Posts From August, 2013

19th Regiment(CA) recently honored the Service 

Posted on: 29-Aug-13
Photo of GroupThe 19th Regiment(CA) recently honored the Service, Leadership and Dedication of LTC Barry Hobbs their Executive Officer and CSM Mike Burtenshaw their Regimental CSM in a Service in Dallas with a presentation of swords for a job well done and as fine examples of Texans helping Texans.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 8:09:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

Perry signs 'Chris Kyle Bill,' allows military experience for Texas state licenses 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry visits with Taya Kyle, wife of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, following the signing of Senate Bill 162 at the Texas State Capitol, in Austin, Texas, Aug. 28, 2013.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry visits with Taya Kyle, wife of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, following the signing of Senate Bill 162 at the Texas State Capitol, in Austin, Texas, Aug. 28, 2013. Senate Bill 162 has been called the "Chris Kyle Bill" because it recognizes the achievements of service members with special operations training, by allowing them credit toward state law enforcement licenses. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain)

Story by Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain

 

 AUSTIN, Texas – In a ceremony at the Texas State Capitol, Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 162, which was passed by  the 83rd Texas Legislature to address employment challenges facing military service members, recently separated  veterans and their spouses.

 The bipartisan legislation requires state agencies that issue occupational licenses to recognize substantially equivalent  licenses issued by other jurisdictions – including the armed forces – and provide an expedited licensure process for  these individuals.

 “The unemployment rate among veterans is one of the highest in the United States,” said state Rep. Dan Flynn of Van  (HD-2), who sponsored the bill in the Texas House. “Considering the sacrifices they made for our country, it is imperative  we help their transition to civilian life by giving them credit for the hard work and training they have accomplished in the  military.”

 Flynn, a U.S. Army veteran who also serves as a commander in the Texas State Guard’s Maritime Regiment, worked with  state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio (SD-26), who chairs the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military  Installations, to develop the legislation.

 “After our heroes fight for us, they should not then have to fight for a job when they get back home,” Van de Putte said.

 Until now, military training was not recognized by the state of Texas, for licensure purposes.

 “Too often, service members and their spouses must wait too long for licensing in fields in which they already have substantial experience,” Van de Putte said. “This law will put them on the fast-track for an occupational license, but also will require them to come into full compliance with Texas’ licensing requirements within a year.”

Additionally, SB 162 is also known as the “Chris Kyle Bill,” named after the former Navy SEAL and author who was slain earlier this year, and recognizes the achievements of service members with special operations training. Kyle’s wife, Taya, was on-hand at the signing ceremony.

“I appreciate the sacrifices these many brave special operators have made,” Flynn said, “and I hope that by incorporating these changes into current Texas law we can honor the legacy of Chris Kyle and the many like him.”

The legislation grants these veterans credit toward the issuance of a basic police officer’s license. Additional training and a certification test is still required to receive the license.

“If a soldier can dodge IEDs in Iraq or Afghanistan while driving a semi, they can drive safely on I-35 or I-30 without having to be trained again,” Flynn said.

It’s possible that this type of legislation will now be pursued throughout the country, as Van de Putte and Flynn co-chair the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs.

“We hope this legislation will serve as a model for all states,” Flynn said, “and we look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Defense to find new and better ways to show our appreciation to veterans as the return home.”

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 2:11:00 PM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

SGT John Gately instructing a class at Camp Mabry 

Posted on: 24-Aug-2013

SGT John Gately instructing a class at Camp Mabry during August drill, on how administrate the new TXSG website. Units will be working to establish new websites for their components and units and more information will be available soon.

Photo of SGT Gately presenting the new websitePhoto of class

Saturday, August 24, 2013 8:11:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

Texas Military Forces preserving ancient Texas history 

Charles Coleman of the Thlopthlocco Tribe recognizes the partnership between his Tribe and the Texas Military Forces by presenting a traditional wooden flute to Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of Texas.
Charles Coleman of the Thlopthlocco Tribe recognizes the partnership between his Tribe and the Texas Military Forces by presenting a traditional wooden flute to Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of Texas. The flute was made by members of the Thlopthlocco tribe as one of the ways to preserve their heritage. The Texas Military Forces works with 11 different Tribal Nations in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana in a joint effort to preserve tribal heritage and the history of Texas. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Army Capt. Martha C. Nigrelle/Released)

 Story by Capt. Martha Nigrelle

 
 CAMP MABRY, Texas – Members of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF) and representatives from five different Tribal  Nations living in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma gathered here, in Austin, on Aug. 19, 2013, with one  stated goal in mind – to protect their shared history.

 Eight thousand years ago, long before any one nation’s flag flew over this state, people lived here, on the land that is  now known as Texas. Surrounded by the bluebonnets, rivers, hills and plains of Texas, people built homes, cooked  meals and raised families. Today, their story remains buried throughout the Lone Star State.

 In the 1990’s, TXMF began consulting with Tribal representatives in order to identify artifacts and locations of  significance. Since its conception, the exchange process has focused on addressing a variety of issues ranging from  the protection of sensitive archaeological sites, which allow access and preservation of traditional natural resources for  tribal use, to the identification and return of objects the tribes hold sacred.

 “This is our opportunity to meet with different Tribal Nations and help preserve their history,” said Maj. Gen. John F.  Nichols, The Adjutant General of Texas and Commanding General of the Texas Military Forces.

 Today, representatives from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, Caddo Tribe, Comanche Nation, Coushatta Tribe of  Louisiana, Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Kiowa Tribe, Mescalero Apache Tribe, Tonkawa  Tribe, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma regularly meet with TXMF officials to discuss  efforts being made to preserve both their heritage and ancient Texas history.

 In 2005, according to TXMF Cultural Resource Program records, a 2,000 year-old ceramic pot was unearthed on TXMF  property. After visiting with tribal leaders, it was discovered that the artifact held sacred significance to the Caddo Nation  and was returned to the tribe.

 Currently, TXMF has more than 700 protected archeological sites and has collected tens of thousands of artifacts that  help depict life as it was, in Texas, thousands of years ago, said Kristen Mt Joy, Cultural Resource Program Manager for  TXMF and a registered professional archeologist.

 “The beautiful thing about our program is that [TXMF] is trying to acknowledge [the Tribal Nations’] role in the history of  our state,” Mt Joy said. “It isn’t just a ‘check the box’ thing; [TXMF] really wants to hear what the Tribes have to say.”

The consultation process has resulted in more than artifact identification. As the partnership grows, more is learned about the history of the tribes and about the people who once inhabited Texas. Areas that are of cultural significance are labeled traditional cultural property, and special care is taken to preserve the area in its natural state. For example, an area traditionally used to gather plants for medicines – this area TXMF will try to protect, to ensure that the same plant life can continue to grow. 

In an attempt to protect these lands, both TXMF and their Tribal Nation partners understand that the focus does not stray from the installations’ primary mission of training service members.

“[The Tribes] take great pride in the military,” Mt Joy said. “They understand that we have a mission to train Soldiers and prepare them for service.”

This annual consultation is “an opportunity to share and exchange information on improving preservation,” said Mt Joy. This consultation process has created a partnership between TXMF and each Tribal Nation.

During the meeting, Charles Coleman, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, presented Nichols with a traditional flute and thanked him for his commitment to partnering with the Tribal Nations. According to Coleman, the flute was handmade, out of bamboo, by members of the Thlopthlocco tribe and is a replica of flutes played by their tribe many years ago. 

As the meeting came to an end, a shared theme remained. Members of each tribe shared with the group what they are doing to record their history for future generations.

“It is our duty to preserve history,” Nichols said, reiterating a TXMF commitment to continue its work alongside the tribes.

Monday, August 19, 2013 2:15:00 PM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

The Texas State Guard was fortunate to have Chief Lankford on duty 

14-Aug-2013

The Texas State Guard was fortunate to have Chief Lankford on duty in Del Rio while the Del Rio Sector was hosting a member of Texas United States Senator Ted Cruz’s staff. Command Master Sergeant Paul Lankford in coordination with Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Assistant Chief Spielman, made a presentation to Melissa L. Miller, Constituent Services Liaison for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, on the mission of Operation Border Star at the Del Rio JOIC and the incorporation of Texas State Guard troops in that mission.  Ms. Miller had been visiting the Del Rio Sector Headquarters operations that day, and at the end of the day was hosted for a presentation in the Border Intelligence Center (BIC) and the Joint Operations Intelligence Center (JOIC).  This was her first experience with Texas State Guard troops and she was very impressed with the mission. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 8:19:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

ACC Supported the 19th Annual Austin Maccabi Games 

Photo of Event 1The Air Component Command supported the 19th Annual Austin Maccabi Games. Our 32 participating Airmen provided administrative support at both the Combined Transportation Emergency and Communications Center and the Dell Jewish Community Center Emergency Operations Center. 

They also supported law enforcement officers at several venues and helped to control access to venues to safeguard the citizens of Texas and our visiting guests.Photo of event 2

 

 

Other Maccabi Games facts:

1,300 teens from delegations across the US, Israel, and several other international communities
1,000 Austin volunteers
500 visiting coaches and spectators
200 local Austin teens
Read more about the Maccabi Games here:
(http://www.maccabiusa.com/sports/competitions/19th-maccabiah-games.html) are a week long international Olympic competition of Jewish youth athletes from around the world.

Friday, August 9, 2013 8:20:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard