Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

TXSG Flies High with Austin Kite Festival

TXSG Flies High With Austin Kite Festival
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2012/03/05
Provides support for 30,000 people attending annual event

AUSTIN, Texas -- As kite-lovers descended on Zilker Park, they were first greeted by soldiers from the Texas State Guard’s Army Component.

“We’re proud to support this historic community event,” said Warrant Officer Darrell Prather, who oversaw the TXSG on-site participation. “Our soldiers were honored to help people enjoy the festival and be part of this great tradition.”

Established in the late 1920s, Austin’s kite festival is the oldest in the nation with 30,000 attendees participating in the annual event. The festival is organized by the Austin Exchange Club. TXSG soldiers assisting in the event are from the 2nd Regiment, part of the TXSG’s Army Component based in central Texas.

“We were struggling to put the logistics together this year. When the state guard heard about our situation, they stepped forward to help,” said festival organizer Dorcy Twidwell. “We’ve been incredibly glad they did. We really appreciate these men and women giving up their weekend to help everyone here be safe and have fun.”

The TXSG provided logistical support for the event. Most visibly, soldiers are assisting attendees with event parking and on-site transportation, while also providing organizers and other participating entities with communications support.

Prather said assisting the festival organizers and participants gives TXSG soldiers real-world training for the kind of logistical support the organization provides during natural disasters and other emergencies.

“This gives us the opportunity to put our training and expertise into practical use in advance of our response to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or fires anywhere in Texas when ordered by the governor,” he said. “But most importantly, it’s another way for the men and women of the Texas State Guard to serve our fellow Texans.”

Texas State Guard Participates in 2012 Oral Rabies Vaccination Program

Texas State Guard Participates in 2012 Oral Rabies Vaccination Program
Laura Lopez, Texas Military Forces Public Affairs
2012/02/08

Brig. Gen. William L. Smith, Director Joint Staff and Commander, Domestic Operations for Joint Force Headquarters of Texas, receives a briefing from 2nd Lt. Steve Walker of the Texas State Guard 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment at the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program command post in Zapata, Texas on January 6, 2012. A cooperative effort between the Texas Department of State Health Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas National Guard and other local, state and federal agencies in an effort to eradicate and prevent reintroduction of the rabies virus, goals for 2012 include dropping more than 450,000 baits in South Texas during the 16 day mission. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).
Brig. Gen. William L. Smith, Director Joint Staff and Commander, Domestic Operations for Joint Force Headquarters of Texas, receives a briefing from 2nd Lt. Steve Walker of the Texas State Guard 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment at the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program command post in Zapata, Texas on January 6, 2012. A cooperative effort between the Texas Department of State Health Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas National Guard and other local, state and federal agencies in an effort to eradicate and prevent reintroduction of the rabies virus, goals for 2012 include dropping more than 450,000 baits in South Texas during the 16 day mission. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).

ZAPATA, Texas – Members of the Texas State Guard joined forces with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the United States Department of Agriculture, as well as other local, state and federal agencies from January 3, 2012 to January 18, 2012 to participate in the 2012 Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program.

With 1.8 million doses of the oral rabies vaccine expected to be dropped over portions of South and West Texas, Texas State Guard Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment provided both ground and air crew support that included navigational assistance, the operating and management of the bait drop and the loading of the baits onto the aircraft. A program the Texas State Guard has actively taken part in since 2007, this is one of the many humanitarian missions they are proud to be a part of.

“The 2012 ORVP mission will be an experience I will not soon forget,” said Incident Commander Second Lieutenant

Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, unloads a bag of bait to be dropped over the South Texas Zapata area during the 2012 Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. Since the program’s inception in 1995, more than 39 million doses of the oral rabies vaccine, Raboral V RG, have been distributed over approximately 540,000 square miles of Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez)
Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, unloads a bag of bait to be dropped over the South Texas Zapata area during the 2012 Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. Since the program’s inception in 1995, more than 39 million doses of the oral rabies vaccine, Raboral V RG, have been distributed over approximately 540,000 square miles of Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez)

Stephen Walker, 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment. “I was honored to work alongside fellow members of the TXSG, members of federal and state agencies and to serve the citizens of Texas. Such a mission truly gives the TXSG members a feeling of giving back to his or her community for such a worthwhile cause.”

On January 6, 2012, Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment takes part in one of the many flights that assists in the aerial distribution of Raboral V RG, during a 16 day Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. With statistics showing a drastic reduction in rabies cases the goal of this program is to create zones of vaccinated coyotes and gray foxes along the leading edges of the epizootics stopping the spread of the virus. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).
Originally initiated in 1995, with the goal of creating zones of vaccinated coyotes and gray foxes along the leading edges of the epizootics, statistics from the Texas Department of State Health Services show animal cases of the canine strain of rabies in southern Texas fell from 122 in 1994 to zero in 2000 with single cases in 2001 and 2004. In addition the fox strain, prevalent in western Texas, dropped from 244 animal cases in 1995 to zero in 2010 and 2011.

A mission Brig. Gen. William L. Smith, Director Joint Staff and Commander, Domestic Operations for Joint Force Headquarters of Texas describes as important to the state of Texas, its citizens and to the Texas economy he and other representatives from the Texas Military Forces and Department of State Health Services visited the command post in Zapata, Texas on January 6, 2012 for a first-hand look.

This is another example of how we can effectively work together with our partnering agencies and benefit our citizens at a time when no disaster is present,” said Smith.

While the vaccine dose dropped is enclosed in a small packet dipped in fish oil and coated with fish meal crumbles, health services representatives say the baits do not pose any risk to humans and will not become established in the environment making the Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program an exceptionally safe method of controlling rabies.

Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, holds a dose of the oral rabies vaccine, Raboral V RG, about to be dropped over the South Texas Zapata area during the 2012 Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. A cooperative effort between the Texas Department of State Health Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas National Guard and other local, state and federal agencies in an effort to eradicate and prevent reintroduction of the rabies virus, goals for 2012 include dropping more than 450,000 baits in South Texas during the 16 day mission. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez)
Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, holds a dose of the oral rabies vaccine, Raboral V RG, about to be dropped over the South Texas Zapata area during the 2012 Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. A cooperative effort between the Texas Department of State Health Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas National Guard and other local, state and federal agencies in an effort to eradicate and prevent reintroduction of the rabies virus, goals for 2012 include dropping more than 450,000 baits in South Texas during the 16 day mission. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez)
On January 6, 2012, Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment takes part in one of the many flights that assists in the aerial distribution of Raboral V RG, during a 16 day Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. With statistics showing a drastic reduction in rabies cases the goal of this program is to create zones of vaccinated coyotes and gray foxes along the leading edges of the epizootics stopping the spread of the virus. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).
On January 6, 2012, Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Petit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment takes part in one of the many flights that assists in the aerial distribution of Raboral V RG, during a 16 day Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. With statistics showing a drastic reduction in rabies cases the goal of this program is to create zones of vaccinated coyotes and gray foxes along the leading edges of the epizootics stopping the spread of the virus. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).

 

On January 6, 2012, Brig. Gen. William L. Smith, Director Joint Staff and Commander, Domestic Operations for Joint Force Headquarters of Texas (second from left) met with members of the Texas State Guard and received an overview of the annual Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program in Zapata, Texas. Since the program’s inception in 1995, more than 39 million doses of the oral rabies vaccine, Raboral V RG, have been distributed over approximately 540,000 square miles of Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).
On January 6, 2012, Brig. Gen. William L. Smith, Director Joint Staff and Commander, Domestic Operations for Joint Force Headquarters of Texas (second from left) met with members of the Texas State Guard and received an overview of the annual Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program in Zapata, Texas. Since the program’s inception in 1995, more than 39 million doses of the oral rabies vaccine, Raboral V RG, have been distributed over approximately 540,000 square miles of Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).
On January 6, 2012, Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Pettit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment takes part in one of the many flights that assists in the aerial distribution of Raboral V RG, during a 16 day Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. With statistics showing a drastic reduction in rabies cases the goal of this program is to create zones of vaccinated coyotes and gray foxes along the leading edges of the epizootics stopping the spread of the virus. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).
On January 6, 2012, Texas State Guard member, Corporal Paul Pettit of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment takes part in one of the many flights that assists in the aerial distribution of Raboral V RG, during a 16 day Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. With statistics showing a drastic reduction in rabies cases the goal of this program is to create zones of vaccinated coyotes and gray foxes along the leading edges of the epizootics stopping the spread of the virus. (U.S. Army photo by Laura L. Lopez).

Texas State Guard Announces Junior and Senior Enlisted Members of the Year

Texas State Guard Announces Junior and Senior Enlisted Members of the Year
COL Robert Hastings, PAO, TXSG
2011/12/12
AUSTIN, TX -- The Texas State Guard has announced its outstanding enlisted members of the year.

Cpl. Peggy Gutierrez, a civil affairs specialist with the 4th Civil Affairs Regiment in Denton and Staff Sgt. Robert Lewis, an NCO with the Texas Maritime Regiment in Dallas have been selected as the Texas State Guard (TXSG) Junior Enlisted and Senior Enlisted Members of the Year.

Gutierrez and Lewis were recognized by TXSG Commanding General Maj. Gen. Ray Peters during ceremonies at the annual holiday dinner Dec. 10th. “These two individuals represent what is best about the Texas State Guard and Texas Military Forces,” said Maj. Gen. Peters. “They are dedicated professionals who give their all for their fellow Texans. I’m proud to serve with them.”

Cpl. Gutierrez has been a member of the TXSG for about one year. During that time she was recognized as the Honor Graduate of her Basic Orientation Course, earned the Military Emergency Management Specialist qualification, and was selected for Officer Candidate School.

“Cpl. Gutierrez's participation and commitment to the Texas State Guard is unparalleled,” said Col. Howard Palmer, commander of the 4th Civil Affairs Regiment. “Cpl. Gutierrez has distinguished herself as both an exemplary soldier and a selfless community servant and leader. She has brought an unequaled drive to excel to the 4th Regiment. Cpl. Gutierrez hit the ground running, and hasn't slowed down yet.”

Staff Sgt. Lewis has served in a number of key leadership roles including Operations Officer, Logistics NCO, training instructor and member of the TXSG Joint Color Guard.

“Staff Sgt. Lewis has been and continues to be an inspiration to the entire Maritime Regiment,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Bodisch, commander of the Texas Maritime Regiment (TMAR). “His determined and gifted leadership, dedication and military bearing combined with his talent as an instructor place him above all others. Staff Sgt. Lewis is a role model to us all.”

The Texas State Guard is one of four 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, the Texas Air National Guard and th4 Adjutant General’s Department.

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.

2nd Regiment Assists in Coat Distribution more then 1,600 families get coats for kids

2nd Regiment Assists In Coat Distribution More than 1,600 families get coats for kids
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2011/11/08
ROUND ROCK, Texas – For nearly a decade, the Texas State Guard’s 2nd Regiment has supported the work of the Round Rock Area Serving Center’s “Coats for Kids” project. With winter approaching, more than 1,600 families received coats for their children.

“We’re honored to stand alongside the Serving Center in making sure kids are ready for winter,” said Col. Frank Woodall, commanding officer of the 2nd Regiment. “It’s another way our men and women in the Texas State Guard can give back to our communities.”

The coat distribution was made available to families facing touch economic choices this winter. And the weather for the distribution day at Dell Diamond set the tone.

“It was near freezing when the volunteers and TXSG personnel arrived, so it was no stretch to imagine the hardship the kids would be facing in a couple months without appropriate clothing,” added Lt. Col. Peyton Randolph, who commands the regiment’s 2nd Battalion.

Throughout the morning, more than a dozen TXSG Soldiers helped shoppers find the right line to stand it, while also assisting the” Coats for Kids” volunteers with crowd control near the tables handing out coats, caps, scarves and stuffed animals. They also escorted families through the various stations where they picked up cold-weather clothing for their children.

“The Serving Center is all about practically helping families in a temporary bind, and that’s something the Soldiers in the State Guard can identify with completely,” said Randolph. “Supporting them annually in this way is frankly a highlight of our year.”

When the event ended at 11 am, the TXSG Soldiers remained to reorganize the undistributed items, and box them for return to the RRASC’s facilities. Central Texas families who could not participate in Saturday’s giveaway are welcome to visit the RRASC offices before the end of December to pick up needed items.

Texas Maritime Regiment 2BN Dive team step up Mission Readiness

Texas Maritime Regiment 2BN Dive Teams Step up Mission Readiness
LT Dale Laine, TMAR Public Affairs Officer
2011/10/31

Photo of dive team in tranining
PO1 John Arnn and GySgt Clayton Cormack are adjusting SCPO Gary Wilson’s equipment.Photo by ENS Frank S. Hooton

Five members of the Texas Maritime Regiment (TMAR) 2nd Battalion’s Dive, Rescue and Recovery (DR&R) teams achieved diver second class status by completing the requisite dive training evolutions as well as attaining the advanced open water civilian certification.

The stepped up recognition means two new elite teams have made a giant step towards fulfilling one of TMAR’s primary missions - supporting Texas Parks and


Additionally, the DR&R teams will now be ready to respond during emergencies such as flooding that affects local communities and traps residents, or during search and recovery operations for missing boaters and swimmers. Wildlife officers on state lakes and rivers.

Members of the teams must achieve a minimum of third class diver to be eligible to join, and then and then commit to train towards first class designation.

Applications for the teams are being accepted from qualified members of the Texas State Guard. If you think you have what it takes to make the teams, please contact the Maritime Regiment for full details and qualifications needed.

’SaberCats’ Get New Commander

’SaberCats’ Get New Commander
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2011/08/20
 

Photo of MAJ Alfred Sustaita, Jr., recieving the colors from COL Frank Woodall
MAJ Alfred Sustaita, Jr., receives the colors from COL Frank Woodall in the 1st Bn, 2 Regt, change of command ceremony in San Marcos. Sustaita takes over the SaberCats from CPT Robert Purcell.Photo by MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG

1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment Changes Command
SAN MARCOS, Texas - A new commander of the Texas State Guard’s 1st Battalion, 2nd Civil Affairs Regiment took charge today in a Change of Command ceremony held at the armory in San Marcos.

The battalion includes more than 50 TXSG soldiers working in and around Hays County, though some - like new commander Maj. Alfred Sustaita Jr. - travel across the state to drill with what is known as the “SaberCats” battalion.

The outgoing commander is Capt. Robert Purcell. He has spent more than 36 years serving the state and nation. He first entered the United States Army in 1968 and retired in 1988, assigned to duties in the infantry, logistics and military intelligence. He and his family settled in San Marcos in 1992. He was soon invited to join the TXSG and assumed command of what was then known as Company A, 4th Battalion, 1st Regiment.

“The men and women with whom I’ve served in the Texas State Guard have been remarkable soldiers,” said Purcell. “Every single one has demonstrated time and again a passion for serving their fellow Texans.”

Purcell has held numerous positions in the TXSG, and was involved in the realignment of units following deployment for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Along with his many awards from his time on active duty with the US Army, he has also been awarded the Senior Military Emergency Management Specialist badge, the Texas Outstanding Service medal and three Texas Medals of Merit for his service in the Texas State Guard.

Maj. Sustaita enlisted in the TXSG in 1989, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. In December 1993, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University, graduating in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Science.

Among Maj. Sustaita’s awards and decorations is the Texas Medal for Merit, the Adjutant General’s Individual Award, the Commanding General’s Individual Award, the Humanitarian Service Award, the Texas Faithful Service Medal, the Texas State Guard Service Medal, the TXSG General’s Staff badge, and the Basic Military Emergency Management Specialist badge.

Out of uniform, he serves as Program Director and Professor of Occupational Health and Safety Technology at San Jacinto College. Sustaita lives in Alvin with his wife and son.

The change of command ceremony is an important part of military tradition that symbolizes the change of the Commanding Officer of a military unit in a formal ceremony that can be traced back to Roman times. This ceremony emphasizes the continuity of leadership and unit identity despite changes in individual authority. This transfer of authority is physically represented by the passing of the Unit Colors, the tangible symbol of the unit, from the outgoing commander to the new commander.

Sustaita said he is honored to carry on the tradition of excellence started by Purcell.

“The success we have in the future working on behalf of Texans will be connected directly to the hard work and dedication of Capt. Purcell,” said Sustaita. “My job as battalion commander will be to ensure they remain prepared to successfully fulfill the missions we’re presented.”

Operation Lone Star Treats Thousands in South Texas

Operation Lone Star Treats Thousands in South Texas
COL Robert Morecook, Texas State Guard Public Affairs
2011/08/11
CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, Texas – Operation Lone Star (OLS) provided approximately 53,000 medical services to almost 10,000 patients during a two-week period as part of a public health exercise and humanitarian mission in South Texas.

The Texas Military Forces, led by the Texas State Guard, supported the Texas Department of State Health Services during this 13th annual mission. Col. Don Prince, the military commander for OLS stated, “Operation Lone Star is an exceptional opportunity for Texas Military Forces and public health officials to strengthen community relations and further develop interagency cooperation while training for real world disasters.”

Seven medical sites offered free services to thousands of underserved residents along the southern border of Texas, with assistance from the U.S. Public Health Service and county and local health departments. The mission was successfully completed on Friday, Aug. 5.

Lines started forming early each day for the clinics in Brownsville, San Juan, Mission, Rio Grande City, Laredo, Hebbronville and Rio Bravo. The clinics ran from July 25 to Aug. 5, with specific dates varying by site.

Each OLS site was a complete well health clinic as well as a medical treatment facility. Patients’ heights, weights and medical histories were taken. Blood pressures were checked. Blood samples were screened for diabetes, and immunizations were given. There were stops for nutrition education and for vision and glaucoma screening before a patient would see a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant, if needed.

Texas residents benefitted from the free medical services, making the event extremely popular and successful among the persons attending. For long-term medical care, many patients were sent home with written prescription in hand, usually for a low cost generic medication at a local pharmacy.

As well as helping the citizens of South Texas, many of whom are medically uninsured and thus do not have access to regular medical care, the clinics gave Texas Military Forces and other public health organizations the chance to collaborate in running temporary medical care facilities.

When disasters happen in Texas, frequently hurricanes, large treatment clinics may be required. Exercises such as Operation Lone Star allow public health agencies to hone their skills in advance of disasters.

By preparing in advance for disasters, exercises such as Operation Lone Star are designed to protect the health of Texas and its citizens.

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 Department of Health Services and Texas Military Forces Jointly Train for Disaster Response

Texas Department of Health Services and Texas Military Forces Jointly Train for Disaster Response
Spc. Luke Elliott, 100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
2011/08/04

Photo of PFC Kyle O'Boyle of the Texas State Guard taking the pulse of Christa Benavides
PFC Kyle O’Boyle of the Texas State Guard takes the pulse of Christa Benavides at Operation Lone Star 2011 in Laredo TX. Operation Lone Star is the nation’s largest humanitarian military exercise. It takes place each summer in the Rio Grande Valley and provides free medical care for two weeks for all who walk in. It’s also training for these soldiers and airmen for disaster response in Texas. It’s a joint project of the Texas Military Forces plus federal, state and local health agencies.Photo by COL Robert Morecook, JTF-OLS PAO, TXSG

LAREDO, Texas—Some describe it as a disaster response exercise, while others call it the nation’s largest humanitarian medical mission. The reality is that Operation Lone Star is both.

On Aug. 1, Operation Lone Star, a 13-year, annual tradition in Southern Texas, began its second week of providing health care services to people living near Laredo, Hebbronville, and Rio Bravo, Texas.

The Texas Department of State Health Services supported by the Texas State Guard, Texas Army and Air National Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, and country and local municipalities are collaborating for the exercise. Operation Lone Star is a real-world, emergency response exercise that allows first-response agencies and organizations to prepare for potential disasters while at the same time providing free medical care to those in need along the Texas border.

More than 400 military members, 300 federal, state and county employees and a myriad of volunteers united for the exercise, which started July 25 and ends Aug. 5. It provides a variety of medical services to include immunizations, sports physicals, blood pressure screenings, vision exams, pharmaceutical service, medical referrals, ministry services and preventative health education.

Operation Lone Star workers and volunteers provided more than 36,000 health services to about 5,950 people during the first week of the exercise, which was held in several Texas cities to include Brownsville, San Juan, Mission and Rio Grande City.

“We are providing free healthcare to the surrounding communities, those that are in underprivileged areas and those that do not have access on a day-to-day basis to affordable healthcare,” said Capt. Daniel Sem, a second-year, Operation Lone Star veteran. He is serving as the Texas Army National Guard officer in charge at the Laredo Operation Lone Star site. “I came away last year, and I trust I will come away this year, feeling like we did a job well done out here. We got a mission and a purpose and made an impact on the community.”

One of Capt. Sem’s Soldiers, Spc. LaRee Lennox, 162nd Area Support Medical Company, a Texas Army National Guard unit from San Antonio, Texas, said that since a lot of people here could not afford healthcare or insurance, this event helped provide much needed annual checkups and immunizations.

“I think it’s awesome that we’re helping,” said Lennox. “Everybody should have a chance to be healthy and get checked out, so I think it’s a good thing.”

While providing medical care is a major focus of the event, the other purpose is to prepare disaster response agencies and organizations in case an emergency situation, such as a hurricane landfall, emerges.

“The training that we get in running a non-disaster exercise like this prepares us for working together in disaster situations,” said Col. Robert Morecook, public affairs officer for the Medical Brigade of the Texas State Guard. “We get to know each other’s capabilities. We get to know each other’s personalities. We get to see where the strengths and the weaknesses are in our organization in a situation before a real disaster happens.”

This real-world training exercise is an important part of emergency preparedness for the Texas Military Forces and other agencies that may respond to hurricanes and other disasters.

“The training value from this is invaluable because when we have an emergency situation, a hurricane, a fire, a flood, whatever could happen, it’s better to learn it here in a controlled environment, a nonemergency environment, where we can come together and work out all the different hiccups and kinks in the system,” said Capt. Sem.

Operation Lone Star health care services will be available through Aug. 5 at the Laredo Civic Center at 2400 San Bernardo Ave. and at Hebbronville High School at 210 Longhorn Lane in Hebbronville, Texas. Services will also be provided Aug. 3-4 at the Rio Bravo City Hall at 1701 Centeno Ln. in Rio Bravo, Texas.

Texas State Guard Leadership Visits Operation Lone Star

Texas State Guard Leadership Visits Operation Lone Star
Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain, 149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
2011/07/29

Photo of Maj. Gen. John Nichols touring the Medical Point of Dispensing (MPOD)
Maj. Gen. John Nichols, Texas’ Adjutant General, tours an Operation Lone Star Medical Point of Dispensing (MPOD) site with Ms. Chelsea Buchholtz, military liaison from the Office of the Governor, and Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters (right), commanding general of the Texas State Guard, at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in the Rio Grande Valley on July 28, 2011.Photo by Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain, TXANG
Photo of Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters listening to Maj. Gen. John Nichols.
Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, Commanding General of the Texas State Guard, listens to Maj. Gen. John Nichols, Texas’ Adjutant General, address an audience at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School as a part of Operation Lone Star in the South Texas Rio Grande Valley on July 28, 2011.Photo by Staff Sgt. Eric L. Wilson, TXANG

SAN JUAN, Texas (July 28, 2011) – Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters and Brig. Gen. Charles Miller, Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the Texas State Guard, respectively, joined Maj. Gen. John Nichols, Texas’ Adjutant General, for a tour of Operation Lone Star Medical Point of Dispensing (MPOD) site at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in the Rio Grande Valley, today.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) leads the jointly operated event with the Texas State Guard, as well as other public health agencies.

For the 13th consecutive year, Operation Lone Star provides the state of Texas a unique inter-agency training environment to prepare for disaster relief and emergency management. Additionally, the effort provides medical care to a historically underserved population in the state with no direct cost to the patient.

Texas State Guard assets deployed for Operation Lone Star include physicians, nurses, other medical providers, and medics, as well as security, chaplains, attorneys, and public affairs.

During the previous Operation Lone Star in 2010, services were provided to 12,000 border area residents, and over 100,000 have been cared for during the program’s 12-year history.

During the visit, Maj. Gen. Nichols said, “We’re practicing what we’re designed to do, with all of our inter-agency partners,” and that Operation Lone Star is “an opportunity for us to join together and give something back to Texas.”

TXSG 1st Regiment Changes Command

TXSG 1st Regiment Changes Command
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
2011/06/12
BROWNWOOD, Texas – A new commander of the Texas State Guard’s 1st Regiment took charge today in a ceremony at the Texas Military Forces training facility at Camp Bowie.

Photo of Change of Command
BG Manuel Rogriguez passes the 1st Regiment colors to LTC Chuck Brewton in the Change of Command ceremony that took place at Texas Military Forces tranining center at Camp Bowie on Sunday as outgoing 1st Regiment commander COL Raul Gonzalez, left, and CSM Joe Trevino look on.Photo by Sgt. Timothy Pruitt, TXSG

Including soldiers from New Braunfels/San Antonio to the Valley, the 1st Regiment has been commanded by COL Raul Gonzalez of Laredo, since 2006. He is being transferred to TXSG headquarters in Austin. The new commander is LTC Chuck Brewton of San Antonio.

“Serving with the men and women of the 1st Regiment has been a pleasure and honor,” said COL Gonzalez. “I look forward to continue serving them in my new capacity.”

1st Regiment is one of six in the TXSG's Army Component. The other TXSG components are the Air Division, Maritime Regiment and Medical Brigade. The TXSG, commanded by MG Ray Peters, is part of the Texas Military Forces, which includes the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

The Army Component is commanded by BG Manuel “Tony” Rodriguez, to whom LTC Brewton will report.

Brewton has served as Gonzalez's executive officer since March. He entered the TXSG in 2003.

“COL Gonzalez leaves some big shoes to fill,” said LTC Brewton. “The heart and soul of the Texas State Guard are the men and women serving their neighbors and fellow Texans, so as commander of 1st Regiment my job is to make sure they have the tools and training needed to do it.”

Organizationally, the 1st Regiment of the TXSG includes three battalions and a Quick Response Team.

BG Rodriguez said he is pleased LTC Brewton would step up as the regiment's commander.

“He has a real heart and passion not only for the state guard, but also the soldiers in the 1st Regiment, their families and the people who live in South Texas and the Valley,” said Rodriguez