Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Aircraft Accident Exercise Test TXSG

Aircraft Accident Exercise Tests TXSG
CW2 Janet Schmelzer, PAO, TXSG
2012/10/02
DFW Airport, Texas – A commercial aircraft accident simulation was conducted Saturday, September 29, by a component of the Texas State Guard, with soldiers working alongside the Search One K-9 Unit. The exercise was intended to prepare TXSG soldiers for working with local authorities during a natural or manmade emergency anywhere in Texas.

The TXSG’s 3rd Battalion 4th Regiment’s executive officer, CPT Gary Sherman, said the exercise was a great opportunity for his solders.

“It’s a real privilege to work with the premier K-9 Search team,” said Sherman. “We were training on 350 acres of one of the largest airports in the United States.”

The scenario was that a commercial aircraft had crashed with passengers aboard. The first phase of the exercise included a "Search and Rescue" exercise with the Texas State Guard and Search One K-9 Unit. The second phase of the exercise was a Wide Area Disaster Assessment, relaying the GPS coordinates of critical areas to a Tactical Operations Center.

“Creative training exercises like this keep the Texas State Guard at the forefront of disaster preparedness for the State of Texas,” COL Howard Palmer, commander of the 4th Regiment, commented. “Time in the field is time well spent. We greatly appreciate the good relationship with DFW Airport and Search One K-9. These are great partners serving Texas.”

Texas State Guard Changes Command, Rodriguez assumes command from Peters

Texas State Guard Changes Command, Rodriguez assumes command from Peters
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/08/18

Photo of Changing of Command
On Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, Maj. Gen. Manuel “Tony” Rodriguez assumes command of the Texas State Guard from Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. More than 2,200 men and women actively serve in the Texas State Guard, which is comprised of the Army, Air, Maritime and Medical components.Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer-TXSG

CAMP MABRY, Texas - In a change of command ceremony at Camp Mabry on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, Maj. Gen. Manuel “Tony” Rodriguez assumed command of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) from Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters.

The ceremony is a landmark event in the history of the Texas Military Forces and the Texas State Guard to bid farewell to one commander and welcome another. The Texas State Guard, along with the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air Guard, is a major component of Texas Military Forces under the command of the governor.

The Texas Military Forces are commanded by the state’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols.

Peters was commissioned in July 1965, as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In July 2009, he was promoted to Major General and appointed commander of the Texas State Guard.

Reflecting on his 49 years of uniformed service, Peters said he was honored to see the organization grow and evolve into its present role as a major component of the Texas Military Forces.

“I’m fortunate that I got to serve in the Texas State Guard. I never dreamed I’d go this far,” he said. “To the men and women of the state guard I say, ’thank you.’”

He is succeeded by Rodriguez, who was commissioned in 1983, as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. During his career, Rodriguez served in Honduras, Germany, Desert Storm, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq.

As part of the change of command ceremony, Rodriguez was promoted to major general.

Rodriguez said he was honored by the appointment and looked forward to serving the people of Texas in this new role.

Paraphrasing WWII era Gen. Haywood Hansell, Rodriguez concluded his brief remarks by saying, “When I’ve done some more work, I’ll do some more talking.”

Nichols said the state guard has become a key component of the Texas Military Forces over the last two decades, with the defining moment occurring during the activations in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

“I’ve asked Gen. Rodriguez to take the baton from Gen. Peters and make the organization even better,” said Nichols. “I told him, get ready. Now he’s going to get to work helping Texas.”

TXSG Changes Command - Tony Rodriguez will take command from Raymond Peters

TXSG Changes Command - Tony Rodriguez will take command from Raymond Peters
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/08/08
AUSTIN, Texas – A new commanding general for the Texas State Guard was announced today by the Adjutant General of Texas Military Forces. The official change of command ceremony is slated for August 18, 2012.

Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols announced today that Brig. Gen. Manuel "Tony" Rodriguez will take command upon the retirement of Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, who has commanded the TXSG since July 2009.

More than 2,200 men and women actively service in the Texas State Guard, divided into four operational components: Army, Air, Maritime and Medical. The TXSG is organized under the authority of the Texas Military Forces, which includes the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

"After 40 years serving our nation and state -- in the regular Army, the National Guard and the Texas State Guard -- Raymond Peters has distinguished himself in war and peace," said Nichols. "Under his leadership, the Texas State Guard has become an intregal part of the Texas Military Forces mission and critical to the safety of the people of the Lone Star State."

Peters was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the US Army in 1965. Upon retirement from the Texas National Guard in 1997, he became chief of staff and director of the Texas State Guard.

Also retired from the United States Army, Rodriguez was introduced to the Texas State Guard by a friend as a way to give back to his adopted home state.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” said Rodriguez of his first visit to a training weekend. “The men and women serving in the state guard ask for nothing, but give a whole lot to Texas, and want to do the right thing. I had to be a part of that.”

Rodriguez joined the TXSG in March 2006, serving first as commander of the 2nd Civil Affairs Regiment, and later as the headquarters personnel officer. He is currently the TXSG Deputy Commander in charge of the Army Component.

Rodriguez was commissioned in 1983 upon graduation from the University of Southern Mississippi, and first posted at Fort Hood. During his career, Rodriguez served in Germany, Kuwait, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, among other assignments. Ending his career as an Army Strategist, he retired from active duty in 2005. He and his wife own a ranch outside Fort Hood. He has three children and a granddaughter.

Rodriguez said he was honored to take command from Peters, and humbled by the trust placed in him by Gen. Nichols and the civilian leadership of Texas.

“Gen. Peters is a model of selfless service, both to the people of Texas and the soldiers under his command,” said Rodriguez. “Every soldier in the state guard, including me, looks forward to building on his work.”

Gen. Peters, whose retirement was announced in the spring, said he could not be more pleased by the selection of Rodriguez as his successor.

“Tony Rodriguez’s emphasis on strategic planning and substantive training will ensure the state guard continues to mature in its mission. He is committed to seeing an even stronger, more robust state guard," said Peters. "The best days of the Texas State Guard are ahead. I can honestly say that of all the postings I've had, wearing the Texas State Guard is the one of which I am most proud because of the caliber of people I have been fortunate to wear it alongside."

Five 449th Air Support Group members earn Security Forces beret

Five 449th Air Support Group members earn Security Forces beret
SMSgt Dan Hawkins, PAO, TXSG
2012/06/29
CAMP BOWIE, Texas – Five members of the Texas State Guard’s 449TH Air Support Group (ASG) at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, were awarded Security Forces berets in a ceremony held here in conjunction with the TXSG’s annual training Jun. 28.

The beret ceremony culminated an extensive combined training effort between the 449 ASG, the Texas Air National Guard’s 149th Tactical Fighter Group and the 902nd Security Forces Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base.

Col. Thomas Ball, 5th Air Wing commander, presided over the ceremony and led the new Security Forces members in reciting the security forces general orders and the career field creed before the berets were presented.

Members awarded the beret include Maj. Ferdinand Girard, 1st Lt. Bruce Minor, Senior Master Sgt. Ron Olivarri, Tech. Sgt. Mike Hodges and Airman 1st Class Joshua Roberts.

In attendance at the ceremony were members of the 5th Air Wing’s 449th, 417th and 447th ASG’s, along with the 4th Air Wing’s 454th ASG. Presentations on the history and prayer of the security forces career field were also conducted.

Ball stressed the importance of security forces in completing the overall mission of the Texas State Guard.

“Force protection doesn’t happen without you (Security Forces),” Ball said. “The Texas State Guard and your community are depending on you to keep our assets secure.”

Dallas-based Texas State Guard Regiment Changes Command

Dallas-based Texas State Guard Regiment Changes Command
MAJ Kenneth Feagins, PAO, 19th REGT, TXSG
2012/06/27
DALLAS, Texas – In a change of command ceremony held at Camp Bowie, Texas on June 23, command of the Dallas-headquartered 19th Civil Affairs Regiment passed from Col. David Erinakes to Col. Robert Hastings.

Col. Erinakes has commanded the 19th Regiment since Oct. 2009 improving morale and recruiting. During his seven years in the Regiment as Operations Officer, Executive Officer and Commander, he led the 19th Regiment through every major deployment since 2005 including Katrina, Rita, Ike and Operation Wrangler.

“Under Col. Erinakes’ leadership, the 19th Regiment has proven itself time and again,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, commanding general of the Texas State Guard. “Erinakes has made a significant and lasting impact during his tenure with the 19th. We look forward to his continued contributions as the Joint Staff Public Affairs Officer for the Texas State Guard.”

Col. Hastings, a resident of Keller, TX, joins the regiment after serving as Chief of Public Affairs for the Texas State Guard since 2010, bringing more than 30 years of federal and state military experience to his new role.

“Col. Hastings is a highly capable leader with a long and successful track record of mission execution in demanding situations,” said Maj. Gen. Peters. “Hastings is the right leader at the right time. I have the highest confidence that the men and women of the 19th Regiment will perform exceptionally well under his leadership.”

The official change of command took place with the traditional passing of the colors from outgoing to the incoming commander symbolically passing responsibility for, and authority over, the unit to the new commander.

Since the earliest chronicles of military history, military leaders have used flags as a visible symbol to identify themselves and serve as a rallying point. In the past, the colors were traditionally at the side of the unit commander. The very soul of the military unit is symbolized in the colors under which it operates, for they record the glories of the past, stand guardian over its present destiny, and ensure

inspiration for its future. Tradition dictates that the colors led the unit into battle and that the color bearer was instructed, “when in action, resolve not to part with the colors, but with your life.” Today, the colors serve as a binding symbol of continuity and point of inspiration for the future. Commanders come and go, but the unit continues on.

The mission of the 19th Civil Affairs Regiment is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies and to conduct homeland security activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities. The Regiment is headquartered in Dallas with an area of responsibility that extends from Dallas east and north to the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines.

TXSG Team Takes Top Sniper Honors

TXSG Team Takes Top Sniper Honors
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/06/22
DALLAS, Texas - A school teacher and a truck driver were on the team taking first place at a recent sniper competition. Their team, comprised of members of the Texas State Guard's 19th Civil Affairs Regiment, were competing with other Texas Military Forces teams in the Texas Adjutant General’s Combat Sniper Competition held at Camp Swift this month.

Other competitors included a 36th Division sniper team trained at the US Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and a Texas-based Air Force team. Unlike those teams, the TXSG team is comprised of volunteers who pay for their own ammunition, weapons and range-time.

“I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to compete," said Sgt. Scott Hunt, who also took the "Top Individual Shooter" award, obtaining the Sniper Governor's Twenty tab. "The commitment, countless hours of practice and the personal funds that we’ve had to expend has been well worth the sacrifice.

The 19th Regiment is based in Dallas. Another team from the 19th included Sgt. Donald Sheffield and Sgt. Sean Mounger. Capt. Thomas Baroody is the Officer in Charge of the 19th's weapons teams, as well as commander of the regiment’s Quick Reaction Team (QRT).

The TXSG is an all-volunteer force with full-time civilian jobs. For example, the 19th Regiment's sniper team includes Sgt. Hunt, who is a photography teacher at St Mark’s School of Texas, and Sgt. Lay, who is a truck driver with UPS Freight of Irving, Texas.

The commander of the 19th Regiment, Col.David Erinakes, said the success of the sniper team reflects the quality of soldiers volunteering in the unit and throughout the TXSG.

“We’ve placed top in Pistol, Rifle and now Sniper in the statewide matches becoming, I believe, the first unit to do so in the history of Texas Military Forces," said Erinakes. "The 19th Regiment has the best trained, most highly motivated folks in the state and now we’ve also proved that we have the best shooters in the state. This accomplishment brings immense credit and credibility to the 19th Regiment, the Texas State Guard and the Texas Military Forces as a whole in that it shows the level of dedication, motivation and skills of our volunteer soldiers. I am proud of their efforts and the dedicated competitive team that we have built in the 19th.”

Texas State Guard Deploying for Annual Training

Texas State Guard Deploying for Annual Training
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/06/21
BROWNWOOD, Texas – Beginning Thursday, June 21, members of the Texas State Guard will participate in annual training exercises at Camp Bowie ahead of the hurricane and wild-fire seasons. Units from around the state will take part in a simulated disaster, ensuring the TXSG is ready to provide relief services as requested by the state’s civil authorities.

“Annual training this year will focus on ensuring our units are ready to offer support services in response to a civil disaster,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, commanding general of the TXSG. “Entering hurricane season, Texans expect the Texas State Guard to be trained and ready to go when called, as we done so many times in recent years. Our motto is ‘Texans serving Texans,’ and annual training makes sure we’re able to do just that.”

Guardsmen from the Army and Air components will each spend four days at Camp Bowie, a Texas Military Forces training center located in west central Texas near the cities of Brownwood and Early. Training activities planned for TXSG personnel include the Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TETN), the National Incident Management System, mass care operations, wide area damage assessment, global positioning system operations, first aid, land navigation, radio communications and command post operations among other activities.

Annual training takes part in two iterations, June 21-24 and June 28-July 1, with roughly half of the TXSG participating in each session. The units also drill monthly at armories around the state.

The TXSG’s Maritime Regiment conducted annual training last month at Camp Swift near Bastrop.

More than two-thirds of the TXSG’s soldiers serve in the Army Component, and those men and women will therefore make up the bulk of the force participating in training.

“Our TXSG soldiers are true volunteers who take time from their jobs and families to train and serve,” said Brig. Gen. Manuel “Tony” Rodriguez, the Army Component commander. “These men and women train year-round, without pay and providing their own equipment, to successfully accomplish whatever missions they’re given. With the tremendous support of our families, neighbors and employers, the state guard can be ready to move.”

In recent years the TXSG has been called to active duty for nine hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Dean, Humberto, Dolly, Eduard, Gustav, Ike, and Alex), severe flooding in Marble Falls in 2007, and the 2011 wildfires in central Texas. TXSG is also the lead military component for Operation Lone Star in the Rio Grande Valley, the state’s largest annual medical emergency preparedness mission.

The Texas State Guard is one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF), operating under the command of the Adjutant General of Texas and the Governor as Commander-in-Chief of all state military forces. The TXMF includes the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.

The mission of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies; to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities; and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.

Headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, the TXSG functions as an organized state militia under the authority of Title 32 of the U.S. Code and Chapter 431 of the Texas Government Code.

Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates New Cohort of Junior Officers

Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates New Cohort of Junior Officers
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/05/21
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Guard (TXSG) has ten new junior officers who were recently commissioned following their graduation from Officer Candidate School (OCS) on May 6, 2012.

“I’m proud of these new officers who have proven their mettle in this very demanding course,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, commanding general of the Texas State Guard. “They have rightfully earned the insignia we pinned on their uniforms today. I have no doubt they will make Texas proud as well as they return to their units as new leaders.”

The TXSG OCS was launched in 2011 as a new program of instruction designed to train and develop junior officers for service in the TXSG. The instruction, exercises and experiences all focus on the TXSG and its unique mission to provide trained and ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.

“The TXSG OCS program has been completely redone to provide our junior officers the leadership and mission skills they will need to lead TXSG troops in the missions and environment where we serve,” said Col. Thomas Hamilton, OCS commander. “It’s by design a challenging, stressful course that not everyone can complete.”

During the six-month course, the candidates each completed eighteen graded exams, seven or more graded leadership roles, six research projects, and passed three Army Physical Fitness Tests. They successfully completed both the Air Assault Confidence Course at Camp Swift and the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood. And in preparation for their assignment as leaders in the TXSG, they completed all TXSG-required FEMA training as well as all requirements of the TXSG Officer Basic Course. It is estimated that the candidates completed at least 500 hours of off-duty study and preparation as part of the program.

A number of the graduates were recognized for their achievements in the course.

2d Lt. H. Lee Burton of the TXSG’s 2d Regiment headquartered in Austin was recognized as the honor graduate, earning the Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Peters Distinguished Honor Graduate Award.

2d Lt. Robert Williamson of the TXSG’s 8th Regiment headquartered in Houston was presented the National Guard Association of Texas Leadership Excellence Award.

2d Lt. Lance R. Herrington also of the 8th Regiment was presented the Bell Helicopter Academic Excellence Award.

The Physical Fitness Awards for the highest scoring male and female candidates on the physical fitness test were earned by 2d Lt. H. Lee Burton and 2d Lt. Joanna K. C. Kearns of the 2d Regiment.

The remaining graduates were 2d Lt. Leland Burns, 2d Lt. Brian Faure, 2d Lt. Peggy Gutierrez, 2d Lt. Lance Herrington, 2d Lt. James Lumpkin, 2d Lt. Michael Meadors, and Ens. Joe Tillman.

“In addition to the leadership and mission skills they developed in the course,” Col. Hamilton added, “they learned to appreciate the value of trust and comradery forged during the crucible of shared hardships, sacrifice, anxiety, stress and even some measure of fear. These lessons will serve them well when they are called to lead others in times of hardship.”

The next OCS Class is scheduled to begin on Sept. 28, 2012. Interested TXSG personnel should contact their unit personnel officer for application information. Applications are due to TXSG HQ no later than Aug. 3, 2012.

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

4TH AIR WING, SHEPPARD DETACHMENT SWEARS IN 14 NEW AIRMEN
Senior Master Sgt. Dan Hawkins, PAO, TXSG
2012/04/28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For information on joining the Texas State Guard unit in Wichita Falls, contact Senior Master Sgt. Chris Riordan at christopher.riordan@txsg.state.tx.us.

Texas State Guard wins rifle competition... Again!

TEXAS STATE GUARD WINS RIFLE COMPETITION… AGAIN!
CPT Esperanza Meza, PAO, TXSG
2012/03/29
AUSTIN, Texas – For the second time in the last two years, the Texas State Guard’s 19th Regiment Marksmanship Team has won top honors in this year’s 2012 Adjutant’s General’s Combat Rifle Competition Match and Sustainment Exercise held at Camp Swift. This is the second competition won this year, with part of the same winning team for the Combat Pistol Match held earlier this year.

The Rifle Team included CPT Theodore Baroody, Quick Response Team Commander and Officer in Charge of the team, SGT Scott Hunt, 19th REGT HQ, SGT Sean Mounger, 1st Battalion, and SGT Wade Lay, 19th REGT HQ. Of the eight Governor’s 20 tabs for the Rifle Competition in 2012, four went to the State Guard. SGT Hunt was awarded one of the coveted tabs that included the Pistol Competition earlier along with SGT Mounger.

For the past two years, 19th Regiment’s rifle and pistol team has dominated the Adjutant General’s rifle and pistol competitions winning both events, a feat not held by the same unit since the start of the Texas State Guard’s initial entry into the events in 2008.

Approximately 100 competitors from the Texas National Guard, Texas Air Guard and Texas State Guard participated in the event held February 25 and 26 at Camp Swift, a training facility near Bastrop.

COL David Erinakes, Commander of the 19th Regiment, congratulated his soldiers on their performance.

“This win showed the drive and determination of their team that represents the same drive and determination the entire State Guard brings to the table for the citizens of Texas.“

CPT Baroody, the team’s OIC, added “The 19th Regt Marksmanship Team purchased their own ammo and rifles for the competition, and practiced on their own time.“

The competition was organized by the State Competitive Marksmanship (SCM) Program in the Texas National Guard. The SCM is managed by the State Competitive Marksmanship Coordinator, MAJ John Suprynowicz.