh at you. 

We've had to help each other with these thoughts and spend some time using more realistic statements to combat the negative ones. Ok, if you fail, you tried, it's not the end of the world and you did get in better shape than when you started. Learn, adapt and try again.  As the old saying goes... “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.”

While we know there is a possibility we might not pass, we do know we will survive if we fail the PT test.  We will survive that failure, that day, that week, and the flack we may have to endure for awhile following the test. 

Mental Fitness maturity comes from facing our fears, our failures, and our mistakes followed by taking responsibility, finding solutions, gathering support and learning from the experience. Mistakes and failures are some of the best teachers, if you take time to learn from them.  Tough situations create an opportunity to practice your coping skills and find out where you may need to add extra ones. 

In sum, learning to be Army Fit is making us “walk the walk”, not just “talk the talk”. And, it is making us use our coping skills as we get closer to the test on March 23, 2015.  

•    Positive Self-Talk (Be encouraging, realistic, and patient with change and progress).
•    Monitor Negative Self-Talk (Watch for words that make the situation worse than it really is; watch for words that are mean or cruel or words that deplete your desire to keep trying or to do better).
•    Evaluate the situation outside of the anxiety/worry or fear of failure.  (Talking to someone who is outside of the situation may help you see the situation more clearly).
•    Learn and Adapt (Remind yourself that we all have challenges; they are part of our human experience and help us mature.  You will make mistakes and have failures in life.  Take responsibility for shortcomings, learn from mistakes, make amends if necessary, and move on....The Next Challenge is right around the corner). 

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators

Friday, March 13, 2015 12:29:00 PM Categories: Blog

From The Top: “What the Heck is DOMOPS?” The History and Composition of the Domestic Operations Task Force 

Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton CommanderCommentary by Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton
Commander, Domestic Operations Task Force

CAMP MABRY, Texas – Many members of the Texas Military forces are unfamiliar with the Domestic Operations Task Force also called “DOMOPS”.  What is it?  Who are they?  What do they do?  I will answer these questions and give a short history on how the Domestic Operations Task Force came to be.

Over the years leading up to the Task Force’s creation, the Texas Military Forces had responded to many hurricanes and other emergencies averaging almost 30,000 man days per year since 2001.  The response effort, while effective, lacked a standing headquarters.  Units who were called on to respond were always changing and Soldiers had to learn and re-learn response operations in support of civil authorities.  It was quickly discovered that a permanent task force headquarters was needed.  

In the fall of 2011, the Joint Staff were tasked by the Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, to devise a plan which would allow the Texas Military Forces to improve response time, maximize equipment and personnel capabilities, place various critical Domestic Operations programs on a sustainable footing, and make the best use of taxpayers’ dollars in regards to the State Active Duty (SAD) or Federal Title 32 Domestic Operations Missions.  A distributed planning team was assembled and conducted a systematic planning effort to develop courses of action.  After much analysis, a plan was approved. Brig. Gen. Len Smith, now Maj. Gen., spearheaded the establishment of the Domestic Operations Task Force as permanent force structure with subordinate, non-divisional units.  The Domestic Operations Task Force was established on May 21st, 2012 under the command of then Brigadier General Len Smith. 

The Domestic Operations Task Force is a joint organization comprised of four subordinate units and a joint staff.   In addition to the joint staff, the four units that make up the task force are the Joint Task Force 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB), the 176th Engineer Brigade, the Joint Counter Drug Task Force, and the Southwest Border Task Force.  Each of the subordinate units has a mission set that is specific to Domestic Operations, while also maintaining its federal, wartime mission. 

One of these missions is the Homeland Response Force (HRF) Mission.  The HRF Mission belongs to the Joint Task Force 136th (MEB) in Round Rock, Texas.  The HRF mission is to provide a CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) response capability in each FEMA region that is able to provide timely life-saving skills within the first 48 hours of a CBRNE event, and to establish, when necessary, a regional command and control structure in order to synchronize all State Active Duty/Title 32 CBRNE responses involving Civil Support Teams (CST), CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) and prepare for follow-on forces.   Texas is in FEMA Region VI, which is also comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.  The JTF 136th (MEB)’s HRF mission is evaluated and re-certified every three years. 


The 176th Engineer Brigade is assigned the All Hazards mission set and provides the Joint Task Force Headquarters for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) missions.  TXMF are continuously supporting civilian authorities by responding to all hazards at the direction of the Governor, in order to preserve the lives and property of the people of Texas.  Those missions include hurricane response, ground wildfire suppression, and winter storm response to name a few. The 176th’s geographic dispersion and variety of equipment make it a perfect unit for domestic all hazards response.


The Joint Counterdrug Task Force’s mission is to assist Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the disruption of illicit drug financing, production, transportation and distribution, and promotes drug-free living through community-based education and prevention.  The Joint Counterdrug Task Force (JCDTF) conducts operations throughout the state of Texas and along the southwest border.  In addition to military counterdrug operations, the JCDTF also conducts civil operations to coach communities by delivering collaborative and effective strategies that create healthy citizens.  Civil operations include the Texas ChalleNGe Academy, STARBASE, Operation Crackdown, and the Joint Substance Abuse Program. 

The Southwest Border Mission (Operation Phalanx) is conducted by Joint Task Force Liberty, of which the Texas Military Forces has operational control.  The Task Force’s mission is to conduct aerial detection and monitoring to disrupt Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) and Drug Trafficking Organizations in support of U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  JTF Liberty works closely alongside the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) to provide air-centric operations and increase CBP’s capability with personnel and technology.  The helicopter used to conduct air operations along the border is the UH-72 Lakota and it is the premier Law Enforcement Agency support aircraft within the National Guard.  The National Guard is a key partner in the Department of Defense’s efforts on border security, and our operations on the border have led to the seizure of over 75,000lbs of illegal narcotics and the apprehension of over 61,000 undocumented aliens since 2012. 

As we move into hurricane and wildfire season and as activity along the southwest border is picking up, there is no question that the Domestic Operations Task Force is ready to respond at a moment’s notice. The Soldiers and Airmen of the Domestic Operations Task Force are “Texans Defending Texas.”


Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton has served over 28 years in the Texas Army National Guard and became the Commander of the Domestic Operations Task Force in June of 2013. His military career includes deployments to Bosnia and Afghanistan and has served as the Adjutant General’s Chief of Staff. Brig. Gen. Hamilton holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 1:03:00 PM Categories: Blog

I am the Guard 

"I AM THE GUARD"

New Video from the Texas Military Forces

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted: March 9, 2015

I am the GuardI am the Guard - Video AUSTIN, Texas) - The Texas State Guard is featured in the new "I AM THE GUARD" video produced by SFC Malcolm McClendon, Texas Military Public Affairs Office.  This video is about the Texas Military Forces which includes the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. 

One of the soldiers profiled is Staff Sgt. Jason Lopez, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard.  Photos include as well other TXSG soldiers. 

Video is available by clicking the image (left), the link in the right column on this page I am the Guard, or www.facebook.com/TexasStateGuard,  the TMD website  or www.facebook.com/TexasMilitaryForces.

Monday, March 9, 2015 10:15:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard