Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Texas State Guard 8th Regiment Partners with Local Emergency Agencies During 2016 Annual Training

Texas State Guard 8th Regiment Partners with Local Emergency Agencies During 2016 Annual Training

Story by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall, PAO, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard

Posted:  March 3, 2016

HOUSTON - The 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, partnered with the 447th Air Support Group, 5th Air Wing, Texas State Guard, the Galveston County (Tex.) Office of Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, and Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR) during annual training in Galveston, Texas, and at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Texas, February 25-28, 2016.  The Texas State Guard conducts annual training to provide soldiers with the skills necessary to assist Texans during an emergency or disaster.

ground search
Spcs. Craig Mathison and Justin Herder, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, use pen and paper to communicate with a mock injured and hearing impaired passenger of a simulated helicopter crash during a ground search and rescue exercise on Pelican Island, Texas, February 26, 2016.  The Texas State Guard trains to provide skills, such as ground search and rescue, to Texans during an emergency or disaster anywhere in the state.  (Photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall, Texas State Guard/Released) 

The first exercise was a search and rescue after simulated helicopter crash with three people on board.  In coordination with Galveston County emergency management and TEXSAR, approximately 150 troops assembled on Pelican Island (Galveston County) to traverse 300 acres of chal-lenging terrain that included water, deep mud, and thickets as well as snakes and feral hogs.  

“This training is very important during an emergency or disaster when searching for and rescuing victims needs to be accomplished quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently,” stated Lt. Col. Gerry Levesque, Operations Officer, 8th Regiment.   

The troops conducted a grid search to locate the downed aircraft and passengers. Upon finding the crash site and rescuing the injured, they carried out a line search to find any debris from the crash.

“The members of the 8th Regiment demonstrated their versatility and competency as they worked through the different layers of the exercise,” observed Laura Norman, TEXSAR Gulf Coast Team Leader.  “The Texas State Guard is an incredible resource to the State of Texas and TEXSAR is honored to serve alongside these dedicated individuals.” 

The Texas State Guard is also trained to provide water, food, and other necessities to communities when a disaster, such as a hurricane, has occurred. 

water distribution
During a food and water distribution exercise, soldiers from the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 8th Regi-ment, Texas State Guard, hand out water to local residents of Galveston County during a mock disaster exercise at Spillway Park, Baycliff, Texas, February 27, 2017. The Texas State Guard is ready to provide skills such managing food and water distribution to Texans during an emergen-cy or disaster anywhere in the state.  (Photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall, Texas State Guard/Released) 

On Galveston Island, 8th Regiment soldiers practiced this service by setting up two water distribution points.  They handed out bottles of water, donated by the local HEB food store, to Galveston residents, who volunteered to assist with the exercise. 

At Ellington Field soldiers trained on mass care shelter management, another important service

setting up cots
Staff Sgt. Gregory Burris, 447th Air Support Group, 5th Air Wing, Texas State Guard, trains 8th Regiment soldiers on how to set up and arrange cots during a mass care shelter management ex-ercise at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Texas, February 27, 2016.   The Texas State Guard is ready to provide assistance, such as shelter management, to Texans during an emergency or disaster anywhere in the state.  (Photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall, Texas State Guard/Released) 

that the Texas State Guard provides during an emergency or disaster. Airmen from the 447th Air Support Group instructed the 8th Regiment on how to set up a shelter.  Simulating a shelter operation, soldiers set up an in processing section where guests register and receive information about the shelter, a dining section, guest sleeping quarters with cots, and a medical unit with an isolation area. 

Donald Sanford, American Red Cross representative, observed the shelter operations.  “I knew coming in that the Texas State Guard was well trained in the area of shelter management, and we at the Red Cross are extremely proud to work alongside with the Texas State Guard.  I know that no matter what the situation might be, the soldiers of the Texas State Guard have the training and talent to get the job done.” 

Col. Edwin A. “Buddy” Grantham, Commander, 8th Regiment, was pleased with the annual training.  “I am proud of the soldiers in my command. They each have individual skills and working together as a team with the skills practiced during the past few days will allow them to take care of each other and the people of Texas during an emergency or disaster. This training exemplifies our motto of ‘Texans Serving Texas.’”

Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment Trains in Erath County, Texas

Story by:  Spc. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment PAO

Posted On: January 30, 2016

STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Seventy-seven officers, warrant officers and enlisted soldiers from the Army Command Component’s 2nd Regiment traveled to north Texas to participate in a joint Texas State Guard exercise and engage in additional emergency response training at locations based out of Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, January 21-24, 2016.

Over a four-day period, the 2nd Regiment, under the command of Col. Robert Woodmansee, joined with the 4th and 19th regiments as well as elements from the Texas State Guard 3rd Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade, and 3rd Battalion Texas Maritime Regiment to train for possible natural or manmade disasters at various locations in Erath County, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Michael Mills, Spc. Adam Poncher, Spc. Kelly Bach, and 1st Lt. Lana Cameron, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, review registration documents at the mass care shelter at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Stephenville, Texas, January 22, 2016.  Mass care sheltering is an essential skill that the Texas State Guard can provide to assist local residents during an emergency. (Photo by Spc. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment/ Released)
Staff Sgt. Michael Mills, Spc. Adam Poncher, Spc. Kelly Bach, and 1st Lt. Lana Cameron, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, review registration documents at the mass care shelter at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Stephenville, Texas, January 22, 2016.  Mass care sheltering is an essential skill that the Texas State Guard can provide to assist local residents during an emergency. (Photo by Spc. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment/ Released)

The exercises around Erath County included a simulated hurricane disaster that spawned several tornadoes.  This disaster scenario provided soldiers with training experience in mass care sheltering and evacuations.  

“This training allows the 2nd Regiment to not only establish shelters, but also exercise the ability of our staff to plan, as well as react to changing scenarios in the local community,” stated Woodmansee.  

“The 2nd Regiment responded quickly to a simulated disaster in Stephenville, Texas.  We activated three mass care shelters.  Local residents, acting as role players seeking assistance, came to the shelters. Simultaneously, we conducted training in Ground Search and Recovery operations."

Soldiers from the 2nd Regiment traveled to regimental headquarters in Gatesville, Texas, while the advance team went on to the National Guard Army in Stephenville, Texas, January 21.  The main body of the regiment arrived in Stephenville, January 22.

Sgt. Susan Simmons, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, checks the blood pressure of a role player in a mock exercise at the mass care shelter at the Valley Grove Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas, January 22, 2016. Mass care sheltering is a skill that the Texas State Guard can provide to assist local residents during an emergency. (Photo by Spc. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment/Released)
Sgt. Susan Simmons, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, checks the blood pressure of a role player in a mock exercise at the mass care shelter at the Valley Grove Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas, January 22, 2016. Mass care sheltering is a skill that the Texas State Guard can provide to assist local residents during an emergency. (Photo by Spc. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment/Released)

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us not only to work with the people of Stephenville, but also to coordinate with numerous civilian agencies such as local law enforcement, emergency management services and the Red Cross,” noted Woodmansee.
    
At Tarleton State University the 2nd Regiment’s activities were based out of Wisdom Gymnasium at Tarleton.  Soldiers billeted there and used nearby classrooms to establish headquarters for the regiment and its three battalions. Upon arrival among the first activities were to set up radio communications and computer workstations in the tactical operation centers (TOCs). In addition a web-based emergency information management system called WebEOC was used to track movements and manage resource requests.

“This exercise was an excellent training to test our communications capability,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Darrell Prather, 2nd Regiment. “We had soldiers at the shelters communicating by radio with our regimental TOC and our TOC with the headquarters of the entire operation. This very much mimicked what we would have to do in a real-world situation, especially if cell towers were knocked out. We also tested our capability using WebEOC."

Upon arrival at Tarleton, the regiment's three battalions conducted a survey of local buildings and churches as possible sites for mass care shelters.  Then each battalion initiated shelter operations, January 22-23.  Locations included St Luke’s Episcopal Church, First Baptist Church and Valley Grove Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas. Each battalion had a shelter manager who supervised the set up space for the initial reception desk, check-in areas, sleeping areas for guests, and medical  facilities.  Local volunteers served as role players pretending to be evacuees needing shelter.

Pfc. Kristin Galaviz, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, practices radio communication during a points of distribution exercise at the First Presbyterian Church in Stephenville, Texas, January 23, 2016.  Providing food and water distribution points is a skill that the Texas State Guard can provide to assist local residents during an emergency. (Photo by Spc. Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment/Released)
Pfc. Kristin Galaviz, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, practices radio communication during a points of distribution exercise at the First Presbyterian Church in Stephenville, Texas, January 23, 2016.  Providing food and water distribution points is a skill that the Texas State Guard can provide to assist local residents during an emergency. (Photo by Specialist Stefan Wray, 2nd Regiment/Released)

In addition, each of the battalions set up a mock points of distribution where during an emergency soldiers would distribute food, water, and ice to local residents.   

Pfc. Kristin Galaviz, 2nd Regiment, stated that "with all our missions communications is very important to our day-to-day operations, including points of distribution.  I am working and training with the best communications team. We work as a team to troubleshoot and come up with solutions." 

Other soldiers trained in ground search and rescue at Hunewell Ranch, in Erath County.  Assisting in the training was Mark9 (K-9) Search and Rescue, Dallas, Texas, and Lone Star Search and Rescue (K-9) teams from Wylie, Texas.  These teams instructed soldiers on how to search with dog teams in support of search, rescue and recovery operations.

“The instructors and members were very enthusiastic and had the upmost dedication”, said Staff Sgt.Chris Gano. “Interaction with the K-9’s at the night exercise was a highpoint to the training.  Our soldiers have earned a well-deserved certification in search and rescue.”

Another training took place at the Tarleton Challenge Rope Course where soldiers had the opportunity to participate in confidence and leadership tasks. According to Tarleton State University officials, the course is designed to “provide training in the areas of problem solving, interpersonal skills, communications and values explored through a series of unique, solvable and incremental initiatives and elements.”

Lt. Col. Wendell Sadler, Executive Officer, 19th Regiment, and a Tarleton State University professor, was the principal organizer of the exercise.  "The university and Tarleton President Dottavio have generously hosted this training for the past six years.  Their hospitality has allowed us to train in the skills that we will need for an emergency."

On the final day of training, soldiers from all units and the Tarleton ROTC cadets braved cold weather at Tarleton's War Memorial to witness the commissioning ceremony for 2nd Lts. Scott McKinlay, 2nd Regiment, and Stephen Wenzel, 19th Regiment. McKinlay had completed the  Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School and Wenzel graduated from Texas A&M University  ROTC program. 

"As a recent graduate of the Officer Candidate School, I had the privilege of receiving some of the best leadership training provided by the Texas State Guard,” said McKinlay. “It has helped prepare me for the challenges ahead, but I was just honored to share the graduation ceremony with my family and the soldiers of the 2nd Regiment, whose support made it possible."

Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer Jr., Commander of the Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, told the soldiers that this training event "was one of the best exercises that I have seen in the Texas State Guard."

The Texas State Guard Assists With Dallas Charity Event

 

Collecting tickets
Cpl. Kendra.Neuendorff, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, collects tickets from guests during the Dallas Margarita Society Ball, Sheraton Hotel, Dallas, Texas, November 21-22, 2015.  This charity event collects toys for at risk children of the North Texas community.  Texas State Guard participation in community service events such as the Margarita Ball is an essential part of the Texas State Guard mission and exemplifies the Texas State Guard motto "Texans Serving Texans."  (Photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza, 19th Regiment, PAO/Released)

Story by:  Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer

Posted:  December 28, 2015

DALLAS - What has become an annual tradition, the 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, provided support to the organizers of the Dallas Margarita Society Ball, Sheraton Hotel, Dallas, Texas, November 21-22, 2015.  This charity event collects toys for at risk children of the North Texas community.

The regiment assisted the 13,000 guests with floor plan information, directions to various events at  the hotel, ticket collection, and elevator and escalator operations. 

The soldiers also conducted communications planning, risk assessments, and first aid.

Participation in community service events such as the Margarita Ball is an essential part of the Texas State Guard mission and exemplifies the Texas State Guard motto "Texans Serving Texans."  

Other groups assisting in the event were the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Dallas Police Department, EMS/EMT Medical Team, and Texas State Guard units from the 19th Regiment and the Texas Medical Brigade.

 

showing floor plans
Pfc. Michael Strader, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, assists a guest with venue information at the Dallas Margarita Society Ball, Sheraton Hotel, Dallas, Texas, November 21-22, 2015.  This charity event collects toys for at risk children of the North Texas community.  Texas State Guard participation in community service events such as the Margarita Ball is an essential part of the Texas State Guard mission and exemplifies the Texas State Guard motto "Texans Serving Texans."  (Photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza, 19th Regiment, PAO/Released)

A Child's Smile Brings Joy To All! Texas State Guard 4th Regiment "Young Heroes Of The Guard" Toy Drive a Success

Story by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG

Posted:  December 28, 2015

sorting gifts
4th Regiment soldiers sort hundreds of toys for children who are patients at Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas, December 12, 2015.  This annual "Young Heroes of the Guard" toy drive exemplifies the community service mission of the Texas State Guard. (Photo by Sgt. Byron Sims, 4th Regiment, TXSG/Released)
4th Regiment Toy Drive
4th Regiment soldiers delivered hundreds of toys to children who are patients at Cook Children's Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas, December 12, 2015.  This annual "Young Heroes of the Guard" toy drive exemplifies the community service mission of the Texas State Guard. (Photo by Sgt. Byron Sims, 4th Regiment, TXSG/Released)

FORT WORTH, Texas - With bundles of toys, the 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, surprised children at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, at the sixth annual Texas State Guard "Young Heroes of the Guard" Toy Drive, December 12, 2015. 

"Seeing these children at Cook smile with joy makes all 4th Regiment guardsmen smile with joy, too," commented Col. Alfred Sustaita, Commander of the 4th Regiment.

"Many of these children will be spending the holidays in the medical center.  And we are so privileged to bring cheer and happiness to the children.  This is a favorite event for the regiment.  We have more fun than anyone can imagine bringing toys here." 

This year the regiment delivered over 3,400 toys for children of all ages, including 300 collected at the Dallas Margarita Society Ball, Dallas, Texas, November 21, 2015 and 1,700 toys collected by 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard during its "Young Heroes of the Guard" toy drive, and hundreds of toys donated by the Marine Corps Reserves "Toys for Tots."  

"I am so happy to be helping these families at Cook during the holiday season and there is always welcoming smiles," commented Pfc. Matthew Gustavsen, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment.  "We try to make the critically ill children happy and we pick out special toys for them.  We learned that one little boy will not see another Christmas.  I felt sadness yet I was humbled that we could make this Christmas a happy one." 

Maj. Michael Potts, Executive Officer, 4th Regiment, spoke about a mother that he met on the hospital elevator.  "She thanked me for doing what we were doing. She said when her two-year son got the toy from the soldier, it was the first time since his operation that he smiled."
 
"All of these children are our heroes," stated 4th Regiment Chaplain (Capt.) David Fish, "and to bring smiles to the children is a real blessing to us all." "We are already looking forward to our 2016 toy drive."  Chaplain Fish is the guiding force for the 4th Regiment toy drive.

The generosity of Texans helped the 4th Regiment to fill up collection boxes all over Tarrant and surrounding counties.  Soldiers put collection boxes in businesses, restaurants, churches, schools, libraries, and many other places.

With the abundance of toys this year, Medical Center and Children’s Hospital will use the toys as holiday and birthday gifts for patients throughout the coming year.

The Texas State Guard annual "Heroes of the Guard" toy drive exemplifies the community service mission of the Texas State Guard.

Houston Area Texas State Guardsmen Deliver Holiday Cheer to Children

Story by:  Capt. Shawn James, 447th Air Support Group 5th Air Wing, PAO and Warrant Officer Malana Nall, 8th Regiment, PAO

Posted:  December 24, 2015

Delivering toys
Texas State Guard 8th Regiment, Army Component Command, soldiers Sgt. Sasha Shepard and Staff Sgt. Anna Reyes presented Patrick with new toy trucks while he recovers in Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas, December 21, 2015.  Texas State Guard soldiers from Houston area units collected 3,658 toys for hundreds of children.  This annual toy drive is a community service event provided by the Texas State Guard across the state to bring joy to children who will spend the holidays in the hospital.  (Photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall, 8th Regiment, TXSG, PAO/Released)

HOUSTON - Santa got a lot of  help from the Texas State Guard Army Component Command 8th Regiment, 5th Air Wing 447th Air Support Group, and the Texas Maritime Regiment 1st Battalion by delivering Christmas toys to children aged 2 months to 16 years old in Houston area hospitals, December 21, 2015.

Delivering toys
Texas State Guard soldiers, Sgt. Sasha Shepard, Staff Sgt. Anna Reyes, Sgt. Greg Illich, 8th Regiment Army Component Command, Tech. Sgt. Rhueben Towne, 447th Air Support Group, 4th Air Wing, Pvt. Dwayne Holt, 8th Regiment, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Horowitz,  1st Battalion, Texas Maritime Regiment, delivered Christmas toys to Everett at a Houston area children's hospital, who was also celebrating her birthday, December 21, 2015.  Texas State Guard soldiers from Houston area units collected 3,658 toys for hundreds of children.  This annual toy drive is a community service event provided by the Texas State Guard across the state to bring joy to children who will spend the holidays in the hospital.  (Photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall, 8th Regiment, TXSG, PAO/Released)

In total, the Houston area Guardsmen collected 3,658 toys for the "Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive" and delivered the toys to children at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital and Shriner's Hospital for Children-Houston.

Tech. Sgt. Rhueben Towne, 447th Air Support Group, coordinated the toy drive and worked with local hospitals and Houston area Texas State Guard units to set up collection points all over the city.

Towne's wife, Charlotte, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Horowitz, Texas Maritime Regiment 1st Battalion,  and Pvt. Dwayne Holt, 8th Regiment, collected almost 700 toys by themselves.  Houston schools and businesses and the residents of Houston donated hundreds of toys.  

Sugar Land Fire Station No. 6, Sugar Land, Texas, kindly allowed the Guardsmen to sort the toys by age groups in the fire station.

At the first hospital the soldiers, acting as Santa's elves, went room to room and into the emergency room at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital delivering toys and visiting with children and their families. They left toys in the children's play area, leaving enough toys to last until next year.  

The soldiers not only delivered toys but also sang Happy Birthday to one patient who was celebrating his seventh birthday.  

delivering toys
Cpl. Justin Stanton, 8th Regiment, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, delivers a new toy truck to two-year-old Mason during the "Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive" at a Houston area children's hospital, December 21, 2015.  Mason was the first child in the hospital to receive a toy this year.  Texas State Guard soldiers from Houston area units collected 3,658 toys for hundreds of children.  This annual toy drive is a community service event provided by the Texas State Guard across the state to bring joy to children who will spend the holidays in the hospital.  (Photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall, 8th Regiment, TXSG, PAO/Released)

"It was a great experience to see all three Texas State Guard units come together and bring joy to the faces of the children," commented Tech. Sgt. Towne.  "We will take as much time as necessary from toy pickups to delivering toys to make the holiday a special time for the children."

At Shriners Children’s Hospital, soldiers delivered 1,200 toys so that the hospital staff could set up its version of Christmas shopping for the families of patients. Parents will be able to look for just the right gifts for their children.  Then the hospital staff will wrap each toy and Santa will deliver the toys on Christmas morning.  

"It means a lot to our patients," commented Elizabeth Ferrer, a representative of Shriners Children's Hospital.  "The greater meaning is that the kids know someone outside the hospital is thinking of them."

At Texas Children's Hospital, soldiers delivered hundreds of toys that the hospital staff and Santa will hand out to the children at a party Christmas Day.

loading toys
Texas State Guard soldiers from Houston area units collected 3,658 toys during the "Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive." Soldiers from the 8th Regiment, 1st Lt. Skip Matthews, Staff Sgt. Anna Reyes, Cpl. Justin Stanton and Sgt. Sasha Shepard, loaded the toys into the delivery truck bound for three Houston area children's hospitals, December 21, 2015.  This annual toy drive is a community service event provided by the Texas State Guard across the state to bring joy to children who will spend the holidays in the hospital.  (Photo by: Capt. Shawn James, 447th Air Support Group, 4th Air Wing, TXSG,  PAO/Released)

With all the toys finally delivered, Chaplain Douglas Richardson (Lt. Cmdr.), Texas Maritime Regiment, felt humbled by the experience.  "As chaplain, it is a privilege to share the real meaning of giving and the spirit of soldiers of the Texas State Guard."   

Wings Over Houston: A Texas State Guard Tradition

Story by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall

Posted: November 2, 2015

Flight line safety
Texas State Guard 8th Regiment soldiers provide safety instructions to visitors along the flight line and around vehicle movement during the Wings Over Houston Airshow at Ellington Field, Houston, October 17-18, 2015.  The Texas State Guard provides essential services, such as shelter management, traffic management, and food and water supplies, to Texans during a disaster or emergency. (Photo by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall, Texas State Guard Public Affairs/Released) 

HOUSTON - For almost thirty years the Texas State Guard has provided logistical, operational, and medical support to the Wings Over Houston Airshow.  Working alongside the Commemorative Air Force and local law enforcement, soldiers from the Texas State Guard Army Component 8th Regiment, 447th Air Wing, Maritime Regiment 2nd Battalion, and Medical Brigade 2nd Battalion guided visitors through entrance and exit gates, supplied information on airshow venues, and offered other assistance to ensure that the 50,000 visitors had an enjoyable time at Ellington Field, Houston, October 17-18, 2015. 

This community event allowed the soldiers to hone their mission-essential skills, such as shelter management, food and water distribution, radio communications, and medical support.  Soldiers practiced working together in a joint operation with different units of the Texas State Guard.  These skills are necessary to support residents and local communities during a disaster or emergency, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding.

Recruiters
Texas State Guard recruiters from different components band together to man a recruiting booth at the Wings Over Houston Airshow at Ellington Field, Houston, October 17-18, 2015.  Recruiters provide information about the Texas State Guard and its mission. The Texas State Guard provides essential services, such as shelter management and food and water supplies, to Texans during a disaster or emergency. (Photo by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall, Texas State Guard Public Affairs/Released)

Soldiers had a great time, too.  They handed out candy and ear plugs.  They set up a recruiting tent in front of the 447th Air Wing communications trailer, where children enjoyed trying on Texas State Guard caps, boots, and equipment belts.

Veteran
Texas State Guard Sgt. Gregory Illich, 8th Regiment, talks with a U.S. Marine veteran from Houston during the Wings Over Houston Airshow at Ellington Field, Houston, October 17-18, 2015.  The Texas State Guard assisted visitors with airshow information and entering and exiting the airfield.  The Texas State Guard provides essential services, such as shelter management and food and water supplies, to Texans during a disaster or emergency. (Photo by: Warrant Officer  Malana, Texas State Guard Public Affairs/Released)

Two 8th Regiment soldiers, Staff Sgt. Cheryl Lemmings and Sgt. Sasha Shepard, volunteered to escort  children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to a VIP tent to watch the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds practice that day. Lemmings and Shepard spent time meeting the children and their parents and answering questions about the Texas State Guard.

Col. Edwin Grantham, commander, 8th Regiment, explained that "the job here is part of our support to civil authorities.  We want Texans to have a high confidence level in our ability to take care of them when called upon.  We take great pride in what we do for Texas residents and events like the airshow allow us to practice our mission skills."

Wings Over Houston is one of the top airshows in the country and attracts visitors from around the world.   Featured were the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who are known for their aerial acrobatics in F-16 Fighting Falcons, as well as Breitling Jet Team, "Tora, Tora, Tora" air re-enactors, and the U. S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet.

Col. Sustaita Takes Command of the 4th Regiment

Story by:  Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted:  October 2, 2015

Col Sustaita
                    Col. Alfred Sustaita, Jr.

GRAPEVINE, Texas - The 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, welcomed a new commander, Col. Alfred Sustaita, Jr., during an assumption of command ceremony at the 9/11 Flight Crew memorial in Grapevine, September 12, 2015. Sustaita will lead 4th Regiment headquarters and three battalions in Weatherford, Decatur and Arlington. 

"I am honored to be the commander of the 4th Regiment.  The soldiers in this unit are the best trained and I plan to continue the strong leadership role of Col. Lietz," commented Sustaita.

Sustaita has spent his entire military career in the Texas State Guard.  Enlisting as a private in 1989, he joined the 202nd Military Police Battalion. His was commissioned a second lieutenant  and was assigned to the 8th Military Police Brigade in 1993.  Other assignments included aide-de-camp to the deputy commander of operations south and commanding officer, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade. 

Sustaita was promoted to the rank of colonel, September 26, 2015.

After the Texas State Guard was reorganized, Sustaita became the 2nd Regiment operations officer,  commanding officer of the Quick Reaction Team, and commanding officer, 1st Battalion.  His most recent assignment was operations officer, Texas Medical Brigade. His state active duty deployments include hurricanes Rita, Dean, Dolly, Edouard, Gustav, Ike, and Alex, and Operation Lone Star, the largest humanitarian operation in South Texas.

His professional military education includes the Texas State Guard Basic Reserve Component Non-commissioned Officer Course, Basic Officer Training Course, Advanced Officer Training Course, Infrastructure Protection Detachment Training Course, Command and General Staff Course, and the Texas Adjutant General Leader Development Program. 

He has received the Texas Outstanding Service Medal, Texas Medal of Merit with one bronze acorn cluster, Adjutant General Individual Award with four star devices, Commanding General Individual Award with one silver oak leaf cluster, Texas Humanitarian Service Ribbon, Texas Faithful Service Medal with two bronze cactus devices, and the Texas State Guard Service Medal.

He supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a contractor through the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program in Iraq from 2003-2005. 

Sustaita holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M University where he was a member of the “Fightin’ Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets.”  He is married to Dawn Lei and resides in Alvin. They have one son, Wyatt Tomas Sustaita.

Woodmansee Takes Command of 2nd Regiment

Woodmansee Takes Command of 2nd Regiment

Story by:  Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted:  September 25, 2015

Col Woodmansee
Col. Robert Woodmansee assumed command of the 2nd Regiment, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, at Camp Swift, Bastrop, Texas, September 19, 2015.  Woodmansee accepted the 2nd Regiment colors from Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., commander, Army Component Command.  The 2nd Regiment is trained to provide mission essential tasks, such as shelter operations and food and water distribution, during an emergency or disaster.  (Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer/Released).

CAMP SWIFT, Bastrop, Texas - The 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, welcomed a new commander, Col. Robert A. Woodmansee, during an assumption of command ceremony at Camp Swift, Bastrop, September 19, 2015. Woodmansee will lead the 2nd Regiment, with headquarters in Gatesville and three battalions in San Marcos, Gatesville, and Taylor.

"Leading soldiers is an incredible honor,” commented Woodmansee.  “But more important, I’m looking forward to both serving and learning from these men and women.  They are the ones who are known for their selfless contributions, in the Central Texas community, during times of need.  It’s up to me to show them that I’m worthy to be in their ranks.”

Woodmansee received his commission as an armor officer from the United States Military Academy, West Point, in 1984.  His military schooling includes the Armor Officer Basic and Advance courses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School and the Command and General Staff Officer Course.  He is also a graduate of Air Assault, Airborne and Ranger school.  

His career includes overseas service in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.  He has served both on active duty and as a member of the Texas Army National Guard.

His command assignments include commander, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor, 2nd Armored Division; commander, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 144 Infantry, 49th Armored Division; commander, 5th Battalion,  112th Armor, 49th Armored Division; commander, 36th Infantry Division Rear Operations Cell;  commander, 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; and commander, Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan.

His operational assignments include three combat tours overseas.   In 1990 he deployed for Operation Desert Shield while serving as the Battalion Motor Officer for 3-67 Armor.  He later took command of Alpha Company, 3-67 Armor prior to Operation Desert Storm, 1990-1991.  His unit culminated operations at what was known as the Highway of Death, the road that leads from Kuwait City to Basra, Iraq.  

He deployed to Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division, 2009-2010, serving as the Deputy Team Leader for the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team.  He helped deliver essential services to the Province of Baghdad, as well as supporting State Department mentoring efforts to the local and provincial leaders of Baghdad.  

He deployed to Afghanistan with the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 2012-2013, serving as the commander of Camp Eggers in Kabul.  He provided life support and security for over 2,500 personnel from over 20 coalition countries.  

Woodmansee joined the Texas State Guard as the Army Component Command chief of staff, February, 2015.

Colonel Woodmansee is married to his 5th grade sweetheart, Caree.  They have seven children.

19th Regiment Texas State Guard Welcomes New Commander

Story by:  Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted:  September 24, 2015

DALLAS - The 19th Regiment, Texas State Guard, welcomed Lt. Col. Lloyd W. Lietz, as the new regimental commander, during a change of command ceremony at the Army National Guard Armory, Dallas, September 12, 2015.  Lietz will lead the regimental headquarters and three battalions located in Dallas, Greenville, and Kilgore.

Maj. Gen. Gerald "Jake" Betty, commander, Texas State Guard, and Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr., commander, Army Component Command, led the ceremony as Col. Robert Hastings, former 19th Regiment commander, formally handed to Lietz the 19th Regiment guidon.  

"Having seen the 19th Regiment in action over the last two years, I know what a fine unit of soldiers they are,” said Lietz. “I am excited to be taking command and I look forward to meeting our training challenges in the future."  

Brig. Gen. Palmer, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, passes the colors to incoming 19th Regiment commander, Lt. Col. Lietz
Brig. Gen. Palmer, Army Component Command, Texas State Guard, passes the colors to incoming 19th Regiment commander, Lt. Col. Lietz, at the change of command ceremony at Red Bird National Guard Armory, Dallas, Texas, September 12, 2015. (Photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza/Released)

Lietz was commissioned a second lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1979.  During his 27 years in the U.S. Army, he served as an infantry officer, including 5 years of battalion level command.  His active duty assignments included Operation Noble Eagle in  and Brussels for NATO support activity. 

He graduated from the Branch Immaterial Officers Candidate Course, Airborne School, Infantry Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, Mortar Platoon Leaders Course, the Adjutant/Personnel Officers Staff Course, Command and General Staff College and the Inspector General Course.

Lietz earned the Expert Infantryman and Parachutist badges.  His highest military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal (3rd Award), as well as various other state and federal ribbons.

Upon his retirement from federal service in 2006, Lietz joined the Texas State Guard in 2013.  He has served as 4th Regiment operations officer, executive office, and interim regimental commander.

His professional associations include the American Legion, Association of the United States Army, Disabled American Veterans, Military Officers Association of America and State Guard Association of the United States.

Lietz graduated from the Allen Military Academy in Bryan in 1970 and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts Degree in Military History (Land Warfare) from American Military University.  Lietz has been married to his wife Gloria for 35 years and has three children, Charlene, June and Richard.

Lietz and his wife live in Stephenville and McKinney, Texas..

Col. Robert Hastings Appointed Chief of Staff Army Component Command

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted:  September 23, 2015

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN - The Texas State Guard Army Component Command welcomed a new chief of staff, Col. Robert Hastings, September 12, 2015.  As chief of staff, Hastings is the principal military advisor and second in command of the Army Component Command, Texas State Guard. 

"Our role as Army Component Command staff," Hastings stated, "is to make our soldiers successful; ensuring that they have the training, resources, leadership and support necessary to execute their missions, effectively and safely."

Col. Hastings
              Col. Robert Hastings

Hastings enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1978.  He was a distinguished graduate of the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course.  He piloted the AH-1 Attack Helicopter with the 7th Infantry Division, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the Army Combat Developments Experimentation Command.

Graduating from Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in aviation.  He served as an Attack Helicopter Platoon leader and Forward Support Platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division, and as a Reserve Component Aviation advisor at the Fifth U.S. Army headquarters.

Hastings completed Armor Officer Advanced Course and returned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment where he served as regimental operations officer, Air Cavalry Troop commander and Assault Helicopter Troop commander.  He served as a public affairs officer, Public Affairs Detachment commander with V Corps, and Senior Public Affairs instructor at the Defense Information School before retiring from the U.S. Army. 

His combat and expeditionary deployments include tours in Iraq, Bosnia and Honduras.

His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic Course, Scout Platoon Leaders Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Cavalry Leaders Course, Public Affairs Officer Qualification and Advanced Courses, and Combined Armed and Services Staff School.

Hastings joined the George W. Bush Administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. As the senior public affairs official and spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, he served as principal staff advisor to the Secretary of Defense for strategic communication, public information, internal information, and community relations, leading a worldwide public affairs community of some 4,000 military and civilian personnel.

Upon joining the Texas State Guard, Hastings has served as the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Texas State Guard and commander of the 19th Regiment. 

Hastings received the Master Army Aviator, Pathfinder and Air Assault badges.  His military awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, and Secretary of Defense Staff Identification Badge. 

His civilian awards include the Secretary of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Order of St. George Medallion.

Hastings resides in Keller, Texas.