Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Re-enactors Jump to Honor Historic Military Anniversaries

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted: September 13, 2015

jumps from plane
Senior Master Sgt. Denny Darnell and Sgt. Kyle Clark, Texas State Guard, are civilian re-enactors who parachuted from a C-47 during the commemoration of the World War II allied invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944.  They are members of the Liberty Jump Team which re-enacted the United States and British paratroopers at the 71st anniversary of the invasion at Normandy, France, June 2-7, 2015.  Texas State Guard soldiers, as civilians, participate in many civilian ceremonies that honor veterans and active duty personnel. (Courtesy Photo/Released)
Parachute Jump
Sgt. Kyle Clark, 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, is a civilian re-enactor, who parachuted down to La Fiere-Merderet River drop zone, Normandy, France, June 7, 2015, to commemorate the World War II allied invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944. Texas State Guard soldiers, as civilians, participate in many civilian ceremonies that honor veterans and active duty personnel.  (Courtesy Photo/Released)

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Re-enactors honor the selfless service of active duty soldiers,  veterans, and fallen heroes of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard in many ways. 

Five re-enactors are Texas State Guard soldiers who, as civilians, have chosen a very memorable way to pay tribute. 

They are civilian parachute jumpers and re-enactors.

Those five re-enactors are 1st Lt. Leland Burns and Senior Master Sgt. Denny Darnell, 4th Air Wing, Air Component Command, Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Wood, Engineering Group, Staff Sgt. Gary Bostic and Sgt. Kyle Clark, 4th Regiment, Army Component Command.  

They are members of the Liberty Jump Team, which performs static line parachute jumps from an actual C-47 aircraft used on D-Day, just as soldiers did in World War II. 

The jumpers wear authentic World War II paratrooper uniforms. The Liberty Jump Team consists of 70 members who are active-duty, retired, and reserve United States and foreign military members.

"My father, a World War II veteran of the Okinawa campaign," commented Clark, "was only 18 years old and he believed that the service of United States soldiers was a job that needed to be done."

"I am honored to be able to pay tribute to the bravery, self-sacrifice, and heroism of the American soldier who fought to preserve our freedoms."  

Jumps from plane
Staff Sgt. Gary Bostic, 4th Regiment, Texas State Guard, (fourth on top row) is a civilian re-enactor who jumped from a C-47 during ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first United States Army paratroopers at Fort Benning, Georgia, August 15, 2015.  The first jumps were over Lawson Army Airfield, Fort Benning, August 16, 1940. Texas State Guard soldiers, as civilians, participate in many civilian ceremonies that honor veterans and active duty personnel.  (Courtesy Photo/Released)

On the 71st anniversary of the Normandy invasion during World War II, Senior Master Sgt. Darnell and Sgt. Clark honored the 24,000 Normandy Allied paratroopers by re-enacting the June 1944 parachute jumps from a C-47 aircraft over Amfreville, Graignes, and La Fiere-Merderet River, France, June 2-7, 2015.

The final jump for this anniversary commemoration was performed by jumping from a C-47 over the "The Airborne Trooper," a statue of a World War II 82nd Airborne, United States Army  paratrooper overlooking the Merderet River from the La Fiere Bridge, Normandy, France.  Four  C-130 aircrafts with over two hundred paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne, United States Army, also participated in this event.  

On the other side of the Atlantic on the 75th anniversary of the first Army Airborne Infantry platoon jump in 1940, Bostic, along with eleven members of the Liberty Jump Team, jumped with almost 300 United States Army paratroopers at Lawson Army Airfield, Fort Benning, Georgia, August 15, 2015.

The Liberty Team, wearing the uniforms of World War II paratroopers, jumped from a C-47, just like the Army Airborne paratroopers of World War II.

"I am honored to be here to pay tribute to the Army Airborne paratroopers who gave selfless service during World War II," commented Bostic. 

"They were fearless soldiers who jumped into dangerous battle zones to help win World War II."

The first Army Airborne Infantry platoon was organized with 40 soldiers from the 29th Infantry located at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1940.  This platoon made the first jump as paratroopers in the United States Army, at Lawson Army Airfield, Fort Benning, August 16, 1940.

The first platoon mass jump occurred at Fort Benning, August 29, 1940.

TEXAS STATE GUARD BASIC TRAINING I - AUGUST 14-16 2015

This drill weekend the Texas State Guard trained new Guardsmen at their Regional Basic Orientation Training Phase I in Austin, Texas. Training continues next month with Phase II.  Click here to see the photos.

Staff Sgt. David Ausborn, a Texas Army National Guardsman, volunteers his weekend to teach newly joined Texas State Guardsmen drill and ceremony movements at Regional Basic Orientation Training I in Austin, Texas, Aug. 14-16, 2015. RBOT teaches the new Guardsmen military customs, basic first aid and CPR, drill and ceremony, land navigation and radio communication skills. The training is broken up into two phases, which take place during monthly drill. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon).
Staff Sgt. David Ausborn, a Texas Army National Guardsman, volunteers his weekend to teach newly joined Texas State Guardsmen drill and ceremony movements at Regional Basic Orientation Training I in Austin, Texas, Aug. 14-16, 2015. RBOT teaches the new Guardsmen military customs, basic first aid and CPR, drill and ceremony, land navigation and radio communication skills. The training is broken up into two phases, which take place during monthly drill. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon).

 

39th Composite Regiment Provides Community Service at Bike-A-Thon

Story by: Capt. John Root, 39th Regiment

Posted:August 7, 2015

Rest stop
Pvt. Gregory Turnbow, 39th Regiment, Texas State Guard, guides cyclists at a rest stop during the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 26, 2015. The Texas State Guard provides support to community events as part of its mission in addition to assisting local authorities during emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. (TXSG photo/Released)

MIDLAND, Texas (July 28, 2015) – Soldiers from the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard, performed route and safety guidance for the Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon, sponsored by the  Multiple Sclerosis Society, along the 150-mile route from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 25-26, 2015.  The Texas State Guard serves Texans by providing assistance during emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires, and community events.   

Guiding cyclists
Staff Sgt. Manuel Hernandez and Staff Sgt. Derald Mabbit, 39th Regiment, Texas State Guard, guides cyclists through a blind curve during the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 26, 2015. The Texas State Guard provides support to community events as part of its mission in addition to assisting local authorities during emergencies such as hurricances, tornadoes, and wildfires. (TXSG photo/Released)

Soldiers from the 39th Composite Regiment followed the lead of local law enforcement to create a safe roadway for the cyclists at multiple highway intersections, blind curves, and other potentially dangerous points along the route.

In the spirit of the event, Sgt. 1st Class Rosalind Roger, 3rd Battalion, 39th Composite Regiment, entered the race and finished among the top riders. "The ride was great, the weather was fabulous, and the support from the Texas State Guard was amazing," said Roger.  "I am proud to be a part of a great team like the Texas State Guard.  I look forward to this event next year.”

"The  soldiers of the 39th Composite Regiment, along with event organizers, local emergency management, law enforcement and emergency medical services, did an outstanding job of ensuring the safety of all cyclists along the two-day 150-mile route," stated Col. Barney E. Welch, commander of the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard.  "In the process, our soldiers used this event as a training opportunity for future missions where the regiment is needed for maintaining traffic flow and assisting with the evacuation of citizens during an emergency, such as a hurricane or a wildfire.  The 39th is always ready and "equal to the task"."

The 39th Composite Regiment appreciated the support and cooperation of their local jurisdiction partners, National Multiple Sclerosis Society Event Coordinator Lyndee Groce, the congregation of the Lamesa First Baptist Church, the local officials and citizens of Lamesa, Texas, and Larry Duyck and Terri Stahl of Lamesa and their staffs.

TXSG cyclist
Col.Barney Welch, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Marshall Allen, 39th Regiment, Texas State Guard, congratulate  Sgt. 1st Class  Rosalind Roger, 3rd Battallion, 39th Regiment, for completing the first day of the Multiple Schlerosis Society's Cactus & Crude MS-150 Bike-A-Thon from Midland to Lubbock, Texas, July 25, 2015. The Texas State Guard provides support to community events as part of its mission in addition to supporting local authorities during emergencies such as hurricances, tornadoes, and wildfires. (TXSG photo/Released)

Working together, the organizers, cyclists, and soldiers, saw this community event as a shining example of  how cooperative efforts among citizens, local authorities, and the Texas State Guard can achieve a successful outcome. 

Texas State Guard: New Assignments

The Commanding General, Texas State Guard, is pleased to announce the following assignments:

 

Colonel Robert Hastings, commander, 19th Regiment, Dallas, Texas, to chief of staff, Army Component Command, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas. 

 

Colonel Robert Woodmansee, chief of staff, Army Component Command, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, to commander, 2nd Regiment, Gatesville, Texas.  

Lieutenant Colonel Lloyd Lietz, executive officer and acting commander, 4thRegiment, Fort Worth, Texas to commander, 19th Regiment, Dallas, Texas.

Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Sustaita, training and operations officer, Texas Medical Brigade, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas to commander 4th Regiment, Fort Worth, Texas.   

Lieutenant Colonel John Dudenhoeffer, commander, 1st Battalion, 2ndRegiment, San Marcos, Texas to training and operations officer, Texas Medical Brigade, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas.


Approved, MG Betty, Commanding.

Operation Lone Star 2015 - Pointing the way

Pointing the way -- Spc. Eric Flindt of D Company, 1st Battalion, Medical Brigade, Texas State Guard assists local residents through a triage line at Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, July 29, 2015.  Each year, Texas Military Forces partners with state and local agencies to train and prepare for potential major disasters, which in turn provide free medical services to the community. (Texas State Guard Photo by Col. Robert Morecook/Released)
Pointing the way -- Spc. Eric Flindt of D Company, 1st Battalion, Medical Brigade, Texas State Guard assists local residents through a triage line at Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, July 29, 2015.  Each year, Texas Military Forces partners with state and local agencies to train and prepare for potential major disasters, which in turn provide free medical services to the community. (Texas State Guard Photo by Col. Robert Morecook/Released) 

 

Operation Lone Star 2015 - Palmview

Capt. George Martin, back left, Lt. Col. Claud Cameron center front, military officer in charge for the Palmview medical distribution point, and Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Clark, right, along with fellow Texas State Guardsmen from 1st Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade, prepare for the 17th annual Operation Lone Star at Palmview High School in South Texas, July 27, 2015.  OLS gives the Texas State Guard the opportunity to train with other state and local agencies for disaster response in Texas, which in turn provides free medical care to local residents. Last year more than 11,000 persons received more than 49,000 services during the training event. (Texas State Guard Photo by Col. Robert Morecook).
Capt. George Martin, back left, Lt. Col. Claud Cameron center front, military officer in charge for the Palmview medical distribution point, and Senior Master Sgt. Brandon Clark, right, along with fellow Texas State Guardsmen from 1st Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade, prepare for the 17th annual Operation Lone Star at Palmview High School in South Texas, July 27, 2015.  OLS gives the Texas State Guard the opportunity to train with other state and local agencies for disaster response in Texas, which in turn provides free medical care to local residents. Last year more than 11,000 persons received more than 49,000 services during the training event. (Texas State Guard Photo by Col. Robert Morecook).

 

Operation Lone Star 2015 - Dental Care

Dental Care -- Staff Sgt. Jose Mendoza, Texas Medical Command, Texas Army National Guard and Lt. Col. James Fancher, Medical Brigade, Texas State Guard, work on a dental patient at Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, July 28, 2015. OLS is an annual training event for Texas Military Forces to work with state and local partners to train for disaster response. The dental service soldiers are part of a team of dentists, dental assistants and dental students who served more than 200 local community members each day at Palmview High School. (Texas State Guard photo by Col. Robert Morecook/Released)
Dental Care -- Staff Sgt. Jose Mendoza, Texas Medical Command, Texas Army National Guard and Lt. Col. James Fancher, Medical Brigade, Texas State Guard, work on a dental patient at Operation Lone Star in Mission, Texas, July 28, 2015. OLS is an annual training event for Texas Military Forces to work with state and local partners to train for disaster response. The dental service soldiers are part of a team of dentists, dental assistants and dental students who served more than 200 local community members each day at Palmview High School. (Texas State Guard photo by Col. Robert Morecook/Released)

 

19th Regiment Trains for Disaster Relief in East Texas

Story  by: Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted: July 2, 2015

Annual Training commenced for the Dallas-based 19th Civil Affairs Regiment
Texas State Guard 19th Regiment soldiers, Pvt. David Bridgwater, Pvt. John Leveridge and Pfc. Levi Sourjohn, evacuate an injured role player, a boy scout from Troop 1857, Texas Skies District, Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America, assisted by  Steve Gilbert, District Training Chairman, during a Ground Search and Recovery exercise in Ben Wheeler, Texas, June 5, 2015. Ground search and rescue is a Texas State Guard mission essential service that assists local authorities during an emergency. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza/Released)  

CANTON, Texas - Annual Training commenced for the Dallas-based 19th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard, as troops deployed to various locations in Van Zandt and Upshur counties to test and strengthen their emergency response capabilities, June 4-7, 2015.

Treating boy scout
Staff Sgt. John Legg, Texas State Guard 19th Regiment, conducts a medical review of an injured role player, Stephen Gilbert, from Troop 1857, Texas Skies District, Circle Ten Council, Boy Scouts of America, during a ground search and recovery exercise in Ben Wheeler, Texas, June 5, 2015. Texas State Guard soldiers are trained to provide combat life-saving first aid to assist victims during an emergency. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza/Released)

The training scenario for the exercise involved a Category 4 hurricane making landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast spawning severe weather with widespread flooding and tornadoes. The exercise tested the regiment’s leadership and staff at every level, strengthening their overall capability during an emergency. The scenario challenged troops to exercise their response capabilities in communications, mass care, shelter management, evacuee tracking, and search and rescue.

Local churches and high schools across Van Zandt County were transformed into mass care shelters with emergency tracking network stations and medical treatment stations for special needs patients. 

“We were very happy to be here with the Texas State Guard and being part of the community that helps our residents,” said Reverend Wade Harman of The United Methodist Church, Canton, Texas. "It is important to see our Texas State Guard at work."

"I am impressed by the professionalism and high operating tempo of the 19th Regiment,” stated Brig. Gen. Howard Palmer, Army Component Commander, Texas State Guard. “I am grateful by the level of community response and participation.  This cooperative training benefits everyone."

Pvt. Jason Harber, a new enlistee who swore into the Guard at annual training commented that "the 19th Regiment is professional, well-organized, friendly, and helpful in getting me up to speed. This was a good decision to join.”

The exercise also included Ground Search and Recovery in Ben Wheeler, Texas, which tested soldiers' abilities in land navigation, communication, first aid, and search methods. Assisting the regiment, six Texas Skies District Boy Scouts from Van Zandt County played the part of a lost campers in the path of a tornado.  Three six-man search teams from the regiment searched the area to locate victims, apply first aid as required and evacuate them. Champion Emergency Support supported the exercise with paramedics and an ambulance and Flight for Life, based in Palestine, Texas, simulated patient recovery with an emergency medical helicopter.

"Annual Training provided unique challenges for command and control. Our unit force packages were stretched to make numerous decisions within a framework of rapidly changing locations and conditions. They accomplished the mission,” said Lt. Col. Wendell Sadler, 19th Regiment operations officer.

"This is an outstanding training opportunity to work with local authorities," stated Maj. Gen. Gerald "Jake" Betty, Commanding General, Texas State Guard.  "As normal, our soldiers are doing an outstanding job.  I am honored and humbled to visit with the dedicated soldiers of the Texas State Guard."

Following completion of the hurricane scenario, troops conducted a confidence exercise at Alert Academy, led by Col. Richard Tanner, commanding officer, Alert Academy and academy training instructors, in Big Sandy, Texas. The exercise started with an arduous land navigation exercise with a dismounted cross country movement followed by advanced ground search and rescue training. Troops were physically and mentally focused as they approached obstacles, including a rappelling tower, rock climbing wall, and a one-rope river crossing exercise.

Pvt. Brooke Jones, another recent enlistee, stated that she "thoroughly enjoyed the experiences with the rappelling tower and the water crossing activity. Both exercises allowed me to push myself, build my confidence, instill a sense of trust and foster camaraderie with my teammates, who also provided plenty of encouragement along the way. I enjoyed the rappelling so much I opted to descend inverted, along with Pfc. Michael Roppolo. I am confident that my experiences with both exercises will make me a more effective soldier so that I may be able to better serve my fellow Texans." 

During the closing ceremony at the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial, the 19th Regiment thanked Van Zandt county officials and residents for supporting the regiment's annual training, at Canton, Texas, June 7, 2015.   Attending the ceremony were Van Zandt County Judge Don Kirkpatrick, Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department, Van Zandt County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Allen, the Van Zandt Precinct Watch, Red Cross, Circle Ten Council Boy Scouts and Cub Scout Pack 378, local church pastors, municipal fire and police, and representatives from the Wills Point, Texas, and Martin Mills, Texas, independent school districts.  

The Texas State Guard provides support to local authorities during a disaster or emergency such as hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding.  The Texas State Guard also conducts the state's largest annual humanitarian medical mission, Operation Lone Star, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Texas State Guard Partners with Brazoria County Emergency Management

Story by: Warrant Officer Malana Nall 

Posted: June 30, 2015

Pfc. Justin Stanton, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, carries cases of ready-to-eat meals for residents of Brazoria County
PFC Justin Stanton, 8th Regiment, Texas State Guard, carries cases of ready-to-eat meals for residents of Brazoria County during a points of distribution exercise at Alvin Community College, Alvin, Texas, June 27, 2015.  Distributing food, water, and ice to residents is a mission essential task for the Texas State Guard during an emergency. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Shawn James/Released)

HOUSTON, Texas – Joint training benefits the Texas State Guard and the local management and residents so in the event of a real emergency, every-one will be able to respond effectively and provide assistance to those in need. In the spirit of cooperation, education and training, the Texas State Guard 8th Regiment, 447th Air Support Group 5th Air Wing, 2nd Battalion Texas Medical Brigade and Corps of Engineers partnered with the Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management and the Fort Bend Community to run a hurricane evacuation and sheltering exercise June 25th through June 28th. Armories in Angleton, Rosenberg and Houston, Texas served as bases of operations. 

Troops mustered at the Westheimer Armory, Houston, TX, to receive safety and mission briefings before heading to their duty assignments. During the exercise, soldiers assigned to Angleton broke into two groups. One proceeded to the Lake Jackson Civic Center, Lake Jackson, TX while the other went to the Pearland Recreation Center in Pearland to conduct mock evacuations of Brazoria County residents. The exercise utilized the Brazoria County All Hazard Response Network, a system similar to the Evacuation and Tracking Network used by the state to track evacuees throughout the process. 

The 8th Regiments also conducted a mock mass casualty incident at the Lake Jackson Civic Center. Soldiers assigned to the Rosenberg armory, in Rosenberg, Texas, set up a temporary daytime only shelter at the First Assembly of God Church in Rosenberg, for residents escaping rising flood waters. The local volunteer organization, Helping Hands, which helped cleaned homes damaged by the recent Memorial Day flooding, assisted by acting as evacuees. 

As the exercise moved into it’s third day, the 8th Regiment set up and operated points of distribution on the campus of Alvin Community College in Alvin and at the Rosenberg Civic Center in Fort Bend County for local residents who were without electricity and in need of food, water and ice.

Texas State Guard officers 1st Lt. Carl Mathews, 447th Support Group, 5th Air Wing, and Capt. Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment,   review the emergency operations command information board at the 8th Regiment tactical operations command center
Texas State Guard officers 1st Lt. Carl Mathews, 447th Support Group, 5th Air Wing, and Capt. Joseph Conte, 8th Regiment, 
review the emergency operations command information board at the 8th Regiment tactical operations command center during 8th 
Regiment annual training at the Westheimer Armory in Houston, Texas, June 26, 2015.  This information provides the Texas 
emergency management system real time updates to the Texas State Guard during an emergency.  (Texas State Guard photo by Warrant Officer Malana Nall/Released)

At the same time, Corps of Engineers used this training as an opportunity to inspect local roads, bridges and levees for damage from the recent rains and river flooding.

Volunteers from both counties assisted with the exercises by becoming role players to enhance the complexity and realism of the training.

A real world event, solar flares disrupted radio communications with the tactical operations center. Command Sgt. Maj. John Marshall immediately assisted with re-establishing communications. Marshall was very proud of how the soldiers responded. “They were very quick to find a solution to the problem,” he stated. 

The 8th Regiment used local caterers to provide meals for the troops and in the process added over $14,000 of financial stimulus to the local communities according to financial officer Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregory Murray. 

This annual training was an outstanding opportunity for the soldiers and airmen of the Texas State Guard to sharpen their skills and abilities to help their fellow Texans during an emergency.

 

Article on 8th Regiment from The Facts

Article on 8th Regiment from The Facts

Posted with permission of The Facts

Hurricane drills test, prepare local volunteers

By BRITTANY LAMAS brittany.lamas@thefacts.com | Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2015 2:00 am

Hurricane Expo
Hurricane Expo
Karen Booren is carried by Theodore Mikeasky and Eseil Hernandez of the Texas State Guard to the medical station as part of a mass casualities drill Friday at the Lake Jackson Civic Center.

LAKE JACKSON — As Lisa Dewey reclined on a table in the Lake Jackson Civic Center with bandages on her arms and wounds on her head, Texas State Guard troops bustled around, assessing her fake injuries.

She was impressed with the team’s professionalism and seriousness.

“They’re definitely taking this serious. Some of the times I’m trying not to laugh, but they’re very good,” she said.

Dewey came by the Civic Center as a volunteer for an evacuation hub exercise and a mass-casualty drill to test emergency response procedures for the county and the Texas State Guard.

After seven years of mild storms since Hurricane Ike in 2008, drills are critical as a major storm hitting Brazoria County becomes inevitable, Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Glenn LaMont said.

The hub was the county’s first opportunity to test new software meant to help if an evacuation is called because of a hurricane, LaMont said.

“We’re one of the first county jurisdictions to use it in a drill,” he said. “We got to see how it worked. It’s pretty simple to use, and do it quickly at the level of putting people in and getting them out.”

The county’s Community Emergency Response Teams worked with the Texas State Guard, one of the state’s three military forces deployed in emergencies, and Galveston County emergency teams to practice signing people in, designating where they would go and getting them loaded onto evacuation buses.

LaMont said 60 to 80 volunteers came by to help make the drill as realistic as possible, which is key to checking how the procedures will hold up in a storm.

Response team volunteer Tallie Taylor Fine said she will be so much more confident in her skills if a storm blows through this summer.

She and her husband signed up to be part of Lake Jackson’s response team two months ago, so they really had no idea going into Friday what all would come with a real disaster situation, Fine said.

“There were some glitches, but we got those worked out and now I know where we’d put people with dogs and people with medical needs,” she said.

“I’m a lot more prepared now.”

Texas State Guard Capt. Austin Green said the teams were able to get people through the lines at the goal speed of one every 45 seconds. It was important volunteers get used to the pace needed for real situations, Green said.

Galveston County Homeland Security Planner Michael Lambert said it was a huge benefit for some of his employees to get to work with their neighbors and run through the system.

“Our people got to work with the software in real life and we all got to work together,” he said.

After the hub, the response teams surprised Green’s Texas State Guard troops with the mass-casualty drill.

The scenario given to them was that a tornado spawned from a storm blowing through, leaving several people injured and scattered about the Civic Center.

Green said a few years ago, some of his team members were gathered in a small-town city hall when the roof was almost ripped off the building.

“This would’ve occurred for real,” he said. “That’s why we train so heavily in first aid.”

General Howard Palmer said he was excited to see the hub and disaster drill go so well and have so many volunteers. It will all be critical in a real emergency, he said.

“We get as close to real life as we can make it. These guys have a sense of urgency. It’s important to them,” he said. “To see the community and the volunteers really come out to support the training, everybody benefits.”

On Saturday, the county teams worked with Lake Jackson, Richwood, Clute and Angleton emergency response crews to run POD, point of distribution, sites as an after-the-storm practice of giving out supplies to residents.

LaMont said that kind of exercise hasn’t been tested since 2011, and even though it’s been seven years since a major disaster, the entire weekend of drills will likely come in handy sooner, rather than later.

“We got lucky with Tropical Storm Bill, but our luck can’t hold out much longer,” he said. “It’s good to have these drills for everybody, so everybody can see how it really works.”