Posts From September, 2016

Patriot Brigade Soldiers partner with 36th Infantry Division

Patriot Brigade Soldiers partner with 36th Infantry Division
Courtesy story by
: Staff Sgt. Nathan Akridge
3rd Brigade Combat Team PAO NCOIC
Posted: Sept. 22, 2016

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Akridge) Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Bly, senior enlisted adviser for 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), places the 36th Infantry Division patch on a battalion command sergeant major during a ceremony Friday at Fort Polk, La. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is the first active-duty brigade to wear a National Guard unit's patch and is currently the only active Army unit wearing a National Guard patch.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Akridge)
Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Bly, senior enlisted adviser for 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), places the 36th Infantry Division patch on a battalion command sergeant major during a ceremony Friday at Fort Polk, La. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team is the first active-duty brigade to wear a National Guard unit's patch and is currently the only active Army unit wearing a National Guard patch.

FORT POLK, La. – The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) "Patriots" have taken on a new challenge in the effort to elevate U.S. Army readiness. The brigade is now partnered with 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, through the Associated Units program. 

"The Associated Units pilot allows us to leverage the capabilities and capacities of the active component, Army Reserve and the Army National Guard as One Army,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, Army chief of staff, said of the Total Force effort. 

The three-year pilot program pairs units from all U.S. Army components for training oversight. The goal is to build relationships, share knowledge and have a fully adaptable and ready force before mobilization. 

To solidify that partnership, Soldiers from the Patriot Brigade replaced their 10th Mountain Division (LI) patch with the 36th Infantry Division’s T patch during a ceremony Sept. 16 in front of Fort Polk’s headquarters building, 

Maj. Gen. Lester Simpson, 36th Infantry Division commanding general, said that although this is the Patriot Brigade’s first time wearing the 36th ID patch, this is not the first time the two units have worked together.

“I am excited about this next chapter in the Army’s Total Force policy that goes far beyond just wearing a patch,” Simpson said. “We will train together, we will fight together, and this will not be the first time. 

“More than 70 years ago, we fought Axis forces in Italy during World War II as part of 5th and 7th Army operations,” he continued. “More than 15 years ago, we exchanged commands during Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, and over the last 10 years, we have served side by side fighting against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Col. Brian Sullivan, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), stressed to the Soldiers the positive changes this partnership brings. 

“Our Patriot Soldiers will gain the experience, insight and professionalism that a National Guard unit can bring to the fight,” Sullivan said. “By giving 3rd Brigade Soldiers access to National Guard facilities and giving the 36th Infantry Division Soldiers access to our facilities, this will be a mutually beneficial arrangement for all units involved. 

“In an era of reduced resources, we must train, deploy and fight as one team,” he added.

Sullivan also spoke about the storied history of the 36th Infantry Division, when Staff Sgt. Homer Wise, from Baton Rouge, La., was presented the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. After speaking about how Wise saved his fellow Soldiers lives and suppressed and killed the enemy fire, Sullivan made a connection with the troops on the field before him. 

“Patriots, no matter how many divisions, brigades or battalions the Army might have, it is a lone staff sergeant from Louisiana, wearing the 36th Infantry Division’s patch, that can shake the world.”

Till the last drop; Texas Guardsmen deliver drinking water to state jail

Till the last drop; Texas Guardsmen deliver drinking water to state jail

Story by:
Capt. Jessica Jackson
Posted: Sept. 14, 2016
 

Guardsmen for 3rd battalion, 133 Field Artillery regiment use water buffalos to deliver drinking water to more than 1,400 correctional officers, staff and inmate at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 11, 2016.   After a main water break at the jail, administrators reached out to the unit to provide potable water to the site until water was restored to the facility.
Guardsmen for 3rd battalion, 133 Field Artillery regiment use water buffalos to deliver drinking water to more than 1,400 correctional officers, staff and inmate at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 11, 2016. 

After a main water break at the jail, administrators reached out to the unit to provide potable water to the site until water was restored to the facility. (Courtesy photo)

EL PASO, Texas—It’s the middle of summer, with temperatures in the triple digits and the water main breaks—leaving a jail full of inmates and staff without water. This was the situation at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail in El Paso, Aug. 11, 2016. 

Jail administrators reached out to Texas Army National Guard 3rd Battalion, 133 Field Artillery Regiment based out of El Paso to see if the unit could assist in providing drinkable water for more than 1,400 correctional officers, staff and inmates onsite.

Understanding the severity of the problem, the unit quickly ramped up their water buffalos to provide assistance.

“The potable water was delivered the same day of the request,” said Capt. Charles Peters, 3rd Battalion, 133 Field Artillery Regiment S3 operations officer. “We were able to mount an initial response rapidly to provide the needed water within hours of notification.”

A quick response not lost on Garth Parker, Rogelio Sanchez State Jail warden.

“From the time they received the request it was only three hours until water was delivered,” said Parker. “This was a very impressive response time.  It shows the amount of commitment of the Guardsman and how very well-trained they are to be able to put together such a rapid response.”

The Guardsmen provided water to the jail for approximately 22 hours and delivered more than 30,000 gallons of potable water.

“It is awesome; the guard being able to provide this service to those in need,” Parker said. “It shows their high level of leadership, professionalism and organization to be able to gather the requested resources and deploy them in such a quick response.”  

The quick response not only helped those left without drinking water, but also gave Guardsmen a view into how their unique set of skills and equipment could help those locally in need.

“The soldiers were able to conduct a real-world DSCA mission, gaining valuable insight into supporting the community, and see how their actions can provide a positive impact within their own community,” said Peters.

Emergency situations are bound to occur, having these capabilities allow Texas National Guard units to provide much needed support throughout the state. 

“To me this displays superior readiness for any emergency or situation that arises, it’s great to know …we can make a call and receive assistance,” said Parker.

Yet another example of how Texas Guardsmen are always ready and always there.

Texas Military Department strengthens communication throughout the ranks

Texas Military Department strengthens communication throughout the ranks

Story by: Sgt. Elizabeth Peña

Posted: Sep. 10, 2016

Texas Guardsmen are broken into working groups to worke on separate mission sets. By combining the components, service members were able to discuss issues they saw simultaneously across the force. Eighteen handpicked service members from the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and State Guard, representing each brigade, wing and major command in the Texas Military Department, came together for an inaugural Junior Enlisted Advisory Council at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, September 10-11, 2016 to discuss how to bridge gaps within the force. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)
Texas Guardsmen are broken into working groups to work on separate mission sets. By combining the components, service members were able to discuss issues they saw simultaneously across the force. Eighteen handpicked service members from the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and State Guard, representing each brigade, wing and major command in the Texas Military Department, came together for an inaugural Junior Enlisted Advisory Council at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, September 10-11, 2016 to discuss how to bridge gaps within the force. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)

AUSTIN, Texas -- Basic military values teach service members to always put the mission first. As those missions are being fulfilled and new policies put in place, leaders must ensure their junior future leaders are not left behind. 

Current technology has far surpassed the technology of 20 years ago and these factors present challenges in communicating across generations. 

“We are a generation removed from the junior enlisted, who are the bread and butter of our organization,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Weedon, Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Military Department. “So we want to make sure that we have some circular communication from top to bottom.”

Eighteen handpicked service members from the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and State Guard, representing each brigade, wing and major command in the Texas Military Department, came together for an inaugural Junior Enlisted Advisory Council at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, September 10-11, 2016 to discuss how to bridge gaps within the force.

“I was picked by my platoon sergeant because he thinks that I would be an asset to this council,” said Texas State Guard Petty Officer William Rogers, with the 3rd Battalion Maritime Regiment. “I feel like I’ve got experience in both federal and state and I can combine those experiences and give my input as someone that’s very senior in age as an E-4 that’s got my life experiences.”

During the council, service members were broken into sections.

“We split the council up into four groups and they each worked on separate mission sets,” said Weedon. “We will be presenting those problem set solutions to the Texas Adjutant General and to the executive council in a couple weeks.”

By combining the components, service members were able to discuss issues they saw simultaneously across the force.

“I saw tremendous similarities,” said Rogers. “Once we got in there and the boundaries came down, it wasn’t State Guard, it wasn’t National Guard, and it wasn’t Air National Guard we were just all soldiers and troops and airmen working together for a cause.” 


Through the use of meetings and by providing the opportunity to receive training, network with peers and participate in-group discussions, junior enlisted guardsmen can enhance and support the effective communication of the Texas Military Department strategic vision, mission, and goals. 

“I think it’s going to work great,” said Texas Army National Guard Spc. Robert Sanchez, combat engineer with the 836th Sapper Company of the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. “Command Sgt. Major Weedon has a strong opinion behind everything that we are saying. He is trying to understand what we are saying and put everything into his own words so when he presents it, its what we want but, it’s also at a good standpoint for Col. Chaney and the Texas Adjutant General.”

The guardsmen were directed to go back to their respective units and communicate with other junior service members to gather analysis for the next meeting.
 
“I got the ability to work with diversity and understand what we need to do to help new airmen or soldiers,” said Airman 1st Class LaChunda Gibbs, supply specialist with the 147th Reconnaissance Wing. “What I’m taking back is the info that we can use to resolve the issues within the military.” 

The council is scheduled to meet quarterly, with members rotating out approximately every two years. 

“Our Texas Adjutant General is a people person,” said Weedon. “He is probably the biggest advocate in this state for our junior enlisted so when they directly identify issues and make recommendations for solutions, he’s going to listen.”

1st Regiment Texas State Guard Welcomes New Commander

1st Regiment Texas State Guard Welcomes New Commander

Story by:  Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer, Texas State Guard Public Affairs


Posted: Sept. 8, 2016

Col. Kris Krueger became the new commander of the 1st Regiment, Texas State Guard, in a change of command ceremony in front of the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, July 16, 2016.  Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Commander, Texas State Guard, presented the guidon of the 1st Regiment to Krueger.  The guidon or colors of the unit symbolizes the transfer of authority and responsibility to a new commander.   (Photo by Staff Sgt. Juan Trevino, Texas State Guard)
Col. Kris Krueger became the new commander of the 1st Regiment, Texas State Guard, in a change of command ceremony in front of the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, July 16, 2016.  Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Commander, Texas State Guard, presented the guidon of the 1st Regiment to Krueger.  The guidon or colors of the unit symbolizes the transfer of authority and responsibility to a new commander.   (Photo by Staff Sgt. Juan Trevino, Texas State Guard)
 

SAN ANTONIO - The 1st Regiment, Texas State Guard, welcomed a new commander, Col. Kristopher Krueger, during a change of command held at the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, July 16, 2016.  Krueger will lead the 1st Regiment headquartered in San Antonio and its subordinate battalions in both San Antonio and Donna.

Krueger expressed how honored he was to be taking command of the 1st Regiment.

"I have to thank Brig. Gen. Howard Palmer for the opportunity to come back and lead the unit where I started my Texas State Guard service,” said Krueger. “I also want to thank Col. Vince Carag for an outstanding job as the regiment's previous commander. Vince’s work has added another chapter to the great history of 1st Regiment. I look forward to working with the best soldiers in the Texas State Guard as we continue to grow that history and serve this great state."

Krueger first enlisted in the Texas State Guard in 1994.  Upon graduating from Texas A&M University, he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the TXSG in 1998. 

During his twenty-two years in the guard, he has served in the 2nd Brigade, at Texas State Guard Headquarters, Deputy J-3 for Plans, Joint Staff, as well as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment. Most recently, he served as the G-3 operations, Army Component Command.

Other assignments include the Texas Military Academy, the Standing Joint Interagency Task Force and State Director for the Military Emergency Management Specialist Academy.

From October 2005 to October 2007, Krueger deployed as a civilian to Saudi Arabia with the Army’s Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program working with the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Department of State, the Saudi military and other foreign allies.

"I've been impressed with Kris Krueger since the first time I met him in 2008," commented Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard. "What sets him apart is his drive to succeed regardless of the capacity in which he serves. He has the leadership traits to be successful.  I know that he will take the regiment to the next level of skill, training and preparedness to serve Texas." 

Krueger is a graduate of the Texas State Guard Command and General Staff College, where he was first in his class receiving the Colonel Stephen Springer Academic Excellence Award.

He has also completed training at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the Texas Department of Public Safety Training Academy and the Governor’s Center for Management Development.

His awards and decorations include the Outstanding Service Medal (5 awards), Medal of Merit (2 awards), Adjutant General’s Individual Award (5 awards), Meritorious Service Ribbon, Commanding General’s Individual Award (4 awards), Texas Faithful Service Medal (4 awards), Texas State Guard Service Medal, SGAUS Commendation Medal, Texas State Guard Association Sam Houston Distinguished Service Medal, as well as the Master MEMS Badge

He is a Life Member of both the National Guard Association of Texas and the State Guard Association of the United States. He served on the National Guard Association of Texas Board of Directors from March 2013-March 2016.

Krueger is employed with the Department of Public Safety. He and his wife, Traci, have a daughter and a son.

Texas, Singapore military celebrate 20-year partnership

Texas, Singapore military celebrate 20-year partnership 

Story by
: Capt. Jessica Jackson

Posted: Sept. 6, 2016

Members of the inaugural Peace Prairie partnership participate in a photo during the 20-year celebration of the working relationship, Aug. 16, 2016, in Flower Mound, Texas.   The Peace Prairie partnership includes the Republic of Singapore Air Force and Texas National Guard. Pilots and crewmen from the Singapore military live and train in Texas to become proficient pilots before returning home. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Jessica Jackson)
Members of the inaugural Peace Prairie partnership participate in a photo during the 20-year celebration of the working relationship, Aug. 16, 2016, in Flower Mound, Texas. 
The Peace Prairie partnership includes the Republic of Singapore Air Force and Texas National Guard. Pilots and crewmen from the Singapore military live and train in Texas to become proficient pilots before returning home. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Jessica Jackson)

AUSTIN, Texas – Dozens of Singaporean airmen along with their Texas military counterparts gathered to celebrate a partnership that started 20 years ago, during a ceremony at Circle Ranch in Flower Mound, Aug. 16, 2016.

After the Singapore military did a commercial buy on Chinooks, the next step was to get their pilots the best training available. Leading them to the Texas National Guard.

Once their initial meeting with the Texas National Guard concluded, the Singaporeans were encouraged to research other state programs, looking at Mississippi’s, Pennsylvania’s and Nevada’s National Guards.

“I told them, go look at those states and when they were done looking, to get back to Texas and get ready to work,” said retired Lt. Col. Craig Rushing, the first U.S. Army Flight Training Detachment commander.

This was the birth of the Peace Prairie partnership. “And here it is 20 years later,” Rushing said.

With varying levels of flight experience, partnering with the guard provided both fictional and real-world training for pilots.

"Being part of the Guard, the RSAF was able to ramp up our Chinook capability as we participate in exercises like JRTC and Red Flag," said Lt. Col. Howe Siong Sen, Republic of Singapore Air Force Peace Prairie Detachment commander.

In addition to those exercises, the nature of Texas also provided unique training opportunities.

“Here in Texas we have to deal with fires and hurricanes, so we got them trained up on all those kinds of things — Army stuff,” Rushing said. “They knew about flying, but they didn’t know about being in the field or facing large-scale emergencies — they were tougher than I thought and I had some of the best to work with.”

When the Singaporean crewmen begin their training in the U.S., one of their first stops was with Master Sgt. Derek Smith, senior flight engineer instructor.

“We took what they learned in Singapore and expanded on it,” Smith said.

Newly assigned airmen to the Peace Prairie Detachment must go through three phases of training while here in the U.S., which can take up to six months.

“There’s a 90-day window between the different phases, but it’s all proficiency based,” Smith said.

Adding to the knowledge the pilots bring to the partnership, Texas Guardsmen ensure their Singaporean counterparts are aware of and abide by U.S. Army and Federal Aviation Administration regulations while flying in country.

This partnership does more than help develop confident pilots and aircraft engineers, it allows those involved to learn and grow, providing a rare opportunity for the airmen.

“It opens up the relationship base; there aren’t a whole lot of units that get to work hand-in-hand with a foreign military outside of a deployment,” Smith said. “They’re different on how they do things; we come together, meet in the middle and there’s some give and take.”

The Peace Prairie partnership has made strides to help continue positive relations between the two countries.

“The close ties we’ve built over the last 20 years, post operations, is very important,” said Sen.

Texas Guardsmen partner with Chilean military during humanitarian relief effort

Texas Guardsmen partner with Chilean military during humanitarian relief effort

Story by: Sgt. Elizabeth Peña

Posted: Sept. 3, 2016

Texas National Guard Lt. Col. Mark Davis, an optometrist with the 147th Medical Group in Houston, Texas, gave medical aid during the humanitarian mission. Thousands of local citizens receive medical treatment from Texas Guardsmen and Chilean Airmen during the five-day XXI Operative Medico-Dental Rapa Nui, Aug. 25 - Sept. 3, 2016, on Isla de Pascua, more commonly known as Easter Island. The joint Ministry of Health and Chilean Air Force event is designed to deliver medical specialty care to patients they may not otherwise have access to such as ophthalmology, optometry, minor surgery, ear nose and throat, dentistry, cardiology, and pulmonary medicine. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)
Texas National Guard Lt. Col. Mark Davis, an optometrist with the 147th Medical Group in Houston, Texas, gave medical aid during the humanitarian mission. Thousands of local citizens receive medical treatment from Texas Guardsmen and Chilean Airmen during the five-day XXI Operative Medico-Dental Rapa Nui, Aug. 25 - Sept. 3, 2016, on Isla de Pascua, more commonly known as Easter Island. The joint Ministry of Health and Chilean Air Force event is designed to deliver medical specialty care to patients they may not otherwise have access to such as ophthalmology, optometry, minor surgery, ear nose and throat, dentistry, cardiology, and pulmonary medicine. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)

ISLA DE PASCUA, Chile – Thousands of local citizens lined the halls of the cramped hospital to receive medical treatment from Texas Guardsmen and Chilean Airmen during the five-day XXI Operative Medico-Dental Rapa Nui, Aug. 25 - Sept. 3, 2016, on Isla de Pascua, more commonly known as Easter Island.

“Our principle reason for being in Chile, and particularly Easter Island, was to validate and demonstrate in real time a seamless interoperability with our Chilean Air force medical counterparts,” said Texas Air National Guard George Ivanovski, commander of the 136th Medical Group, in Austin, Texas. “We actually worked side-by-side with them seeing patients.”

The joint Ministry of Health and Chilean Air Force event is designed to deliver medical specialty care to patients they may not otherwise have access to such as ophthalmology, optometry, minor surgery, ear nose and throat, dentistry, cardiology, and pulmonary medicine.

“Easter Island is quite isolated,” said Ivanovski. “The island is about 2500 miles from the mainland and is probably one of the most remote places on earth. It's 63 square miles of landmass with about 6,000 people living there. 

Ivanovski acted as the Texas Air National Guard Liaison to the Chilean Air Force during the operation, and Lt. Col. Mark Davis, an optometrist with the 147th Medical Group in Houston, Texas, participated in aid during the humanitarian mission.

“I was working with six other ophthalmologist from Chile,” said Texas Air National Guard Mark K. Davis, optometrist for the 147th medical group, based in Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, in Houston, Texas. “We were doing both routine eye care glasses and secondary care which would be medications, eye disease and also doing tertiary care which is some cataract surgery.”

Easter Island does have its own medical facility but at times it can be overwhelmed.

“Even though it’s a full service hospital most of the positions are one deep and these guys are working 24/7, 365,” said Ivanovski. “Beyond seeing the islanders, once the travel season starts and cruise ships start arriving, the small hospital tends to get overwhelmed with a lot of additional people that are sick.”

During the mission, medical officials saw double of their expected locals.

“The original estimated number of patients was about 2700, they saw about 5700,” said Ivanovski. “So you’re looking at about a 50 percent increase and when you think about it that’s pretty much the whole island. They all showed up.”

This year marked the 21st iteration for the Chilean Air Force and the sixth year for Texas to participate through the State Partnership Program.

“They are very appreciative of us being there, said Ivanovski. “Chile is our sister state and we have a lot of things in common not only recently with our military 
exchanges, but historically, so its important for us to keep up that relationship and continue to build on it.”

Davis has served in his career field for over 30 years but this mission gave him a new experience to take back home and share with his students.

“I teach at the University of Houston College of optometry,” said Davis. “You can teach your students about rudimentary eye care and taking care of people in areas of lower social economics but in the U.S. you still have equipment. This is an eye exam, I wouldn’t say in the jungle, but definitely in area with less equipment so it takes you back to the basics.”

The population on the Island is made up Chilean and Rapa Nui locals. 

“Ninety-five percent of the island is Roman Catholic so the priest came out and blessed us,” said Davis. “At the index, they had a party for us and the civilians came out and cooked for us and the mayor was grilling tuna. They were so gracious.”

The Texas National Guard and Chile have been working together for more than seven years through the national states’ partnership program. The program is managed by the National Guard Bureau, and is designed to link each state’s National Guard with a partner nations’ military forces and government agencies in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.

“The Chileans and the patients thought it was great,” said Ivanovski. “This was not just a meet and greet event – this was a full up humanitarian operation, planned and executed much like you were rolling up into a disaster zone. It was truly awe inspiring to be a part of that.”

Texas State Guard’s 39th Composite Regiment Welcomes New Commander

Texas State Guard’s 39th Composite Regiment Welcomes New Commander


Story by: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer

Posted: Sept. 2, 2016

Lt. Col. Jeremy Franklin, incoming commander of the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard. Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, hands the regimental guidon to Franklin in a change of command ceremony in Lubbock, Texas, April 23, 2016.  Franklin had previously served as the Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of the 39th. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer).
Lt. Col. Jeremy Franklin, incoming commander of the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard. Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, hands the regimental guidon to Franklin in a change of command ceremony in Lubbock, Texas, April 23, 2016.  Franklin had previously served as the Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of the 39th. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer).

LUBBOCK, Texas - The 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard, welcomed a new commander, Lt. Col. Jeremy Franklin, during a change of command ceremony in Lubbock, Texas, April 23, 2016.  Franklin will lead the regiment that is headquartered in Midland, and contains subordinate battalions and companies in Midland, El Paso, Lubbock and Amarillo.      

Franklin expressed how honored he is to become the commander of the 39th Regiment.  

"We who are fortunate enough to serve in the Texas State Guard will own the reward of true pride and contentment that comes from knowing that we stand ready to serve Texas.  The 39th Regiment is ready 'Always to Defend.’” 

Franklin received a direct commission into the Texas State Guard, Jan. 2008, and began his service as a physician and then as an executive officer of the Midland-Odessa, Medical Response Group, Texas Medical Brigade.  

When the 39th Regiment and the Medical Response Group were combined into the 39th Composite Regiment, he became the 2nd Battalion commander and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in May 2013.  He then served as the executive officer and chief medical officer for the regiment and was named Commander of the 39th Regiment in April of 2016. 

"Jeremy Franklin has been on my radar for a couple of years, since he became the executive officer and chief medical officer of the 39th Regiment," said Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command.  "He is a thinker, a planner and an excellent communicator.  He is the right man to move the regiment forward to fulfill our duty as 'Texans Serving Texas.’”

Franklin is an honor graduate of both the Texas State Guard Advanced Officer's Course and the Command and General Staff College.

He has received multiple Texas State Guard awards, including the Texas Medal of Merit, Texas Adjutant General’s Individual Award, TXSG Meritorious Service Ribbon with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, TXSG Commanding General’s Individual Award, Texas Service Medal, Texas Faithful Service Medal, TXSG Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Gold Frame and “2” Device, Texas Adjutant General’s Performance Excellence Competition (TAGPEC) Winner, O3-O4 Commands, Governor’s Unit Citation with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Unit Award with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster and the TXSG Organizational Excellence Award with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster.

Since 2008, he has deployed every year as a physician provider and Chief Medical Officer for Operation Lone Star, the state's largest annual medical outreach program in the Rio Grande Valley.

He earned his doctorate in medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.  His residency was in general pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  His fellowship was in pediatric infectious diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center at Memphis.  He also has earned a Master Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Emergency and Disaster Management and a Master Degree in Business Administration.

Franklin is a board-certified physician from the American Board of Pediatrics in General Pediatrics and board-certified physician from the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Texas Army National Guard brigade assumes USARCENT engineer mission

Texas Army National Guard brigade assumes USARCENT engineer mission

Story by: Courtesy Story
Posted: Sept. 1, 2016
 

Courtesy Photo | Col. Charles Schoening, Commander of the 176th Engineer Brigade and Task Force Chaos and senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Simms, officially assumed authority for engineer construction missions for the entire U.S. Army Central area of responsibility. The occasion was marked with a formal ceremony attended by representatives from each subordinate command within the task force, as well as commanders of several adjacent units. (Photo by U.S. Army National Guard Courtesy of 176th Engineer Brigade)
Courtesy Photo | Col. Charles Schoening, Commander of the 176th Engineer Brigade and Task Force Chaos and senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Simms, officially assumed authority for engineer construction missions for the entire U.S. Army Central area of responsibility. The occasion was marked with a formal ceremony attended by representatives from each subordinate command within the task force, as well as commanders of several adjacent units. (Photo by U.S. Army National Guard Courtesy of 176th Engineer Brigade)

The 176th Engineer Brigade of Grand Prairie, Texas will oversee engineer construction projects throughout the Middle East.

On Sept. 1, 2016, Colonel Charles Schoening, Commander of the 176th Engineer Brigade and Task Force Chaos, officially assumed authority for engineer construction missions for the entire U.S. Army Central area of responsibility.  

The occasion was marked with a formal ceremony attended by representatives from each subordinate command within the task force, as well as commanders of several adjacent units.  

Major General William Hickman, USARCENT Deputy Commanding General for Operations, was the keynote speaker.  Maj. Gen. Hickman complimented the skill and professionalism of the brigade’s Soldiers and expressed confidence in their ability to excel in any assignment.  

Speaking from the podium, he praised the 176th.  “I know you will be successful in this mission because I can already see the impact you have made.” 

It was a particularly salient and affirming observation from an active component general referring to a task force comprised of Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers.  

Historically, each component has operated in virtual exclusion of the other, but the Global War on Terror has ushered in a new era of unprecedented integration and cooperation among the service branches and components.  

In speaking of the arrangement, Col. Schoening observed that the 176th was selected for the mission after Secretary of Defense consideration of active component, Army Guard brigades. 

“We were selected because we have the training and capability to successfully complete this mission,” said Schoening.  

The Georgetown resident will command an engineer force of nearly 1,700 Soldiers operating in several of the 20 countries throughout the USCENTCOM region. 

While in theater, the Task Force will be engaged in a wide variety of construction and infrastructure projects designed to improve living conditions for U.S. and coalition forces, assist partner nations in defeating ISIS, and build partner capacity through joint training. 

Col. Schoening noted, “This is a historic moment for the 176th Engineer Brigade.  We’re doing things no other engineer brigade headquarters has done before.  Our Soldiers are excited about this mission and the opportunity to serve their country."

Texas Guardsmen sling load Apache helicopter with Chinook

Texas Guardsmen sling load Apache helicopter with Chinook

Story by: Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Posted: September 1, 2016 

Texas Guardsmen conduct recovery operations of an AH-64D Apache helicopter using a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, September 1, 2016, following a precautionary landing in a rice paddy in Wallisville, Texas, near Houston, due to mechanical issues. Maintenance soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack Reconnaissance) waded through six-inch deep mud and worked in a heat index of more than 100 degrees, to ensure a safe and successful sling load recovery mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle)
Texas Guardsmen conduct recovery operations of an AH-64D Apache helicopter using a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, September 1, 2016, following a precautionary landing in a rice paddy in Wallisville, Texas, near Houston, due to mechanical issues. Maintenance soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack Reconnaissance) waded through six-inch deep mud and worked in a heat index of more than 100 degrees, to ensure a safe and successful sling load recovery mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle)

HOUSTON - Texas Guardsmen conducted recovery operations of an AH-64D Apache helicopter using a CH-47 Chinook, Sept. 1, 2016, following a precautionary landing in a rice paddy in Wallisville, near Houston, due to mechanical issues.

Wading through six-inch deep mud, and working in 97 degree weather with 90 percent humidity, maintenance soldiers from the 1st Battalion 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack Reconnaissance) prepared the Apache for a sling-load recovery.

“This was fun,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Guillory, technical inspector and attack helicopter mechanic for the battalion. “For most of us, this is the first real-world sling load we’ve done. We have done it in training plenty, but you can’t beat this. This is the real thing.”

The pilots flying the aircraft initially made the precautionary landing after a warning light went off. 

“They did the right thing,” said Guillory. “You get a warning light, you land, wherever you’re at.”

The soldiers on board the aircraft were not injured and were conducting a routine training mission when the landing occurred. 

“I want to commend our pilots for their quick reaction and landing,” said Maj. Gen. William Smith, Deputy Adjutant-Army and commander of the Texas Army National Guard. “This was a potentially dangerous situation that demonstrates the caliber of our soldiers as they ensured the safety of the citizens in the local area.”

The unit’s leadership determined the safest way to move the helicopter would be by air, mitigating risk to nearby civilians and their property.
The only way to move a 12,000 pound aircraft via air is with something more than twice its size, something like a Chinook.

Using a universal maintenance aviation recovery kit, designed to move a downed aircraft from one location to another, Guillory and a dozen other maintenance soldiers worked to ensure that the Apache could be transported safely. 

As the soldiers worked, a large crowd of nearby Texans gathered to watch the operation, to include a local judge who handed out cold water to the soldiers working, as well as the civilians watching.

“Everyone worked really well together; I thought they interfaced very well with the public,” said Judge Blake Sylvia, Chambers County Justice of the Peace. “From start to finish it was a really good operation.”

It took two attempts to get the Apache in the air. After fixing a small issue with their hook, the Chinook crew was able to successfully sling load the Apache and fly it 16 miles to the Baytown Airfield.

The maintenance soldiers met the two helicopters in Baytown and immediately went to work preparing the Apache for safety inspections and any necessary maintenance. 

“That’s what we do,” said Guillory. “Make sure it’s safe to fly.”

Prayer Breakfast Salutes Armed Forces Day

PRAYER BREAKFAST SALUTES ARMED FORCES DAY

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG

Posted: Sep. 01, 2016

Texas State Guard chaplains and unit commanders join together to pay tribute to the men and women of the United States and Texas military forces on Armed Forces Day at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas, May 21, 2016.  Presenters at this seventh prayer breakfast include George Washington impersonator Mark Collins, Kim Pedersen of 1000bulbs.com, and Bagpiper Steve Pruitt.  (Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG/Released)
Texas State Guard chaplains and unit commanders join together to pay tribute to the men and women of the United States and Texas military forces on Armed Forces Day at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas, May 21, 2016.  Presenters at this seventh prayer breakfast include George Washington impersonator Mark Collins, Kim Pedersen of 1000bulbs.com, and Bagpiper Steve Pruitt.  (Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG/Released)

DALLAS – Texas State Guardsmen from North Texas gathered to honor the U.S. and Texas service members at the Seventh Annual Texas State Guard Military Prayer Breakfast at Dallas Baptist University, May 21, 2016. 
More than 200 State Guard chaplains and troops from North Texas, along with family members and friends, joined together to salute their fellow service members.  

“The Texas State Guard is proud to honor the men and women of the U.S Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day,” said State Guard chaplain, Maj. Dale Vick, 2nd Regiment. “Texas State Guard chaplains organize this event every year." 

The program included an inspirational presentation by Gen. George Washington impersonator, Mark Collins, who spoke about how his faith guided him during the difficult times during the American Revolution.  
To honor Texas State Guardsmen who had passed away during the previous year, Chaplains (Capt.) David Fish, 4th Regiment, and 1st Lt. Shane Tomlinson, 19th Regiment, conducted a roll call ceremony, identifying each troop, followed by the ringing of a bell and “Taps,” played by Eagle Scout Travis Wattigney.  

Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., also presented the Sword of Solomon to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jerald Garner for his dedicated service to the Texas State Guard.  Garner initiated the prayer breakfast in 2009 and created the statewide annual Texas State Guard "Heroes of the Guard" Christmas Toy Drive, where soldiers collect thousands of toys and deliver them to children who will spend the holidays at hospitals across Texas.

Other high points of the breakfast included the swearing in of Texas State Guard Chaplains (Col.) Douglas Sewell and (1st Lt. Steve Kavli, the playing of "Amazing Grace" by Bagpiper Steve Pruitt, the singing of "America the Beautiful" by Jeannie Miller, key note speaker remarks by Kim Pederson, former Hydraulic Aviation Technicians for the U.S. Navy and founder of 1000bulbs.com and the welcoming remarks of Dr. Dennis Linam of Dallas Baptist University.  The 4th Regiment Color Guard presented the colors.

The Texas State Guard is the state's volunteer military agency; trained, organized and ready to respond when a disaster strikes and Texans need help. It is comprised of more than 1,800 volunteers organized into four components – Army, Air, Medical and Maritime – with individual units assigned throughout the state.