Posts From April, 2012

4th Air Wing, Sheppard Detachment Swears in 14 new Airmen

Senior Master Sgt. Dan Hawkins, PAO, TXSG

Members of the Texas State Guard’s 4th Air Wing, Sheppard AFB detachment take the oath of enlistment during a swearing in ceremony April 26th, 2012 in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Sheppard detachment welcomed 14 new members into the unit as a result of its initial recruiting campaign.

USAFWICHITA FALLS, Texas – Lt. Col. Ron Soejoto, commander of the Texas State Guard’s 4th Air Wing, Sheppard AFB detachment, gave the oath of enlistment to 14 new members of the unit April 26th during a ceremony held at the Wichita Theatre in downtown Wichita Falls.

The event, which was hosted by 4th Air Wing commander Col. Brian Dumble, was held in front of family, friends and several distinguished visitors from the local community, including Wichita Falls mayor Glenn Barham, Wichita Falls District 4 City Councilor Tim Ingle and Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons.

The swearing-in ceremony culminated the unit’s initial recruiting push made by Soejoto and Senior Master Sgt. Chris Riordan, senior enlisted manager of the detachment.

“We have put a lot of time and effort into recruiting,” Riordan said. “Our goal from day one was and still is to make our unit operational and ready to respond to a contingency situation just as quickly as we can. To do that we need people and there has been a great response to our recruiting effort.”

During the ceremony, Dumble pointed out both the personal sacrifice and pride in community service one must have to be a part of the Texas State Guard.

“These men and women have shown a willingness to sacrifice their time and effort to be part of a great team,” said Dumble. “Volunteering to step up and help protect the citizens of the state of Texas in an emergency shows their commitment level to the community.”

The Sheppard detachment is the first TXSG Air Component Command unit to be located in Wichita Falls and is the only TXSG unit to be co-located on an active-duty military installation. Once fully manned at 36, the unit will consist of a communications squadron, security forces squadron and group headquarters element.

“Being embedded on an active-duty Air Force installation really opens the doors to training opportunities,” Soejoto said. “We need training and are ready to be challenged, so it’s a perfect situation for us to be in.”

Having a TXSG unit in the Texoma area will be a major boost to the disaster preparedness management team in the local community.

“Having them (TXSG) in place locally is a big help,” said Mayor Barham. “In an emergency situation, there are only so many hands to get everything done, so having a resource that is as versatile as the Guard is a great thing to have.”

The new members of the unit have already been hard at work, setting up a new drill building on Sheppard Air Force Base and also assisting the 82nd Training Wing exercise evaluation team get ready for the base’s upcoming Air Education and Training Command Compliance Inspection.

For information on joining the Texas State Guard unit in Wichita Falls, contact Senior Master Sgt. Chris Riordan at

Guard is cost-efficient way to defend America


Story by Sgt. Todd Boyles

AUSTIN, Texas - Members of the Texas Military Forces take part in the annual National Guard Association of Texas conference in Austin during March 23 through 25.

At the NGAT conference, service members share ideas and concerns about combat readiness and family issues.

"We get together to speak as to where we have been in the past year and where we are going in the future," said U.S. Army Maj. Justin Perryman, the president of the National Guard Association of Texas. 

The association assists in communicating the Texas Military Forces interests to the state and federal lawmakers. The NGAT's mission is to illustrate the value of the service members and the Texas Military Forces to Texans and the American people. 

As of Sept. 30, 2010, the National Guard has mobilized more than 650,000 service members in support of Department of Defense overseas contingency operations. 

According to the National Guard Bureau 2012 Posture Statement report, the Guard contributes 35 to 40 percent of all active Army and Air Force manpower at only 7 percent of the budget. 

"The Guard is the most effective way to defend America and the most cost-efficient," said Ray Linder, executive director of the National Guard Association of Texas. "You can keep four Guardsmen for what it will cost you to maintain one regular Army soldier."

In addition to supporting the "Big Army," the Guardsmen also respond to all domestic emergencies. 

Texas is one of few states that have a Homeland Response Force certified unit. The HRF units add capabilities that allow the Guard to rapidly respond to situations such as natural disasters, biomedical emergencies or riots, said Perryman.

To be an effective fighting force, the Guard needs to have stability on the home front. One place this stability comes from is the Texas State Family Programs.

"Family readiness is a crucial element to mission readiness," said Tara Gaspar, a Senior Family Readiness support assistant with the State Family Programs. "We are a force multiplier. If you do not have a ready family at home, that service member is not ready."