Posts From August, 2015

Task Force Alamo trains Honduran army 

Story by: Maj. Randall Stillinger

Posted: August 27, 2015

Maj. Randall Stillinger  First Lt. Raymond Bayane (right) observes two Honduran soldiers practice a 'fireman’s carry' during a training exercise in Tamara, Honduras. Bayane is with the San Antonio-based 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, which is conducting the training to enhance the Honduran Army’s ability to counter transnational organized crime (CTOC). 36th Infantry Division Soldiers of the Texas Army National Guard are spending four months in Central America creating a knowledgeable and trained force that is able to detect, disrupt and detain illicit trafficking across the region. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Randall Stillinger)
Maj. Randall Stillinger 
First Lt. Raymond Bayane (right) observes two Honduran soldiers practice a 'fireman’s carry' during a training exercise in Tamara, Honduras. Bayane is with the San Antonio-based 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, which is conducting the training to enhance the Honduran Army’s ability to counter transnational organized crime (CTOC). 36th Infantry Division Soldiers of the Texas Army National Guard are spending four months in Central America creating a knowledgeable and trained force that is able to detect, disrupt and detain illicit trafficking across the region. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Randall Stillinger)

TAMARA, Honduras – Soldiers from the San Antonio-based 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment are spending an extended summer working with and training Honduran military forces at a remote base two hours Northwest of the capital city of Tegucigalpa. 

 The four-month mission, which started in May, is meant to enhance the host nation’s ability to counter transnational organized crime by creating a knowledgeable and trained force that is able to detect, disrupt and detain illicit trafficking across Central America.

 The over 50 members of Task Force Alamo, which is commanded by Maj. Rodney Kelley, were selected because they bring unique capabilities to the mission. 

 In addition to combat experience, these citizen-soldiers of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team brought with them expertise and experience that was gained from civilian careers in related fields. Members of the task force include Austin police officers, a U.S. Marshall, a firefighter, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, and employees of the Bexar County Sherriff’s Department.

 These Texas National Guard Soldiers also bring an added benefit to the training environment: the ability to speak Spanish fluently.

 Kelley said, “This group of Soldiers is exceptionally prepared for the mission in Honduras. The fact that 65 percent of our Soldiers are bilingual improves the quality of training because much is lost when an interpreter is used.”

 “The civilian experiences that they bring to the training are an added bonus that is hard to replicate,” Kelley said. 

 Officially known as the Republic of Honduras, the country has suffered from many years of political instability and one of the highest crime rates in the world. Although there have been improvements, it remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Adding to the problem, nearly 28 percent of the 8.1 million people are unemployed despite an increase in trade with the United States, the country’s largest trading partner. 

 The rigorous training process builds U.S. partner nations' capability to conduct border control operations along with a series of related tasks. Subject matter experts from the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security are also brought in during each three-week rotation to focus on certain specialties. 

 Week 1 includes both rifle and pistol marksmanship, close quarters training, troop leading procedures and cordon/search operations.

 Week 2 focuses on border enforcement, arrest/detainment, patrolling in an urban environment, working entry control points and utilizing terrain models for military operations.

 Week 3 includes a field training exercise that pushes the students to utilize all the training they’ve received, but also focuses on operational security and how to use the 9-line format to call in medevac support. 

 Col. Cesar Rolando Rosales Zapata, commander of the military base in Tamara and also commander of the 2nd Infantry Airborne Battalion Transported, praised the joint training: 

 “We’re receiving great feedback from the soldiers and they are looking forward to putting their training into action in different parts of the country, along the border and on the coast.”

 “I also enjoy seeing the camaraderie that is shared between the U.S. and Honduran soldiers as they compete in soccer and volleyball,” Rosales said.

 Maj. Gen. Lester Simpson, commanding general of the 36th Infantry Division, said, “I’m extremely proud of Task Force Alamo and the great work it’s doing in Honduras.” 

 Simpson and Command Sergeant Major John Sampa visited the Soldiers in July to witness the training, identify potential opportunities for future rotations, meet with Honduran officials, and to thank the soldiers for their dedication and professionalism.

 “These citizen-Soldiers have stepped up to volunteer, they’ve adapted to a new environment, and they’re having a tremendous impact on the Honduran people,” Simpson said. “This highly-successful mission is yet another example of the versatility that National Guard soldiers provide on the world scene. I couldn’t be prouder.”
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015 8:50:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

REFLECTIONS ON WARRIOR LEADERSHIP  

 

Leadership Philosophy and Expectations of LeadersCommentary by Robert T. Hastings

Next month I will pass the Regimental colors to a new leader for the organization I have had the honor and privilege of commanding for the past three years.  As I reflect upon my personal learning during this time and focus on my next duty assignment, I re-read the command philosophy letter I published when I first joined the unit.   I still think it’s a pretty good framework for leaders of both military and non-military units alike.   I don’t take credit for all of this as original work; I borrowed liberally from other leaders I have known and worked for over the past 30 years.

Subject:  Leadership Philosophy and Expectations of Leaders

Command is a privilege and it is an honor for me to join you as commander of the 19th Regiment.  The most important and sacred responsibility entrusted to an officer or noncommissioned officer is the privilege of leading others in execution of an important mission.  We must never forget that others depend upon us, they look to us for guidance and to set the example, and when we ask them to go in harm’s way they and their families expect us to lead them back home safely.

This memorandum outlines my leadership philosophy and expectations of you, the leaders of this Regiment.

I define my leadership philosophy simply as People First: Mission Always.

I developed this philosophy as I advanced through several levels of responsibility within the Army, from platoon to regiment and across a wide range of missions.  This philosophy recognizes that the most valuable and important resource a leader has to accomplish the mission are people.  I believe that well-trained, highly-motivated and performance-oriented people provided with clear guidance and direction can accomplish any mission and will exceed our expectations every time. People first.

But the reason any organization exists is to accomplish a mission.  If we fail to accomplish our mission then nothing else matters; nothing.  I believe a leader’s principle focus must always be on successful execution of the mission. Mission always.

Obviously people and mission are inextricably linked; you cannot succeed in one without the other.  People First: Mission Always has provided me a sense of balance with two equal priorities that are mutually supportive.  We must excel at both to excel as an organization.

We are not a combat organization, but I do believe deeply in the Warrior Ethos and that it is equally applicable to the culture we must build within this Regiment to be successful.

The Warrior Ethos is:
•I will always place the mission first.
•I will never accept defeat.
•I will never quit.
•I will never leave a fallen comrade.

 I expect each of you to learn it, live it and teach it.

These are my expectations of you as leaders in this Regiment:
1.Communicate: Good communication is the hallmark of a great leader.  Whether it comes easy for you or not, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team knows what is expected of them at all times.  Our mission will take us into the unknown, and you and your teams will be asked at times to operate in ambiguous and chaotic conditions.  I expect leaders to use the troop leading procedures to create and communicate well-developed plans and orders, and to provide clear guidance and direction.   

2.Build trust & teamwork: Trust is earned not given, through deeds not words.  It extends laterally and vertically, both ways.  Trust is inherent in the strength of our collective character and is an essential element of leadership and successful mission execution.  I must trust you, you must trust your troops, and they must trust one another and the entire leadership team.  Trust is the glue that bonds individuals into a team and once lost is never regained.  Military operations are a team sport, or more accurately, a ‘team of teams’ sport.  I am not impressed by high-performing individuals; we need high-performing teams.

3.Provide clarity through intent: “Commander’s intent” might be the most important leadership tactic ever developed.  Long practiced in the Army, it is now taught at premier leadership schools and universities to include the Harvard Business School.  Commander’s intent enables action and initiative.  When your subordinates know how you define success, it allows them to think on their feet, to achieve mission success in light of changing situations, and to focus on achieving an end-state which everyone understands.

4.Take prudent risks: Our mission is high risk.  I expect leaders to accept prudent risk when necessary; make every effort to assess, mitigate and minimize risks; and ensure that risk decisions are made at the appropriate levels.  As a leader I expect you to practice risk assessment continually so that you can be confidently aggressive in your mission execution without gambling with the safety of our troopers.  Safety must always remain at the forefront of our minds.

5.Lead in difficult situations: This is where you earn your stripes.  As a leader you must be a role model for others.  You are viewed as the example and must maintain standards and provide examples of effective behaviors.  When leaders model the organization’s values, they provide tangible evidence of desired behaviors and reinforce verbal guidance by demonstrating commitment and action.  I expect you to be timely and decisive in your decisions especially when the going gets tough.  If you don’t lead your team someone else will.

6.Perform under stress: Regardless of how difficult or stressful the situation may become, you must perform.  Your subordinates and peers will watch your every move to see if you can handle the stress.  Self-confident leaders breed self-confident troops.  It is important that they are confident that when you take them into danger you will perform well and will lead them back to safety.  They will not follow you if they do not have confidence in you.

7.Grow future leaders: I believe leaders don’t occur naturally, at least not in the quantity we need.  Leaders are grown and developed.  A large part of how I evaluate you as a leader is the way you develop your subordinates.  Every member of this Regiment is a leader in training for the next level of responsibility.  It is our job as leaders to bring the next generation along and develop those that will replace us.  We do this through training, coaching and mentoring, and by providing challenging opportunities to grow and develop.

8.Exhibit unimpeachable integrity and character: Integrity is non-negotiable – I will not tolerate breaches.  Effective leaders are truthful in both word and deed.  I expect leaders to be morally and ethically upright and to be positive role-models at all times.

9.Adapt, innovate, and take the initiative: As a leader, I expect you to be a self-starter, to act when there are no clear orders, and to adapt when the situation changes or the plan falls apart – because it will!

10.Drive standards, discipline, and fitness: Discipline is not merely the obedience of orders; it is adherence to standards, the pursuit of excellence, and development of a collective will in a team that enables mission success.  I expect leaders to embrace the high standards of our organization for yourselves and your teams, and to develop a culture of discipline that builds cohesion and self-confidence among the troops.  Finally, I expect leaders to be physically and emotionally fit to lead.  Go to the Army website and read about the five Dimensions of Strength.

In summary, let me say how honored and proud I am to be serving with you.  This Regiment has a solid reputation, directly attributable to the hard work of each of you.  Together we’ll make it better.  The leaders and citizens of Texas depend on us.  Our missions demand confident leaders, trained and ready troopers, and an aggressive, determined spirit.  You have proven time and again that you can exceed every expectation.

I look forward to serving with you and meeting the challenges ahead.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 9:46:00 AM Categories: Blog

Texas-based Engineer Brigades embrace Army Total Force Policy to complete a 17-mile road construction project 

Story by: Capt. Maria Mengrone

Posted: August 22, 2015

Courtesy Photo  Soldiers from the 420th Engineer Brigade pose for a photograph while participating in a 25-day roadway construction project spanning 17 miles along the perimeter of the Camp Bowie Training Center in Brownwood from July 6-30, 2015. (Texas National Guard courtesy photo by 111th Engineer Battalion/Released)
Courtesy Photo 
Soldiers from the 420th Engineer Brigade pose for a photograph while participating in a 25-day roadway construction project spanning 17 miles along the perimeter of the Camp Bowie Training Center in Brownwood from July 6-30, 2015. (Texas National Guard courtesy photo by 111th Engineer Battalion/Released)

BROWNWOOD, Texas – Army Engineers from across Texas came together during a 25-day roadway construction project spanning 17 miles along the perimeter of the Camp Bowie Training Center in Brownwood, Texas, from July 6-30, 2015. 

 The multi-component project was planned and led by 111th Engineer Battalion “Roughnecks”, 176th Engineer Brigade, Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG). The multi-component element included active duty soldiers from the 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade based in Fort Hood, Texas and U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from the 980th Engineer Battalion, 420th Engineer Brigade headquartered in Bryan, Texas. 

 While informal, a relationship between the three Texas engineer brigades has existed for some time. Recently, the Army adopted a “Total Force Policy” that encourages regionally aligned units from all components of the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment – Active, National Guard, and Army Reserve - to plan and execute multi-component training in order to maximize resources and gain efficiency. 

 “The project included multi-component Soldiers who had never met before; they planned and resourced this project remotely, months before execution. Elements came together at all levels with little to no friction. It’s been about getting the mission done – expanding engineer collective capability,” said Maj. Matthew D. Calton, 111th Engineer Battalion commander. 

 “It is reassuring to observe the caliber of Officers, Warrant Officers and NCOs that exist within our Engineer Regiment,” said Calton. 

 The range road construction project was divided into three major sections with each assigned to specific component. Horizontal engineer soldiers completed excavations, cut and fill, hauling and borrow site operations, while vertical engineer soldiers focused on round and box culvert installations, and headwall construction. Soldiers with other engineer skill sets were task organized to further the mission.

 “Within each major route section there are critical path sub-tasks,” said Capt. John Veracruz, construction officer, 111th Engineer Battalion. “Among these were improving trafficability of the route by decreasing the grade of two large hill sections, building new sections of road and installing three concrete-cable low-water crossings.”

 At the height of the project, the 111th Engineer Battalion accounted for 646 soldiers with significant representation from four separate engineer battalions (62nd, 111th, 386th, 980th) and elements from 3rd Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and the 72nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 72nd Infantry Brigade, 36th Infantry Division Engineer Battalions. 

 “The quality of training is unprecedented, officers are getting training to plan, NCOs are getting training on complex problem solving and soldiers are getting significant equipment training opportunities; it’s rare to have so many diverse components and engineer capabilities working within a multi-phased project,” said Calton. 

 Soldiers from across all components now have a better understanding of how the Army Total Force Policy can be implemented.

 “The support has been fantastic,” said Capt. Jacob Niewold, commander, 68th Engineer Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade. “We don’t usually get this kind of training by staying at Fort Hood.” 

 “I’ve never had an opportunity to work with National Guard but it’s great that we are able to help each other,” said active-duty soldier, Spc. Joshua M. Green, horizontal construction engineer, 68th Engineer Company. “If there was something we couldn’t figure out the guard Soldiers would come out and help and we would help them too.”

 “This is good training, we’re learning our MOS, many of our Soldiers are fresh out of basic training and we are doing a real-world project,” said U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Lucero Rios, interior electrician, 808th Engineer Company, 980th Engineer Battalion, 420th Engineer Brigade, USAR. “We started something here and I would definitely want to come back and see the finished product.”

 For those not familiar with Camp Bowie and its expansive training areas. Camp Bowie covers nearly 9,000 acres with weapons ranges and various training facilities, barracks, administrative areas and a dining facility. Although Camp Bowie has expanded in recent years by adding post infrastructure, barracks, and training facilities, upgrades to the transportation infrastructure were lacking. The construction on Camp Bowie sought to address that need.

 “This project provides emergency access to all training areas, which is something we didn’t have before. It also allows soldier access to all training areas with the finished road serving as a firebreak,” said Lt. Col. Jamey L. Creek, chief of Plans and Operations, Training Center Command, 71st Troop Command, TXARNG. “We train primarily National Guard Soldiers but active-duty, reserve, Marines and a host of other governmental organizations train here too, so everyone will benefit from the improvements.” 

 Resourcing for the project came from multiple Texas National Guard directorates that included the Construction and Facilities Management Office, the Army G-4 and Training Center Garrison Command. The investment in building material and fuel exceeded $700,000. 

 A key component of the project was the planning and synchronization of logistics through scheduled bulk fuel deliveries and three weekly trips to draw rations from Fort Hood, Texas. Additionally, early procurements of field sanitation, equipment repair parts, and prepositioning of building materials facilitated logistical requirements. 

 “The total number of soldiers fed peaked at 646 on day 12 of the 25 day annual training. We had more than 300 pieces of transportation and heavy engineer equipment and fuel consumption topped 50,000 gallons,” said Maj. Jimmy C. Horst, logistical officer, 176th Engineer Brigade, TXARNG. “I believe the greatest reward, from a logistical standpoint, is the success of including all three Army components into one training event.” 

 All Army engineers, regardless of their component, are bonded by a culture of cooperation and collaboration that has grown stronger over the last 14 years of conflict. With the relationships further codified by regional alignment and the Army Total Force Policy, the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment is leading the way. The Camp Bowie Range Road project is a shining example of Army Total Force Policy implementation, and is a snapshot of what is possible when the components work together. 

 “Going forward, if there is a national incident or another training opportunity, those lines of communication have been absolutely tested, they’re in place and they have been validated; we have proven the concept of the Army Total Force Policy,” said Calton. 

 “Essayons!” – Let us try.

Saturday, August 22, 2015 10:27:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Special Operations Detachment - Africa, Texas Army National Guard 

Courtesy Story by: Maj. Robert Cowart, Special Operations Detachment - Africa, Texas Army National Guard

Posted: August 21, 2015

Courtesy Photo  A Texas Army National Guardsman with Special Operations Detachment - Africa, 71st Troop Command, jumps into the waters off of Key West, Fla., July 24, 2015. The jump, was part of a long-range, airborne water insertion and a culmination of three years of planning with active duty Army Special Forces, Air Force, Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that SOD-A always has trained and deployable personnel to conduct the many real world missions it is called upon to execute. (Courtesy photo by Special Operations Detachment - Africa)
Courtesy Photo 
A Texas Army National Guardsman with Special Operations Detachment - Africa, 71st Troop Command, jumps into the waters off of Key West, Fla., July 24, 2015. The jump, was part of a long-range, airborne water insertion and a culmination of three years of planning with active duty Army Special Forces, Air Force, Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that SOD-A always has trained and deployable personnel to conduct the many real world missions it is called upon to execute. (Courtesy photo by Special Operations Detachment - Africa)

KEY WEST, Fla. - As the ramp opened up, the smell of salty air and humidity filled the C-130. It was almost as thick as the enthusiasm displayed by the Texas Army National Guardsmen on board. The soldiers, part of the Special Operations Detachment – Africa (SOD-A), 71st Troop Command, conducted a long-range airborne insertion into the waters near Key West, Fla., July 24, 2015.

The exercise was a culmination of a three-year process, which executed the unit’s Mission Essential Task List training; a training plan designed to take units from an untrained status, to proficient and finally to a trained status – all leading to the unit’s ability to conduct its wartime mission. 

“The key focus for this weekend is the Mission Essential Task, load out and deploy,” said Col. Doug O’Connell, SOD-A commander. 

The SOD-A mission is to provide command and control for U.S. and coalition special operation forces within the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility.

“Everything we have done, leading up to this weekend, are essential skills that we use on a regular basis, as we send small teams to remote locations,” said Lt. Col. Tim Ochsner, SOD-A executive officer. 

Coordination for the operation involved several branches, which included reaching out to the Army’s Special Forces Underwater Operations School that helped secure the drop zone, lodging, watercraft and parachute drying facility; the Navy for the overall use of Naval Air Station Key West and for emergency management services during the airborne insertion operations; the Air Force helped with their C-130 aircraft for the trip to and from the insertion and the U.S. Coast Guard provided its galley for meals. 

“After completing the water jump into Key West, the unit conducted recovery operations in preparation for redeployment back to Austin, said Maj. William “Rusty” Weedman, SOD-A logistical planner. “During the SOD-A's stay in Key West, they received support from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West Galley and the Special Forces Underwater Operations School.” 

With preparations set, the SOD-A members, assisted by 294th Quartermaster Company (Rigger), 36th Infantry Division, leapt from the aircraft, as members of the SFUOWS conducted drop zone operations, manned watercraft for recovery and provided medical coverage. Once all of the jumpers had successfully completed their required water sustainment jump, they transitioned to deploying-and-supporting dive team operations, in this case, the 5th Special Forces Group dive team as they conducted airborne water insertion and underwater infiltration operations.

Planning a training event with this many moving pieces is an enormous undertaking, but it ensures that SOD-A always has trained and deployable personnel to conduct the many real world missions it is called upon to execute, Ochsner said.

“Because the unit deploys small teams, almost quarterly to remote locations in Africa supporting missions and exercises, it is imperative that we find ways to conduct mission essential task list training while conducting steady state operations,” O’Connell said.

Friday, August 21, 2015 10:29:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

TEXAS STATE GUARD BASIC TRAINING I - AUGUST 14-16 2015 

This drill weekend the Texas State Guard trained new Guardsmen at their Regional Basic Orientation Training Phase I in Austin, Texas. Training continues next month with Phase II.  Click here to see the photos.

Staff Sgt. David Ausborn, a Texas Army National Guardsman, volunteers his weekend to teach newly joined Texas State Guardsmen drill and ceremony movements at Regional Basic Orientation Training I in Austin, Texas, Aug. 14-16, 2015. RBOT teaches the new Guardsmen military customs, basic first aid and CPR, drill and ceremony, land navigation and radio communication skills. The training is broken up into two phases, which take place during monthly drill. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon).
Staff Sgt. David Ausborn, a Texas Army National Guardsman, volunteers his weekend to teach newly joined Texas State Guardsmen drill and ceremony movements at Regional Basic Orientation Training I in Austin, Texas, Aug. 14-16, 2015. RBOT teaches the new Guardsmen military customs, basic first aid and CPR, drill and ceremony, land navigation and radio communication skills. The training is broken up into two phases, which take place during monthly drill. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon).

 

Sunday, August 16, 2015 8:48:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

TAG Talks: Curtis De Keyrel 

On this edition of TAG Talks Curtis De Keyrel speaks about how the Air Guard and Active Air Force use their assets. TAG Talks are a series of unique presentations put together by students in The Adjutant General's Executive Leadership Development Program offering the perspective of future Senior leaders of the Texas Military Forces.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 1:56:00 PM Categories: Blog

Back to School- Tax Free Weekend! 

 

 “back-to-school”

Commentary by Michelle McBride

Though you wouldn’t know it from the heat, summer in Texas is almost over.  For kids, parents and teachers, this translates to “back-to-school” time complete with shopping sprees for school supplies and clothing--a burden on wallets. To help with budgeting shoppers, many retailers in Texas will be offering a tax free holiday this weekend August 7-9, 2015.  As with previous years, this will include most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100.

The Christian Science Monitor noted, as a reminder, that Texas excludes clothing and footwear designed primarily for athletic use, but makes a nice distinction between athletic apparel and stuff that's more equipment than apparel. For example, a football jersey would be tax-free, but football pads and pants are not. Running shoes are tax-free, but track shoes and cleats are not.

Dates for sales tax holidays are set by the legislature and could mean savings of about $8.00 on every $100.00 spent. It is also good to note that Tax free will apply to layaway items if you place your items on layaway during the holiday or make the final payment during the holiday. The tax free sales can be combined with extra deals, both in stores and online, and some stores may even flex their hours, opening earlier or closing later.
For more information and a full list of exemptions please visit http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxpubs/taxholiday/d/
 

Friday, August 7, 2015 9:53:00 AM Categories: Blog

39th Composite Regiment Provides Community Service at Bike-A-Thon 

Story by: Capt. John Root, 39th Regiment

Posted:August 7, 2015

Rest stop
Pvt. Gregory Turnbow, 39th Regiment, Texas State Guard, guides cyclists at a rest stop during the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 26, 2015. The Texas State Guard provides support to community events as part of its mission in addition to assisting local authorities during emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. (TXSG photo/Released)

MIDLAND, Texas (July 28, 2015) – Soldiers from the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard, performed route and safety guidance for the Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon, sponsored by the  Multiple Sclerosis Society, along the 150-mile route from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 25-26, 2015.  The Texas State Guard serves Texans by providing assistance during emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires, and community events.   

Guiding cyclists
Staff Sgt. Manuel Hernandez and Staff Sgt. Derald Mabbit, 39th Regiment, Texas State Guard, guides cyclists through a blind curve during the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 26, 2015. The Texas State Guard provides support to community events as part of its mission in addition to assisting local authorities during emergencies such as hurricances, tornadoes, and wildfires. (TXSG photo/Released)

Soldiers from the 39th Composite Regiment followed the lead of local law enforcement to create a safe roadway for the cyclists at multiple highway intersections, blind curves, and other potentially dangerous points along the route.

In the spirit of the event, Sgt. 1st Class Rosalind Roger, 3rd Battalion, 39th Composite Regiment, entered the race and finished among the top riders. "The ride was great, the weather was fabulous, and the support from the Texas State Guard was amazing," said Roger.  "I am proud to be a part of a great team like the Texas State Guard.  I look forward to this event next year.”

"The  soldiers of the 39th Composite Regiment, along with event organizers, local emergency management, law enforcement and emergency medical services, did an outstanding job of ensuring the safety of all cyclists along the two-day 150-mile route," stated Col. Barney E. Welch, commander of the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard.  "In the process, our soldiers used this event as a training opportunity for future missions where the regiment is needed for maintaining traffic flow and assisting with the evacuation of citizens during an emergency, such as a hurricane or a wildfire.  The 39th is always ready and "equal to the task"."

The 39th Composite Regiment appreciated the support and cooperation of their local jurisdiction partners, National Multiple Sclerosis Society Event Coordinator Lyndee Groce, the congregation of the Lamesa First Baptist Church, the local officials and citizens of Lamesa, Texas, and Larry Duyck and Terri Stahl of Lamesa and their staffs.

TXSG cyclist
Col.Barney Welch, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Marshall Allen, 39th Regiment, Texas State Guard, congratulate  Sgt. 1st Class  Rosalind Roger, 3rd Battallion, 39th Regiment, for completing the first day of the Multiple Schlerosis Society's Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 25, 2015. The Texas State Guard provides support to community events as part of its mission in addition to supporting local authorities during emergencies such as hurricances, tornadoes, and wildfires. (TXSG photo/Released)

Working together, the organizers, cyclists, and soldiers, saw this community event as a shining example of  how cooperative efforts among citizens, local authorities, and the Texas State Guard can achieve a successful outcome. 

Friday, August 7, 2015 8:52:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

Operation Lone Star shines once again in South Texas 

Story by: Sgt. Praxedis Piñeda
100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Posted: August 5, 2015

Operation Lone Star 2015 Medical PhotoMembers of the Texas Military Forces gathered for a five-day emergency preparedness training exercise in South Texas, July 27-31, 2015. Operation Lone Star allows guardsmen, local and state health agencies, and the Department of State Health Services to train together and prepare for a mass casualty disaster.

"We get the opportunity to practice what we do in case of a deployment for a disaster situation," said Texas State Guard 1st Lt. Daniel Steinberg, a personnel officer with 3rd Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade. "At the same time we get to provide medical care for a lot of individuals that don't have the access to that care"

Community members of all ages give the multi-agency healthcare providers the chance to treat civilian patients as they would during a real-world catastrophe.

"It's invaluable for everyone participating, because it's difficult to gain real world experience during training," said Spc. Danielle Schrag, a health care specialist with the Texas Medical Command, Texas Army National Guard. "You immediately see the impact you have on the community."

While conducting vision, physical, dental and other medical exams, healthcare personnel also benefited from the interagency environment. 
 
"It's my third time doing OLS and every year it’s a little bit different and every year we learn how to effectively manage and communicate amongst other people from different agencies," said Capt. Ryan Sharp, a dentist with the Texas Medical Command.

Together, the supporting agencies provided medical services to more than 9,000 South Texans in Laredo, Palm View, Rio Grande City, San Juan, and Brownsville. The operation has served more than 100,000 people in the last 16 years. 

"This is an excellent service that we're providing for the people of Texas, and it also gives us, as a resource, an excellent opportunity to practice what we may be called upon to do," said Steinberg.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 10:31:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard