Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

TMD Day at the Capitol 

Texas legislators recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation, March 8, 2017 during a visit to the Capitol in Austin, Texas. The visit was to showcase capabilities of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Domestic Operations Taskforce, Office of the Executive Director and the National Guard Association of Texas. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)
Texas legislators recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation, March 8, 2017 during a visit to the Capitol in Austin, Texas. The visit was to showcase capabilities of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Domestic Operations Taskforce, Office of the Executive Director and the National Guard Association of Texas. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Lawmakers had the opportunity to see first hand the Texas Military Department’s capabilities as representatives of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Domestic Operations Taskforce, Office of the Executive Director and the National Guard Association of Texas, set up informational displays and met with elected officials as the Texas Capitol hosted TMD Day on March 8, 2017,
 
“There are always questions about how our organization works, how our funding works and how we help Texas,” said Maj. Christopher R. Mckeag, Texas Army National Guard legislative liaison. “A lot of people know we show up to the scene during disasters, but there’s a lot of behind the scenes work.”
 
Among the visitors was Texas Senator Donna Campbell, chairwoman for the Veterans Affairs and Border Security Committee. 
 
“She is pretty spun up so there wasn’t any questions that were burning for us,” said McKeag. “But just her coming out here, her presence serves as visibility and it increases the awareness of the organization.” 
 
During the visit, legislators recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation. Service members received a standing applause by all representatives and members of the public present, for the service the Texas Military Department gives to both the state and nation.
 
“We are Texans first and foremost so we are here for everyone,” said McKeag.
 
As part of TMD day at the Capitol, the Texas Army National Guard 36th Infantry Division Band held a surprise performance playing several patriotic and military songs in the rotunda. 
 
According to Mckeag, the Government Affairs team said they achieved their goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the Texas Military Department’s dual state and federal mission to both state representatives and the general public.
 
While addressing the gathered soldiers, airmen and civilian employees Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of Texas explained the importance of TMD Day at the Capitol. 
 
“I thought today went extremely well, they got to meet you all, they didn’t just see Nichols. They got to see the National Guard.”
 

Posted by SGT Pena Monday, April 17, 2017 1:10:00 PM Categories: Texas Air National Guard Texas Army National Guard Texas State Guard

Texas Leaders go back to the basics with supply 

Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris conveys her vision for the way ahead for Texas Army National Guard logisticians at the Sustainment Assistance Logistics Training Course of the Texas Army Career Training Program, at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas, March 28, 2017. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Jolene Hinojosa)
Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris conveys her vision for the way ahead for Texas Army National Guard logisticians at the Sustainment Assistance Logistics Training Course of the Texas Army Career Training Program, at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas, March 28, 2017. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Jolene Hinojosa)

 

Story By: 1st. Lt. Jolene Hinojosa, Texas Army National Guard Command Group, Unit Public Affairs Representative

BROWNWOOD, Texas – Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, Deputy Adjutant General - Army and Texas Army National Guard Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Kristopher Dyer, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Army National Guard, addressed the Sustainment Assistance Logistics Training Course of the Texas Army Career Training Program, at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, to discuss the way ahead for logistics operations within the Texas Army National Guard, March 28, 2017.

“I recognize that the bulk of our battles begins with the supply sergeant,” said Norris. “You are the front line, and we need to get back to basics and empower our logisticians to become professional experts in their craft.”

The SALT course is aimed at training Texas logisticians on topics such as GCSS-Army, Command Supply Discipline and Defense Support of Civil Authorities. SALT Class 17-L2 was comprised of 14 students that held duty positions ranging from company and battalion level supply sergeants to readiness noncommissioned officers.

Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, Deputy Adjutant General - Army and Texas Army National Guard Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Kristopher Dyer, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Army National Guard, address the Sustainment Assistance Logistics Training Course of the Texas Army Career Training Program, at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, to discuss the way ahead for logistics operations within the Texas Army National Guard, March 28, 2017. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Jolene Hinojosa)
Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, Deputy Adjutant General - Army and Texas Army National Guard Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Kristopher Dyer, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Army National Guard, address the Sustainment Assistance Logistics Training Course of the Texas Army Career Training Program, at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, to discuss the way ahead for logistics operations within the Texas Army National Guard, March 28, 2017. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Jolene Hinojosa)

The course max capacity is 30 students. BG Norris and CSM Dyer anticipate future classes will be filled to max capacity in the near future as a result of the GCSS-Army conversion.

“Logistics is the number one factor for our units because without supplies, we are unable to support our missions,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Jacobson, the Texas Army Career Training Program Manager. “It is great to have Brig. Gen. Norris and Command Sgt. Maj. Dyer here to address the class today. Soldiers need to see the senior leaders in the Texas Army National Guard recognize the importance of the work that they are doing and the steps they are taking to make organizational progress.”

The students had the opportunity to offer their input to Norris’ vision for the Texas Army National Guard and to give their recommendations on changes that could be made to improve the organization.

“It is refreshing to see that we have such caring, yet aggressive leaders, that understand that we logisticians are the backbone,” said Texas Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Wiggin, Delta Company, 156th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “Being a supply sergeant is a very demanding position that faces a lot of challenges due to the size of our state. I am glad to hear that our hard work is recognized, have our concerns addressed and understand how we fit in to the bigger picture in bettering the organization.”

Both Norris and Dyer said their support would be hands on.

“We are going to emphasize to command teams at all levels that we need to support our supply sergeants,” said Norris. “It is critical for the success of our organization to have logisticians that are professional experts. With the command sergeant major, we are going to work together to get us back to where we need to be.”

They discussed using inventories and showdown inspections as a means to help resolve financial liability investigations for property loss, and the conversion to the new GCSS-Army.

“I want to make sure that we have input from all levels,” said Dyer. “It is about assistance, helping the field, and giving the tools to help our force. I value everyone’s experience and I know that we can work together to come up with a solution.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:14:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

2nd Regiment Texas State Guard Has New Commander 

Story by: Sgt. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard

Posted On: 1/28/2017

Col. John W. Muirhead assumed command of the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, at a change of command ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, Oct. 15, 2016. His wife, Sgt. Yvonne Muirhead and Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, congratulate Muirhead on his accomplishment. (Texas State Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Barry Branham).
Col. John W. Muirhead assumed command of the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, at a change of command ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, Oct. 15, 2016. His wife, Sgt. Yvonne Muirhead and Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, congratulate Muirhead on his accomplishment. (Texas State Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Barry Branham).

AUSTIN, Texas – Col. John W. Muirhead assumed command of the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, at a change of command ceremony at Camp Mabry, Austin, Oct. 15, 2016. Prior to the change of the command, Muirhead was promoted to the rank of colonel in the Texas State Guard.

He will lead the regiment, which is headquartered in Gatesville, with battalions in Austin, Gatesville and Killeen.

“The 2nd Regiment has an outstanding history and outstanding soldiers,” said Muirhead. “It is an honor to be a part of it and to command is the greatest responsibility for an officer. I believe in leading from the front will not ask anyone to do what I have not already done. I will capitalize on our greatest asset – the soldier. We need to make sure that we are developing leaders at every level.”

Muirhead began his military career when he was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Texas at Austin, in 1990. During his federal service, he served in the Strategic Air Command Missile Combat Crew Flight Command, as a jump-duty Special Operations Forces Intelligence Officer, the Chief of Research and Analysis for the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element and the Chief of Influence Operations on the Air Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, passes the 2nd Regiment guidon to Col. John W. Muirhead at the change of command ceremony at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, Oct. 15, 2016. The guidon is the flag of the unit and symbolizes the authority to command the unit. (Texas State Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Barry Branham).
Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., Commander, Army Component Command, passes the 2nd Regiment guidon to Col. John W. Muirhead at the change of command ceremony at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, Oct. 15, 2016. The guidon is the flag of the unit and symbolizes the authority to command the unit. (Texas State Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Barry Branham).

His other assignments have included commander, operations squadron, Defense Language Institute English Language Center and deputy commander for the 37th Mission Support Group, the largest support group in the United States, at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland.

His ground combat tours include the U. S. Army 6th Psychological Operations in Kosovo during Operation Allied Force; the Allied Rapid Reaction Force in Macedonia during Operations Noble Anvil and Joint Guardian and the 18th Airborne Corps Chief of Current Operations for Information Operations in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Many of his assignments included duty as a behavioral scientist, psychological operations tools and technologies research, psychological profiling, strategic intelligence planning and counter-terrorism.

Retiring in 2011, Muirhead joined the Texas State Guard in December 2014. He previously served as the Executive Officer for the 1st Regiment and the Operations Officer for the Army Component Command.

"Col. John Muirhead is the best qualified with the experience, education and vision to lead the 2nd Regiment to even greater achievements," said Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.,

Commander, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard. “He knows how the Texas State Guard fits into the Texas Military Forces and Texas Military Department. He understands that we are here to serve our fellow Texans as a mission ready force.”

Muirhead and his wife, Sgt. Yvonne Muirhead, reside in San Antonio. In his civilian role he is a lieutenant with the Bexar County Constable Office, Precinct 4.

Saturday, January 28, 2017 3:04:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard

Texas State Guard perform community service at Wings over Houston Air Show 

Texas State Guard perform community service at Wings over Houston Air Show

Story and photos by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall

8th Regiment, Texas State Guard

Col. Edwin Grantham, Commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Marshall, Senior Enlisted Advisor, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, present a regimental challenge coin to World War II veteran Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, during a ceremony at the 32nd Annual Wings over Houston Air Show at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Oct. 22-23, 2016.   Cole is the last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders and was co-pilot to Gen. Doolittle during the famous raid on Tokyo during World War II.  (Texas State Guard photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall)
Col. Edwin Grantham, Commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Marshall, Senior Enlisted Advisor, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, present a regimental challenge coin to World War II veteran Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, during a ceremony at the 32nd Annual Wings over Houston Air Show at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Oct. 22-23, 2016.   Cole is the last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders and was co-pilot to Gen. Doolittle during the famous raid on Tokyo during World War II.  (Texas State Guard photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall) 

HOUSTON- As citizen-guardsmen, the Texas State Guard is known for its volunteerism and putting others first, with support to the Wings over Houston Air Show at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Oct. 22-23, 2016, a prime example of serving in their own communities. 

For 32 years members from the 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, have provided event organizers with logistical support. This year, volunteers provided information and directions to a record-breaking 50,000 visitors.  

“Because of our participation at the air show, many Texans got to see firsthand a well-trained Texas State Guard, as we assisted the thousands of visitors.  Our troops demonstrated professionalism and courtesy as they guided visitors to the many air show venues,” said Col. Edwin Grantham, Commander, 8th Regiment. “Wings over Houston gives the Texas State Guard a real-world opportunity to apply our communications and logistical skills; which are necessary skills when we are called upon to assist our fellow Texans in an emergency.” 

For one volunteer this annual air show remains a favorite community service project.

“It always exciting to see the planes and talk to all the visitors and introduce them to the Texas State Guard,” said Staff Sgt. Troy Charleville, 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment.

During a ceremony at the air show, Col. Grantham and Command Sgt. Maj. John Marshall, 8th Regiment Senior Enlisted Advisor, presented a regimental challenge coin to Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders and co-pilot to Gen. Doolittle during the famous raid on Tokyo during World War II.  

“It was a privilege to meet such a legendary pilot and hear his firsthand account of such a pivotal event in the war. There was not enough time in the day to hear about his service to our country,” said Marshall. “It is something I won’t forget.”

According to event organizers, the Wings over Houston Air Show is one of the largest in the United States. For 2016, the main attraction was the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.  The event also showcased vintage World War II aircraft. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016 11:00:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard

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.

Thursday, September 8, 2016 11:43:00 AM Categories: Texas State Guard

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.

Friday, September 2, 2016 1:52:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard

A Texan who Puts Texans First 

Story By: David Erinakes, COL, MI, Texas State Guard - Chief, Public Affairs

Posted: June 16, 2016

Col. Dan Flynn was promoted to the rank of brigadier general (TX-Brevet)

Col. Dan Flynn was promoted to the rank of brigadier general (TX-Brevet) by Gov. Greg Abbott, Commander in Chief of the Texas Military Department, and Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general for Texas in a ceremony at the Texas Capitol, in Austin, April 11, 2016.

Flynn began his military career in 1962, as a private in the 36th Infantry Division. He recalled one of his first duties was driving a jeep for Maj. Gen. Everett Simpson, then, commander of the 36th Infantry Division and one of the most decorated soldiers in World War II. There was only one problem: young Pvt. Flynn didn’t know how to drive. After hearing from his sergeant on that matter, Flynn decided a full-time position was probably not for him. However, his commitment to Texas and to the Unites States motivated Flynn to stay involved in the military and he joined the Texas State Guard in 2005.

During his tenure, Flynn served in a variety of positions and is most proud of helping Texas through the experience of multiple deployments in support of disaster management in the state, increasing readiness and mission success. 

"I could not have been more grateful than to finish my military career with such a high honor and I want to thank Maj. Gen. Nichols, Maj. Gen. Betty and Maj. Gen. Bodisch for their support to Texas and to the Governor, I will always be deeply appreciative and never forget this day," said Flynn.

Flynn has also had many other achievements during his service. He was a long-term bank examiner, Deputy Banking Commissioner, County Judge of Van Zandt County and holds the position of State Representative in House District 2 covering Van Zandt, Hunt and Hopkins counties in East Texas. In his capacity as a State Representative, Flynn is also Chairman of Pensions in the Texas House of Representatives and Chairman of the National Conference of State Legislators Defense Task Force.

The governor also recognized Flynn’s wife, Susan, during the ceremony, by honoring her with a Yellow Rose of Texas for her efforts and sacrifices in support of Texas.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:20:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard

Major Exercise Prepares The Texas State Guard 

Story by: Spc. Stefan Wray, Spc. Matthew Bramanti, and Sgt. Greg Illich, Texas State Guard 

Posted: June 17, 2016

In a major training exercise, over 300 guardsmen from each component of the State GuardHARLINGEN, Texas - The Texas State Guard is ready this hurricane season. In a major training exercise, over 300 guardsmen from each component of the State Guard learned firsthand how to conduct a massive hurricane evacuation during a large-scale training exercise in the Rio Grande Valley, June 6 - 9, 2016.

"This exercise was a tremendous training and coordination opportunity among the Texas Military Department and emergency management agencies," said Texas State Guard Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., commander, Army Component Command. "When a significant event occurs, the Texas State Guard will apply the lessons learned at this exercise and will be fully prepared for deployment to assist and support the citizens of Texas."

The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Military Department Domestic Operations Task Force planned this exercise to test the ability and readiness to evacuate persons by bus and aircraft out of the Rio Grande Valley in the event of a hurricane strike.

Working with service members and employees from the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, multiple local and state emergency agencies and the American Red Cross, state emergency management tested the use of aircraft as a mode of evacuation of medical evacuees for the first time, while also providing medical attention and sheltering operations to mock hurricane victims.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that in a major hurricane emergency 30,000 civilians would need to be evacuated from The Valley, making the ability to evacuate and track thousands of people efficiently and effectively is important to emergency management operations.

State Guard participation in the exercise and in a real-world state emergency is invaluable, said Lee Schnell, a section administrator for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. "Without the State Guard, this doesn't happen."

Texas State Guardsmen supported several areas of the exercise, including emergency tracking trainers, Texas Operations Center members, command and control members, medical observers, mock evacuees and search-and-rescue victims.

The first phase of the four-day operation was the movement of the soldiers to various locations around the state. Using this as an opportunity to train, Guardsmen followed standard military operation procedures throughout the transportation process, practicing communication networking with partner agencies along the route.

Upon arrival in Harlingen, the soldiers checked-in through a new in-process and out-process system rolled out for the first time by the Texas Military Department.

Right away, soldiers trained on the Texas Emergency Tracking Network, a tool Texas State Guardsmen often use to support sheltering operations following large-scale evacuations, According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, this tracking system allows the state operations center to in-process every evacuee, keep track of evacuees as they are transported to shelters in other parts of the state, and track medical assets.  

It also helps to reunite family members, comforts evacuees that their loved ones are safe, and saves lives.  Even evacuated pets are tracked by the system so that pet owners can also be reunited with their pets.

"The new evacuation tracking system that we are training on is very intuitive,” said Texas State Guard Staff Sgt. Cheryl Lemmings, 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment. “It's a good feeling to know that we are preparing to help others in a time of crisis."

After a day of training, many of the guardsmen switched gears and participated in the medical evacuation exercise role playing evacuees.

They received wrist bands and were in-processed through the emergency tracking network just as evacuees would be in a real evacuation, many also receiving medical treatment from Texas Army and Air National Guardsmen for mock injuries. Following check in, they boarded busses for the Valley International Airport in Harlingen and went through the Transportation Security Administration security checks before taking Texas Air National Guard C-130 flights back to Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

"This is a true joint exercise with all the different agencies working together," said Texas State Guard Staff Sgt. Mike Mills, 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment.  "It's great to see it from the evacuee's side and helps me to empathize with them.  We will be able to take that back and learn from it." 

Upon arriving at their respective airports, the role playing guardsmen were moved to designated shelters to spend the night just as evacuees would, away from the hurricane strike zone.  

On the last day of the operation, June 9, 2016, soldiers returned to their home of record with a much greater understanding of what happens during an evacuation.

"The professionalism demonstrated by the men and women of the Texas State Guard in this Rio Grande Evacuation Exercise is a credit to all Texans, said Maj. Gen. Jake Betty commander of the Texas State Guard. “ It will be a foundation for future possible disaster missions."

Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:05:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard

Guardsmen reunite children with parents during annual kite festival 

Story by: Specialist Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment PAO

Posted: March 30, 2016

Thousands gathered in Austin’s Zilker Park, March 6, 2016, for the 88th Zilker Kite Festival. The Texas State Guard supported festival organizers and local park rangers with search and rescue teams and logistics.
Thousands gathered in Austin’s Zilker Park, March 6, 2016, for the 88th Zilker Kite Festival. The Texas State Guard supported festival organizers and local park rangers with search and rescue teams and logistics.

AUSTIN, Texas – It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for flying kites, as thousands gathered in Austin’s Zilker Park on Sunday, March 6, for the 88th Zilker Kite Festival. 

For the 9th year, 28 guardsmen from the Texas State Guard's 2nd Regiment spent the day helping to reunite children and parents who had become separated in the crowd and providing logistical support to event organizers.

Weather conditions were optimal and the wind was constant throughout the day enabling hundreds of kites of all designs, colors, shapes and sizes were continuously in flight from mid morning to late afternoon.

Partnered with the Austin Park Rangers, guardsmen worked to reunite lost children with their parents.

“We had a lot of good people out in the field that knew what they were doing,” said Austin Park Ranger Brian Leuzinger. “I think we just had a really great command team that were sharing information, making sure that everyone knew who and what we were looking for.”

Working alongside park rangers, guardsmen were able to exercise their ground search and rescue skills, one the regiment’s primary missions. 

“The Kite Festival is really amazing. You get to see all the teamwork,” said Private 1st Class  Francis Ortiz, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Regiment.  “All the training I had paid off to do search and rescue, locating any missing children or missing parents.”

Some guardsmen even worked as linguists.

“Private 1st Class Dianna Salinas did an excellent job today.  In one situation, an unaccompanied child was brought back to our TOC. While she was here PFC Salinas sat down on the ground with the child. The child spoke only Spanish,” said Texas State Guards Staff Sgt Curtiz Rust. “Salinas was able to translate and get us the information we needed to reach out and locate the parents.” 

The Exchange Club of Austin originally founded the kite festival in 1929. It moved to Zilker Park in 1936 when the park opened and has been there ever since. 

“We so appreciate y’all and we so need y’all to be here. It means so much to us,” said Dorothy Twidwell, a member of the Exchange Club and the key festival organizer, referring to the 2nd Regiment’s role in assisting with the festival. “The crowd has grown so large that what we need from the State Guard is management of the crowd, help getting people on and off the buses, and help us patrolling the field.” 


Approximately 25,000 festival goers attended the free event this year, said Les Stobart, ABC Home and Commercial Services’ Marketing Director. The festival is actively being transferred from the Exchange Club to ABC.

 “One of the first questions that we ask every year is ‘Is the Guard going to be back?  Can we count on the Guard again?’’ said Sobard. “We couldn’t do it without y’all, so we deeply appreciate the role that the Guard plays in everything.”

The 2nd Regiment began preparations in advance of the actual festival.  A logistical team was at Zilker Park the day before to make preparations. The 2nd Regiment converged at 0500 on the morning of the festival near Zilker Park. Once on site, the Tactical Operations Center was set up adjacent to the command centers for Emergency Services and the Park Rangers.

Radios and GPS tracking devices were distributed to teams who were dispatched to positions throughout the park as well as other points in Austin where festival attendees would leave their cars and board buses to get to the park.
   
“It definitely exceeded my expectations,” said Texas State Guard Private 1st Class Miranda Leal.. “I didn’t think it was going to be this involved and with this many people.  It’s really fun. I would do it again next year.”

The regiment helped reunite 11 lost children with parents or guardians during the event. 

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 4:24:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard

Texas State Guard supports civil authorities in recent floods 

Texas State Guard supports civil authorities in recent floods

Story By: Capt. Maria Mengrone, Public Affairs Officer, 176th Engineer Brigade

Posted on: March 24, 2016

Sgt. 1st Class Chris Skinner, 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment, Texas Sate Guard walks alongside a flood victim, at a safe shelter in Beaumont, Texas established by the American Red Cross, March 18, 2016. “We treat them like family,” said Skinner. “The people here are important to us and we must not forget that they need our help.” The TXSG mobilized, in support of civil authorities, to assist evacuated flood victims in the southeastern region of the state, 14-21 March 2016. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Maria Mengrone/Released)
Sgt. 1st Class Chris Skinner, 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment, Texas Sate Guard walks alongside a flood victim, at a safe shelter in Beaumont, Texas established by the American Red Cross, March 18, 2016. “We treat them like family,” said Skinner. “The people here are important to us and we must not forget that they need our help.” The TXSG mobilized, in support of civil authorities, to assist evacuated flood victims in the southeastern region of the state, 14-21 March 2016. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Maria Mengrone/Released)

BEAUMONT, Texas – The Texas State Guard, in support of civil authorities, assisted in establishing safe shelters for evacuated flood victims in the southeastern region of the state, March 14-21, 2016.

“We have a total of 18 Soldiers from the State Guard here to supplement the Red Cross in any way they need us. They run the shelter, and we support their efforts,” said Sgt. Christopher T. Riehle, recruiter, 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment. “We train closely with the Red Cross and other agencies to make sure we are prepared for something like this.”

The Texas State Guard trains annually to remain proficient in the duties they perform while called upon during disaster relief missions. Some of the emergency response training includes shelter management, search and rescue, emergency communications, mass care and medical support.

“We assist with setting up the shelter, but it could be anything from moving tables to providing security or just talking to the clients that are here,” said Staff Sgt. Nick B. Martinez, 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment. “Just being able to help is a great reward.”

Guardsmen ran 24-hour operations at the shelter to ensure anyone in need was equipped with immediate support.

“At our peak we had about 170 clients that needed our help,” said Shelter Manager Marie Killingsworth, American Red Cross Volunteer. “The Soldiers have been here since the beginning. I love that they are so flexible, and can move at the drop of a dime.”

The Texas State Guard assisted with supporting three other safety shelters, two of which were evacuated due to flood concerns and consolidated in Beaumont.

“This is now the forth shelter we have been a part of and we are fully trained to do what it takes to help,” said Riehle. “The best part is when the clients thank us for being here because they know they’re gonna get the help that they need.”

The Texas Military Department activated more than 150 service members from the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas State Guard during severe flooding in Orange, Newton and Jasper counties. They provided swift water rescue support to emergency first responders, rescuing and evacuating 410 people from the floods, and supported shelter operations, providing basic necessities to hundreds of people in need.

Thursday, March 24, 2016 1:34:00 PM Categories: Texas State Guard