Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment conducts drill, locates downed aircraft

Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment conducts drill, locates downed aircraft
STEFANIE THOMAS
2010/04/10

Sgt. Corey Lewis, of Plano, and Petty Officer Carl Clary, of Madisonville, conduct a side-by-side search of Lake Houston waters in an effort to recover aircraft debris during a training exercise April 10. Both are members of the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment (TMAR) 1st Battalion Rescue Dive Team.
Sgt. Corey Lewis, of Plano, and Petty Officer Carl Clary, of Madisonville, conduct a side-by-side search of Lake Houston waters in an effort to recover aircraft debris during a training exercise April 10. Both are members of the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment (TMAR) 1st Battalion Rescue Dive Team.

With ’go-bags’ at the ready all hours of the day and night, and dedicated members prepared to drop their daytime jobs for however long it may take, two hours is all it takes to get the Texas State Guard mobilized in the event of an emergency.

Saturday's drill at Lake Houston’s Anderson Park, the site of the Houston Police Department Lake Patrol in Huffman, took six months of planning, but the scenario was all too real as more than 60 men and women in fatigues and police garb swarmed the shore line and waters of Lake Houston in search of the remnants of a downed Air Force drone plane.

“This is a joint operation between the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment, the Texas Air Guard, and the Galveston Police Department,” said Solomon Cook, public information officer and petty officer in the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment 1st Battalion, locally known in his role as Humble Independent School District chief of police. “The scenario is that an Air Force aircraft has crashed into Lake Houston and now we’re attempting to recover the plane and any debris. We actually sank parts of a plane in the lake.”

ALL ABOARD

While divers conducted a side-by-side search of the 58-degree waters, a 3-acre area flanked by a peninsula and far off from civilian fishermen and jet-skiers, Galveston PD Marine Division officers used a side-scan sonar to map the bottom of the lake and pinpoint objects possibly related to the crash. The aircraft debris hidden on the lake bottom was donated by the Lone Star Flight Museum.

“We can see items down there and send divers to determine if it’s the debris we’re looking for,” said John Courtney with the Galveston PD, adding that the $3,000 sonar equipment was only recently purchased with funds raised through DVD sales of Hurricane Ike footage. “In Galveston, we plan on using the equipment to locate bodies, vehicles, sunken vessels, and large pieces of evidence. We get about six to 10 calls like that a year.”

Senior airman Scott Hart has taken up his post on the pier. His public announcement system, a medium-sized loud speaker that generates nearly 40 pre-recorded ultra-loud audio files, can be heard across the lake at homes two miles away.

“We can use this equipment to warn ships, vehicles and people away to keep them from interfering with our mission and for their own safety,” Hart explained. “It can also be used during times of civil unrest, when we might be dealing with a large crowd.”

Also assisting in the search for debris are Charles Ashton and his crew. As a member of the Columbia Center, a regional geospatial service center affiliated with Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Ashton’s job is to generate maps of the area utilizing GIS and GPS - onsite.

“It’s very important to know where things are and to put them in a spatial setting so the commanders in control have all the information they need to make decisions while the event is going on,” he said. “We make the maps right here, in a trailer, with Air Force equipment. We’re completely mobile and self-contained. We have our own power, our own data, and within 10 to 20 minutes, we can be fully operational.”

As Ashton maps the terrain and Courtney monitors the lake bottom, Sgt. Raymond Winkler of the 447th Air Support Group Texas State Guard Security Forces instructs his team to keep onlookers at bay, protect communications equipment and search the ground for aircraft debris during the search and rescue/recovery mission.

“Our team performs security around the perimeter of the scene to prevent unauthorized persons from coming in and picking up souvenirs, since it would be sensitive materials,” he said. “We also protect our assets to make sure it doesn’t walk off. Our airmen come out and we set up the search pattern. We walk that search pattern and any debris we might find is marked. We enter everything in the computer and use the GIS/GPS system to lay out a debris field.”

The crackle of the radio is constant, and the orders come in quick succession. Actors pose as civilians trying to breach security; two young girls are missing their father. The scenario is interspersed with many variables.

“Finding a body, for example, will get the chaplain involved,” said Wayne Hogard, commanding officer for the TMAR 1st battalion. Injuries are also part of the scenario, as are missing persons, and bring out the medical team. “We try to get as many people involved as possible.”

John Hesse, the training and operations officer for the 1st Battalion TMAR, said the planning of the drill involved covering every detail from organizing an incident command system, communicating with the national emergency and military emergency management systems, to ensuring civilian safety and plotting activities.

“The idea is to overwhelm the teams and see how they act under stress,” he said. “The better they train now, the better they will perform when an emergency actually happens.”

NO WEEKEND WARRIORS

Cook said some people may think of the Texas State Guard as “weekend warriors,” but nothing could be further from the truth.

“We are trained professionals,” he said. “And even though you may have a combination of people who work in law enforcement, engineering, or as chemical operators, we all bring our abilities and talents to the table in the best effort of helping our state.”

The cooperation among agencies was inspired by the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in 2003, when the shuttle disintegrated over Texas shortly before it concluded its 28th mission during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

“The Columbia disaster was a good guiding force on how things like this need to be done,” said Hesse. “We expanded on that process, created some policies and procedural system on how to get flight plans, utilize the algorithms the Columbia Center has, use information about air speed and altitude to figure out where the aircraft parts should be.”

Hogard said Texas State Guard members serve in a volunteer function until, or unless, the governor of Texas gives orders to deploy the force. Beginning in May, TMAR will be called upon to assist the coast guard, beefing up numbers.

The regiment, Cook said, communicates via e-mail and cell phone. Each member is in possession of a primary and secondary cellular phone. Members are also required to keep a ‘go-bag’ handy at all times, filled with three days worth of supplies, including food, water and clothing.

“We are part of the Texas military system. We are a recognized state agency and we have a monthly drill and training, like the reserves or state guard units,” Cook said. “When an individual decides to participate it’s at least a one-year commitment, and if they have no prior military experience they undergo training. They’re not just handed a uniform.”

Cook said monthly meetings and drills are held at the armory in LaPorte off Spencer Highway. Upon signing up for the Texas State Guard, prospective members are given a choice of participating in the Texas Air Guard, the Texas Army, or TMAR (Texas Maritime Regiment).

Cook, who has served as Humble ISD chief of police for about 6 years and worked for the Humble Police Department for 13 years prior, said he had no former experience in the military when he joined TMAR.

“Personally, I got started through friends,” he said, “wanting to do more to serve our state.” no former military. about 6 years cop, humble 14 years.

TXSG PAO's participate in 3rd Annual TXMF International PAO Conference

TXSG PAOs participate in 3rd Annual TXMF International PAO Conference
MAJ Michael Spraggins, PAO TXSG
2010/03/24

Texas Military Affairs 2010 Public Affairs Conference Workshop - Austin, Texas 22-24 February 2010
Texas Military Affairs 2010 Public Affairs Conference Workshop - Austin, Texas 22-24 February 2010

Military PAOs from Kansas, Chile, Florida, the Czech Republic, Alabama, Virginia and South Dakota along with TXMF Army, Air and TXSG were present for the Third Annual TXMF International PAO Conference, hosted by COL William Meehan, Director of Public Affairs, Texas Military Forces and his staff. In addition a number of civilians from Texas Governor’s Office of Emergency Management, ESGR, as well as numerous other civilian organizations were in attendance.

TXSG was well represented; by MAJ Michael Spraggins HQ, MAJ Janet Alvarez HQ, CPT Porshe 19REGT, 2LT Shawn James 5AW, SrA John Crowder 4AW and CPL Jason Marshburn 4REGT.

During the Conference it became readily apparent that no matter military or civilian, what branch of the service, what state, or what country, PAOs all face the same challenges of getting their story out to the public.

A tour and briefing at the JOC at Camp Mabry was included, with transportation provided by a TXMF UH-60 Blackhawk, from Bee Caves Armory to Camp Mabry and back.

TXSG PAOs also met with BG Charles Miller, Chief of Staff, during a tour of TXSG HQ, conducted by MSG Randy Hoffman, a full time employee of the HQ J-1 section.

The TXSG attendees also had a chance to meet with Chief Information Officer and Commander of the HQ J-6 section, COL Janice Bruno.

COL Bruno discussed the important roll that each unit PAO plays in helping spread the word in the local community about the good works their units do, thereby raising public awareness and assisting with recruiting.

One of the TXSG's own is in Haiti on a civilian (non-TXSG) Mission

One of the TXSG’s own is in Haiti on a civilian (non-TXSG) mission
MAJ Michael Spraggins, PAO TXSG
2010/02/18

Chaplain Fair with Mayor of Fort Liberte, Haiti on a civilian mission. Chaplain/Major Fair sometimes puts on different hats, he is also a Major and Chaplin with the Texas State Guard.
Chaplain Fair with Mayor of Fort Liberte, Haiti on a civilian mission. Chaplain/Major Fair sometimes puts on different hats, he is also a Major and Chaplin with the Texas State Guard.

Chaplain/Major Fair TXSG Chaplain, of Brownwood, Texas is in Haiti on a civilian mission known as “The Hope for Haiti Medical Mission” which is comprised of medical personnel from the Brownwood area.

Chaplain Fair said “his TXSG training and the real world experience when activated with the TXSG in his role as Chaplain during Hurricanes IKE and DOLLY, helped prepare him for this mission in Haiti”.

The Chaplain further indicated after seeing the destruction and suffering, he feels that Texas is blessed with having a dedicated group like the TXSG who stand ready assist their fellow Texans in time of need.

The military personnel of the TXSG give of their time, money and yes sweat to train and train hard to be prepared to live up to the TXSG motto “Texans Serving Texas”.

An article Chaplain Fair authored for the America Psychotherapy Association magazine can be accessed by clicking here.

Toy Drive Brings Christmas To Children's Hospital

Toy Drive Brings Christmas To Children's Hospital 
CPL Jason Marshburn
2010/01/30
On Saturday, 12 December 2009 Texas State Guard troops from multiple units and commands arrived at area children's hospitals to distribute toys for the first "Young Hero's Of The Guard" toy drive.

Conceived by COL Gerald Lemons, commander of the 4th Civil Affairs Regiment, the drive benefited sick and injured children enduring long term hospitalizations over the Christmas season. Over 2,000 toys were collected from over 40 locations around north Texas! The toys were then distributed to the Dallas-Fort Worth area children's hospitals: Cook Children's Hospital (Fort Worth), Texas Scottish Rite Hospital (Dallas), and Our Children's House at Baylor (Dallas).

"Our original goal was to collect 500 toys." said LTC Jerald Garner, Chaplain of the 4th Civil Affairs Regiment. Troops from the 4th Regiment distributed 336 toys at Cook's and left another 140.

Later that afternoon, at Ridgemar shopping center, Chaplain (1LT) David Fish, 2nd BN Chaplain, very ceremoniously gave 250 toys to the United States Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots" program. On Wednesday, December 16th, 250 toys were given to the Grand Prairie Police Department, with 2LT Rob Davis and CPL Jon David Wells representing the 4th Regiment.

The 19th Civil Affairs Regiment handed out toys at Our Children's House at Baylor and the 4th Air Wing handed out toys at Shriner's Children's Hospital.

4th Regiment troops deliver Christmas cheer to the children at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.Photo by PV2 Byron Sims
4th Regiment troops deliver Christmas cheer to the children at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
Photo by PV2 Byron Sims

4th Regiment troops deliver Christmas cheer to the children at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.Photo by PV2 Byron Sims

 

PO1 Gish Awarded Texas Medal of Merit and Junior Enlisted of the Year for 2009

PO1 Gish Awarded Texas Medal of Merit and Junior Enlisted of the Year for 2009
MAJ Michael Spraggins, TXSG PAO
2009/12/21

Major General Jose S. Mayorga (left) Adjutant General of Texas and Major General Raymond C. Peters (right) Texas State Guard Commanding award PO1 Michelle Gish TXSG Maritime Regiment two awards; 2009 Junior Enlisted of the Year, and the Texas Medal of Merit for lifesaving actions while on TXSG hurricane shelter duty during Hurricane IKE.
Major General Jose S. Mayorga (left) Adjutant General of Texas and Major General Raymond C. Peters (right) Texas State Guard Commanding award PO1 Michelle Gish TXSG Maritime Regiment two awards; 2009 Junior Enlisted of the Year, and the Texas Medal of Merit for lifesaving actions while on TXSG hurricane shelter duty during Hurricane IKE.

During the 2009 TXSG Holiday Dinner, Petty Officer First Class Michelle Gish had the unique distinction of being awarded the 2009 Junior Enlisted Member of the Year Award, as well as the Texas Medal of Merit for lifesaving actions during Hurricane Ike in 2008.

PO1 Michelle Gish began proudly serving the citizens of Texas as a member of the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment, (TMAR) 2nd Battalion-Delta Company in 2006. Currently she is tasked as an Intelligence Specialist, Delta Co. training instructor and recruiting assistant. PO1 Gish began her career with TMAR as a squad leader in Initial Entry Training and graduating Honor Cadet in 2007. Ms. Gish is a member of SGAUS member and has earned her Basic MEMS badge. She graduated Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Training, awarded the Texas Medal of Merit, and Junior Enlisted of the Year in 2009. Her deployments include Hurricane Gustav and Ike in the summer of 2008.

A proud native Texas, she was born in Victoria, Texas and graduated from Gladewater High School in 1982. Ms. Gish’s chosen profession of service to the citizens of Texas began in 1983 as a Police Telecommunications Operator and awarded the State of Texas 911 Commission’s Public Safety Telecommunications Operator of the year on Sept. 11, 1989 and Austin ISD Police Chief’s Award of Excellence in 2004. Obtaining her Peace Officer Commission in 1990, her assignments have included a School Resource Officer for 10 years where she taught the Junior Police Academy curriculum and served as cheerleading coach for two National Qualifier teams. In 1994 and 1995, Ms. Gish also served honorably as an Associate Municipal Court Judge for the City of Sunset Valley before returning to law enforcement as a Travis County Deputy Constable. She is presently with the Austin Police Department’s Special Operations-Airport Division. Ms. Gish is actively pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with minor emphasis in Psychology at Texas State University, maintaining a GPA of 3.67 and membership in Phi Theta Kappa. Ms. Gish has a total of 26 years as a field training officer in her various professional capacities and currently holds a Master Peace Officer Certification, an Instructor Certification, Special Investigator for Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Certification and a Mental Health Officer Certification through TCLEOSE. Ms. Gish is the wife of APD Sergeant Terry Gish, proud mother of TMAR’s SN Samantha Gish and daughter of Mike and CAPT Deana Lynne Abernathey, USNR.

Texas State Guard delivers to Santa Cop

Texas State Guard delivers to Santa Cop
Editor, Grand Prairie Reporter
2009/12/17

Officer Mark Calvert, left, takes a bag of toys from Corporal Wells of the Texas State Guard, Wednesday at police headquarters. Members of the Guard donated 300 toys to Santa Cop.
Officer Mark Calvert, left, takes a bag of toys from Corporal Wells of the Texas State Guard, Wednesday at police headquarters. Members of the Guard donated 300 toys to Santa Cop.

Members of the Guard donated 300 toys to Santa Cop.Members of the Texas State Guard helped the Grand Prairie Police Department’s Santa Cop make sure underprivileged families in Grand Prairie have a merry Christmas. The Guard delivered more than 300 toys Wednesday at the Grand Prairie Police Headquarters.

After hearing last week’s plea from Santa Cop for donations to fill this year’s request for assistance, talk radio station KLIF Program Director Steve Nicholl contacted the Texas State Guard to see if there were extra toys to share from its Christmas toy program, Young Heroes of the Guard.

Lieutenant Robert Davis, spokesman for the Texas State Guard, said members worked hard and collected more than 2,200 toys for the Scottish Rite Hospital, Our Children’s House and Cook’s Children Hospital.

“We were blessed enough to have more to give, more than those hospitals could really take and keep” Lt. Davis said. “So, we are here in Grand Prairie to help in their time of need.”

While loading the Guard’s donations, Bob Allen of Grand Prairie arrived with a SUV load of toys and a $500 check from the West End Charities of Dallas. He said the charity heard of Santa Cop’s problem and the West End had some extra it could donate.

Officer Mark Calvert said with the donations from the Texas State Guard and the West End Charities, “It’s going to put us over the top.”

He added that toys not distributed this year will be stored to “give us a start for next year” or could be used to help families should a disaster occur during the next year.

Debra Willis, Santa Spot coordinator, said thanks to the media getting the word out about the group’s problem, they now have enough hams and turkeys to provide a Christmas meal for each of the families.

This year’s distribution of the toys and food is December 17.

Original article formerly on the Grand Prairie Reporter web site.

8th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard, provides Support to Wings Over Houston Air Show

8th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard, provides Support to Wings Over Houston Air Show
1LT Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment Public Affairs, Texas State Guard
2009/11/04

A 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Soldier provides flight line crowd control in front of Commemorative Air Force Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “TEXAS RAIDERS”.Photo by 1LT Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment Public Affairs, Texas State Guard
A 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Soldier provides flight line crowd control in front of Commemorative Air Force Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “TEXAS RAIDERS”.Photo by 1LT Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment Public Affairs, Texas State Guard

ELLINGTON FIELD, HOUSTON, TX - Over 100 Soldiers of the 8th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard, helped make the 25th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show a success on Saturday Oct. 31 and Sunday Nov. 1 at Ellington Field in Houston, TX.

The Wings Over Houston Air Show draws approximately 50,000 visitors annually, and is organized as a celebration of patriotism and an educational event that provides community entertainment, aviation awareness, and military recruiting opportunities.

The 8th Civil Affairs Regiment Headquarters, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Battalion, Quick Reaction Team Detachment, and C4I Detachment soldiers devoted over 3,000 man-hours to its mission of gate access control, flight line crowd control, and crowd control during air show performances.

Members of the Texas State Guard Medical Brigade, Houston Group, provided medical support to the 8th Regiment during air show operations.

The Highlights of the 25th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet Tactical Demo Team, USMC AV-8 Harrier, USAF F-15E Strike Eagle, USAF A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II, USAF C-17 Globemaster III Demo, C-47 and C-17 Transport Heritage Flight, Air Force Heritage Flight, U.S. Coast Guard HH-65C Dauphin Helicopter Demo, Commemorative Air Force Tora! Tora! Tora! WWII Airpower Demo, the Horsemen P-51 Mustang Formation Team and many others.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly in formation over Ellington Field, Houston, TX, at the Wings Over Houston Air Show, while 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Soldiers provide flight line crowd control for thousands of participants.Photo by 1LT Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment Public Affairs, Texas State Guard
U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly in formation over Ellington Field, Houston, TX, at the Wings Over Houston Air Show, while 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Soldiers provide flight line crowd control for thousands of participants.Photo by 1LT Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment Public Affairs, Texas State Guard

The show’s security coordinator, Chris Hendon, said he was very impressed with the 8th Regiment’s handling of the visitors during the air show performances. The 8th Regiment’s assistance will be requested at next year’s show, Hendon said.

This is the 23rd Wings Over Houston Air Show the 8th Regiment has participated in.

Members of the public also expressed thanks to 8th Regiment soldiers for their patriotism and service to the State and to the Country.

The Texas State Guard (TXSG) is one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF), reporting to The Texas Adjutant General, Major General Jose S. Mayorga, located at Texas Military Forces HQ, Camp Mabry (Austin), Texas. The Commander in Chief of the Texas Military Forces is the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. The other two branches are the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) and the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG).

The Mission of the Texas State Guard is to provide highly trained soldiers for Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) by providing ready military forces during State Emergences to assist State and local authorities in homeland security, community service and with medical services.

HSC physician commands joint medical training exercise

HSC physician commands joint medical training exercise
HSC News
2009/09/09

Col. Charles Bauer, M.D., (right) rides in a Black Hawk helicopter to the different sites of Operation Lone Star, a joint military and civilian training exercise and community service project.
Col. Charles Bauer, M.D., (right) rides in a Black Hawk helicopter to the different sites of Operation Lone Star, a joint military and civilian training exercise and community service project.

Nearly 13,500 residents in nine South Texas communities received free medical and dental care July 27-Aug. 5 through Operation Lone Star, a joint military and civilian training exercise and community service project that is the largest humanitarian effort of its kind in the United States.

The project was led by Charles Bauer, M.D., a colonel in the Texas State Guard who is also a professor of surgery, emergency medicine and orthopedic surgery at the UT Health Science Center. He also is director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness & Biomedical Research here.

Collaborative effort

The annual event is a collaborative training exercise that was coordinated this year by the Texas State Guard Medical Brigade and included the Army National Guard Medical Command, the Air National Guard’s 136th Airlift Wing, as well as state health and human services agencies, county health departments, local service groups and civilian volunteers.

Mobilizing health care

“We conduct this training every year to help key personnel in our state prepare for natural disasters and other events that would involve a large-scale mobilization of health care providers,” Dr. Bauer said.“It is also a huge humanitarian event. There are people who come for free health services who don’t go to the doctor or dentist any other time of the year.”

Disaster exercise

The headquarters the first week was in Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley. The second week, Operation Lone Star moved to Laredo, where the leadership conducted a fast-action response team exercise in which equipment and personnel were moved quickly to Zapata to simulate response to a disaster.

“As a School of Medicine physician and longtime participant in medical preparedness in Bexar County, I was pleased to lead Operation Lone State,” Dr. Bauer said.“This operation was successful due to the preparation, dedication and professionalism of everyone involved.”

Draws interest of state leaders

Among the state leaders who visited the exercises were Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Sen. Eddie Lucio and David Lakey, M.D., commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“Besides the training and services we provided, we will use information from this exercise in research we are conducting on disaster response through our Center for Public Health Preparedness & Biomedical Research,” Dr. Bauer.

This is the 11th Operation Lone Star and the sixth year Dr. Bauer has been involved. Last year he was deputy commander.

Major General Raymond C. Peters Takes Command of the Texas State Guard

Major General Raymond C. Peters Takes Command of the Texas State Guard
MAJ J. Michael Spraggins, PAO, TXSG TMF
2009/08/01

The Texas Adjutant General MG Jose Mayorga promotes BG Raymond Peters to Major General
The Texas Adjutant General MG Jose Mayorga promotes BG Raymond Peters to Major General

Camp Mabry, Texas - On Saturday morning July 25, 2009, Major General Raymond C. Peters assumed command of the Texas State Guard from the outgoing Commanding General, LTG Christopher J. Powers. After assuming command, MG Peters outlined in his remarks his vision for the future of the Texas State Guard:

  • An organization whose members understand the meaning of “selfless service”. We fail if our organization becomes filled by individuals with “self serving agendas”.
  • An organization whose members place their personal priorities in this order: their moral & physical health, their family, their job & then their duty to the Texas State Guard.
  • An organization that continues to grow in members and meets the adjutant general’s deployment rate of 90%.
  • An organization that adheres to law and policy and is mentally, physically and educationally prepared to accept any mission in support of the citizens of Texas.
  • An organization that continues to create an environment where the contributions of our members are respected and we are the force of choice.

Major General Peters received his commission as a 2LT from the Texas National Guard Academy in June 1965. He has served in numerous units of the Texas Army National Guard to include Co C 112th Armor, 1st Battalion 133d Field Artillery, 2d Battalion (Airborne) l43d Infantry, 386th Engineer Battalion and the 111th Area Support Group. His most key assignments were as Commander, 386th Engineer Battalion, Commander, 142d Support Detachment (RAOC) and Deputy Director, Surface Maintenance Directorate, Texas Army National. Upon his retirement from the Texas Army National Guard in 1997, COL Peters joined the Texas State Guard as its full time Director and Chief of Staff. Governor Perry appointed COL Peters as Deputy Commander, Texas State Guard on October 2005, and was promoted to BG. On July 25 2009 BG Peters was promoted to MG and assumed command of the Texas State Guard.

MG Raymond C. Peters
MG Raymond C. Peters

MG Peters is a graduate of the United States Army Armor, Field Artillery, Engineer and Quartermaster Schools, the Infantry Advanced Course, and the United States Army Command and General Staff College. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

MG Peters’ awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (with 6 OLC), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Military Volunteer Outstanding Service Medal, Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal, Texas Outstanding Medal, Texas Medal of Merit and the Master Parachutist Badge.

MG Peters and his wife Mary live in Austin, Texas and have one daughter, Susan.

Article originally from VeteransToday.com, Texas State Guard Changes Command.

Camp Mabry Prepares For Next Hurricane With DICE

Camp Mabry Prepares For Next Hurricane With DICE
Elizabeth Cohen, Texas Military Forces Public Affairs
2009/06/08

Camp Mabry’s parade ground was transformed into a state-of- the art mobile communications park during the DICE exercise being conducted here June 1-4, 2009.Photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Wilson, Texas Military Forces Public Affairs
Camp Mabry’s parade ground was transformed into a state-of- the art mobile communications park during the DICE exercise being conducted here June 1-4, 2009.Photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Wilson, Texas Military Forces Public Affairs

Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas (June 8, 2009) – The Department of Defense Interoperability Communications Exercise, or DICE, was a four-day long event at Camp Mabry. This exercise included over 25 agencies participating on state, local and national levels, many of whom where communication experts who sought to test emergency communication through a simulation of hurricane conditions.

Situated on Camp Mabry’s parade field was a double line of vans, representing the first responders in the event of a natural disaster. Towards the center sat Sprint/Nextel’s Satellite Cell on Light Truck or SatCOLT, a vehicle designed to give a satellite-powered version of cell phone service to the hundred wireless handsets that Sprint had brought and charged for DICE. These were used in the exercise to simulate downed cell phone towers and snapped power lines.

“We are here to support the other units,” said Lee Martin, Raytheon Director of DoD Sales. He and his team ensured that the radio systems of the first responders were tied together, so they could talk to one another. “Everyone has their own system,” Martin added. “[but they] all have to talk on a common network.” Raytheon gear provided this synergy.

“This is what tax dollars get you,” said Cary Snyder, Technical Support Manager of Sprint’s Emergency Response Team, as he indicated the emergency response vans around his SatCOLT.

The inside of the vans were equipped with all the technology that each specific agency would need to complete their part in a natural disaster setting. Some, such as the Texas General Land Office, were visiting with communications consultants about upgrading their technology. “We are here to learn,” said Greg Pollock, Deputy Commissioner of Oil Spill Prevention and Response of the TGLO. He and his team were there to observe, and thus were not actively scripted into the exercise, Pollock added.

Chief Jack Colley, Division of Emergency Management, Office of the Governor, arrived on the final day of the exercise to discuss the objectives of DICE. “This exercise is extremely important because it shows the efforts of about eight years of not only funding but deployment of equipment across the state and our capability to work together as a team throughout the entire state of Texas. Our focus is on a single effort which is to provide a rapid and orderly response to any event,” Colley said.

Chief Colley was briefed on the event by Col. Kevin Turnbo, J6/Chief Information Officer. According to Col Turnbo, the DICE program consists of five phases: check-in, staging, training, and the breakdown and after-action report. Col Turnbo said that: “The after-action reports resulting from this training should prove invaluable to operators during the coming hurricane season.” The DICE exercise shows that many state, local and national organizations and first responders to disaster situations are gearing themselves up for the hurricane season.