Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

4th Regiment and City of Olney, Texas Conduct Joint Training

Story by:  Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer

Posted:  June 25, 2015

1st Day Briefing
The 4th Regiment conducts an initial briefing for the joint operations training with local emergency officials of Olney, Texas, June 12, 2015.  Warrant Officer Robert Gustavsen, 4th Regiment, serves as the battle captain. Participating in the briefing were 4th Regiment staff, Olney Emergency Manager Ronny Coward, Olney Police Chief Barry Roberts, and Olney Fire Chief  Ron Keeter.  The Texas State Guard conducts joint training to be ready to serve Texas communities during a man-made or natural disaster. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer/Released)

OLNEY, Texas - When deployed for an emergency, the Texas State Guard is under the control of the local emergency management operations.  So soldiers need to be trained on how to support local authorities in joint operations.   For annual training this year the 4th Regiment joined with the City of Olney, Texas, to conduct joint exercises, June 12-14, 2015. 

shelter operations
At the Olney High School gym, the 2nd Battalion sets up a shelter during annual training in Olney, Texas, June 13, 2015.  Spc. Rachel Carmickle and Staff Sgt. Eddie Thomas set up cots and place blankets for shelter guests. Shelter Management is a major mission essential task of the Texas State Guard when deployed during an emergency to assist Texas residents. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer/Released)

To conduct a successful joint training, planning began months in advance of the exercise.   The 4th Regiment training and operations staff Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ray Spoth and Master Sgt. Richard Schilling and Regiment Commander Lt. Col. Lloyd Lietz met with local officials many times to work out the details.  By the time the final decisions had been made, the 4th Regiment would be training with the City of Olney Emergency Management Operations, Olney Fire Department, Olney Police Department, Olney Hamilton Hospital, Olney EMS, Olney ISD, the Olney Enterprise, Olney Chamber of Commerce volunteers, local city and county officials, City of Graham Emergency Control Mobile Command Center, Wichita Falls Red Cross, and the Military Auxiliary Radio System

shaking hands
Olney local officials demonstrated their appreciation for the service of the 4th Regiment during annual training in Olney, Texas, June 12-14, 2015.  The spirit of joint cooperation and collaboration between the Texas State Guard and local authorities proved essential for the success of the joint operations training exercise.  When deployed for an emergency, the TXSG provides support to and operates under the control of local authorities to assure that Texas residents receive the necessary services during a disaster. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer/Released)

The scenarios for the exercise had several moving parts. The first day of the exercise had the 4th Regiment in Guthrie, Texas, for wildfires and then the regiment was ordered to Olney to prepare shelters for evacuees from Guthrie.  The regiment tactical operations center was located in the Olney Fire Department. The Olney Emergency Management and the Red Cross had designated two locations for shelters at Olney High School gym and the Southside Baptist Church (which had just recently received the Red Cross designation as a shelter).  With the assistance of the Wichita Falls Red Cross, shelters received cots and blankets and the regiment set up such areas as sleeping, eating, medical, children play, reception, and intake.  The Red Cross and the Baptist men's organization provided meals to the soldiers.

receiving instructions
Olney Emergency Manager Ronny Cowart directs 4th Regiment soldiers to begin necessary tasks required by the mock emergency.   Pvt. Joseph Harwell and Pfc. Traci Lamm, 2nd Battalion, and Cpl. David Files, 1st Battalion, receive instructions to set up road blocks in order to direct traffic away from the emergency command center, police department and fire department.  During an emergency, the Texas State Guard is capable of providing numerous support skills to assist local authorities. (Texas State Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer)

Working in the shelter at the church, Pfc. Kendra Neuendorff, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment, who is attending her second annual training, commented that "I have a better idea of what I am supposed to do in a shelter and am learning more about the importance of the TXSG in a disaster."

On the second day, as shelter operations continued, Olney emergency management initiated its  disaster training events which would involve the training of multiple agencies.  The first emergency was a search and rescue of a hotel hit by a tornado where actors played roles of victims.  The fire department conducted the search and EMS transported the victims to the local hospital which conducted training on how to handle mass casualties.  The second emergency was a mock three-car crash which required the fire and police departments to extract victims who were then transported to the hospital.

The training also included 4th Regiment chaplains Capt. David Fish and 1st Lt. Todd Virnoche, who were called in to comfort a grieving parent of one of  the mock crash victims.  At both scenes the Texas State Guard set up a perimeter to keep onlookers at a safe distance from the disaster area.

On the final day the 4th Regiment was invited to attend church services in Olney.  Afterwards, the regiment joined in a parade down the main street along with Olney police and fire departments, and Olney Emergency Management.  At the final formation of the regiment in a moving gesture of appreciation, the Olney emergency officials shook hands with each soldier. Olney Emergency Manager Ronny Cowart expressed his appreciation for the capabilities of the TXSG.  "I am very grateful to have this opportunity to work with the Texas State Guard  and we are very happy that you came to Olney for your annual training."  Lt. Col. Lloyd Lietz, commander, 4th Regiment, was "impressed with the level of coordination and cooperation of the Olney emergency services and local officials during our annual training here in Olney."

Training is a learning opportunity to practice skills needed in the event of an emergency.  This joint annual training between Olney emergency responders and the 4th Regiment was therefore a success.  Olney emergency responders strengthened their skills and identified where more training was needed.   The 4th Regiment sharpened its ability to provide the support necessary to assist local authorities and the TXSG mission.  And everyone learned much more about how to work together in joint operation emergencies.  Once again, the 4th Regiment demonstrated the meaning of the TXSG motto "Texans Serving Texans."

Recruits “Come And Take” RBOT

Story by: SPC Matt Bramanti

Posted: June 23, 2015

2nd Regiment RBOT Graduation
Graduates of the Regional Basic Orientation Training (RBOT) at DPS Headquarters in Austin, TX on May 17, 2015.

AUSTIN – Amid shouts of “Come And Take It,” nearly 40 soldiers from around the state completed Regional Basic Orientation Training in May, marking the largest class to date.

The training, which spanned two weekends in April and May, gave recruits an introduction to the mission and capabilities of the Texas State Guard.

The April session focused on classroom sessions covering TXSG history, military customs and courtesy, first aid, land navigation and radio communications, as well as introductions to shelter operations. In May, recruits put those classes into practice, with a leadership reaction course and urban land navigation exercise. Recruits also had the opportunity to earn the Physical Fitness Ribbon.

While many recruits hailed from 2RGT, the course included participants from other Army Component outfits, as well as the Air Component, Medical Brigade and Maritime Regiment. SSG Angie Ogle, an instructor from TXSG J-3, said the group’s diverse unit assignments strengthened the platoon.

“They came together as a cohesive unit despite being from different units and branches,” Ogle said.  “That ability to work together embodies what the TXSG is about.“

That cohesiveness was evident in the platoon’s teamwork. With the famed Gonzales flag as its guidon, the platoon adopted the Texas Revolution  slogan “Come and take it” as its motto, and worked together outside of class to prepare for the written examination covering all RBOT courses. For the first time in the history of the RBOT program, all recruits passed the test on the first try.

CSM Richard Chamberlain, Commandant of the 2RGT RBOT program, praised the NCOs from his regiment who served as instructors.

“Most of the cadre from the 2nd are graduates of the course, so they know both sides of the coin,” Chamberlain said. “They want the soldiers to be successful and push themselves to accomplish challenges they didn't believe they could.”

One of those soldiers was PV2 Cody Allen, who overcame a fear of public speaking to serve as a squad leader and platoon leader. Allen credited the RBOT program with giving him a new level of confidence.

“RBOT was the most rewarding experience that I have personally been through,” Allen said. “I gained something most special - a bond with the brothers and sisters that I have worked and trained with.”

Color Guard Honors Memorial Day At Local Church

Story by:  Staff. Sgt. Eddie Thomas

Posted: June 19, 2015

Flag folding

Flag folding
In honor of Memorial Day Sgt. Joe Gahm and Staff Sgt. Eddie Thomas, 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, performs a flag folding ceremony at Garner Baptist Church, Garner, Texas, May 24, 2015.  The TXSG provides Color Guard service at many community events in North Texas as part of its mission "Texans Serving Texans."  (Photo courtesy of the Texas State Guard/Released)
Every Memorial Day Garner Baptist Church, Garner, Texas, holds a special service to honor veterans in their  congregation and family members who have served their country in the military. This past Memorial Day, May 24, 2015, the Color Guard, 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, performed flag folding honors at the church.  This is the fourth consecutive year that the Color Guard has assisted the church on Memorial Day.  
 
At this ceremony, Staff Sgt. Eddie Thomas and Sgt. Joe Gahm, 2nd Battalion, 4th
Regiment, were assisted by LTC Joe Henry Kelly, U.S. Army, Sgt. Brandon P. Blackburn, U.S. Army, and Master of Arms Clint Weed, U.S. Navy.  
 
Jon Blackburn, pastor of Garner Baptist Church, told his congregation that "I've pastored many churches across this great country, including churches near some of our largest military installations, and never had a congregation with so many military  members, past or present, in its family."

"It's a privilege to be able to provide flag services to such a patriotic church that honors our military," Thomas commented.  "Garner Baptist really understands the meaning of Memorial Day."

 

Flag folding
Sgt. Joe Gahm hands the folded flag to Lt. Col. Joe Henry Kelly, U.S. Army during a flag folding ceremony at Garner Baptist Church, Garner, Texas, May 24, 2015. This is fourth consecutive year that the 4th Regiment has provided this service to Garner Baptist Church. (Photo courtesy of the Texas State Guard/Released)

Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment renders final salute

Story by:  1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia

Posted:   June 19, 2015

final salute
Soldiers from the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, and Texas Army National Guard, render a "final salute" to U.S. Army soldier and Korean War veteran PV2 Lovry Davenport in a ceremony at the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery, Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  Sfc. Matt Allen, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, presents a U.S. Flag to Davenport's daughter.  The Texas State Guard honors veterans by participating in military ceremonies and community events. (Texas State Guard photo by 1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia/ Released)

AUSTIN, Texas – On Memorial Day, soldiers from the Texas State Guard and the Texas Army National Guard honored U.S. Army soldier and Korean War veteran, PV2 Lovry Davenport (deceased), by presenting the United States Flag to his family in a ceremony at the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery, Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  The Texas State Guard honors veterans by participating in military ceremonies and community events.  

Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment Sfc. Matt Allen learned that a close friend had recently lost her father in Illinois.  Since the daughter lived in Texas, Allen decided to have the service of PV2 Davenport honored in Texas.  "This honorably discharged veteran deserves our recognition here where his family lives," Allen commented, "because We are Texans Serving Texans."

Allen arranged to have the Davenport family meet at the cemetery on Memorial Day. At the ceremony, the soldiers folded the flag into the symbolic tri-cornered shape, similar to the tri-cornered hats worn by colonial soldiers during the American Revolution in 1776.  The red and white stripes are folded into the blue, symbolizing the light of day fading into the darkness of night. The blue field of white stars is the top of the folded flag.

Allen placed the flag in a display case as a keepsake for Davenport's daughter and  presented the flag to his friend on behalf of a grateful nation as a token of appreciation for PV2 Davenport's honorable and faithful service. He then rendered a final salute.

Soldiers in the formation are Texas State Guard 2nd Regiment Staff Sgt. Jason M. Myers, Sgts. Don E. Walden and Christopher L. Gano, and Spc. James D. Waddington, Headquarters Sgt. Maj. Dewayne D. Naumann, and Army Component Command Sgt. Maj. Morris W. Hickman, and Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Julian A. Quinones. 

TEXAS STATE GUARD 2nd REGIMENT AND BUGLER ASSISTS VFW ON MEMORIAL DAY

Story by:  1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia

Posted:   June 3, 2015

TXSG at VFW ceremony
Texas State Guard soldiers from the 2nd Regiment served as the Honor Guard along with the Capital City VFW Post 8787, Austin, Texas, at the VFW Memorial Day ceremony the Cook-Walden/ Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  Sgt. Maj. Morris Hickman, 2nd Regiment, had the honor to play taps.  The  Texas State Guard serves the people of Texas during natural or man-made disasters and assists communities during local events. (Texas State Guard photo by 1st Lt. Ernesto C. Garcia/Released)

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Guard paid tribute to the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day at  the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas, May 25, 2015.  At the request of the Capital City VFW Post 8787, located in Austin, Texas, soldiers of the 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard, participated in the VFW Memorial Day ceremony. One soldier from the 2nd Regiment, Sgt. Maj. Morris Hickman, had the honor to play taps.

When members of VFW Post 8787 needed assistance with their 2015 Memorial Day Celebration, they turned to their own VFW bugler, Hickman, to see if the Texas State Guard was available. Hickman has been playing the bugle since 1966 since his service with the U.S. Navy from 1962 to 1968 where he worked in communications and as a diver.

The 2nd Regiment was honored to help with the ceremony. The soldiers presented the colors, served as an honor guard, assisted various military organizations that placed wreaths around the cemetery, and the fired three volley salute. The last part of the ceremony was when Sgt.Maj. Hickman played taps.
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The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of about 1.9 million members.  The VFW advocates for U.S. veterans, by working to ensure that veterans and their loved ones are recognized for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our great nation.

Since 1868, Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day) is the federal holiday that honors soldiers who have died in military service to the United States.

Texas State Guard 39th Composite Regiment Assists in Flood Emergency

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer

Posted: May 28, 2015

Staff Sgt. William Wiley, Staff Sgt. Brenda Newton, and Spc. Desmon Dunn from the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard provide administrative support to the Disaster District Coordinators from the Texas Department of Emergency Management during the flood emergency operations in Wichita Falls, Texas, May 23, 2015.  The assistance of the soldiers to the emergency contributed to the ability first responders to rescue, evacuate, and provide emergency services to local residents.  (Texas State Guard photo by 39th Regiment/ Released)
Staff Sgt. William Wiley, Staff Sgt. Brenda Newton, and Spc. Desmon Dunn from the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard provide administrative support to the Disaster District Coordinators from the Texas Department of Emergency Management during the flood emergency operations in Wichita Falls, Texas, May 23, 2015.  The assistance of the soldiers to the emergency contributed to the ability first responders to rescue, evacuate, and provide emergency services to local residents.  (Texas State Guard photo by 39th Regiment/ Released)

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Five soldiers from the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard, provided support to the Texas Disaster District Coordinators (DDC), the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Air National Guard during the recent flooding emergency in Wichita Falls, Texas, May 23-28, 2015.  

State Guard participation in Wichita Falls helped local residents affected by flood waters remain safe and receive necessary emergency assistance. 

Capt. Michael Garcia, Staff Sgt. Brenda Newton, Staff Sgt. William Willey, Spc. Desmon Dunn, and Spc. Zach Williams from the 39th Composite Regiment performed numerous tasks to support disaster coordination efforts, including administrative duties, answering phones, monitoring social media, and updating information on the Texas Web Emergency Operations Center. 

As the emergency unfolded, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visited Wichita Falls, to thank the guardsmen, and other emergency responders and volunteers, for their service, May 25, 2015. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott shakes hands with Staff Sgt. William Willey, and thanks Capt. Michael Garcia, Staff Sgt. Brenda Newton, Spc. Zach Willams, and Spc. Desmon Dunn from the 39th Composite Regiment for their service during flood emergency in Wichita Falls, Texas, May 25, 2015.  (Texas State Guard photo by 39th Regiment/Released)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, right, shakes hands with Staff Sgt. William Willey, 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard, left, thanking guardsmen from the 39th Composite Regiment for their service during the flood response operations in Wichita Falls, Texas, May 25, 2015.  More than 300 Guardsmen from the Texas Army, Air and State Guards mobilized to support Texans in need during historic flooding, May 2015. (Texas State Guard photo courtesy of the 39th Composite Regiment/Released)

The 39th Composite Regiment is well-equipped to provide emergency assistance. Since 2009, the regiment has worked closely with David Solis, State Coordinator Region 5, Texas Division Emergency Management, who integrated the 39th Composite Regiment into the Region 5 emergency coordination and training efforts.  This enabled the regiment to increase their emergency preparedness by working with other emergency response teams, even cross-training with the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency team in an effort to provide increased logistic support during crisis management.

This relationship has also increased the regiment’s support to disaster situations. During the winter storm of January, 2010, regiment guardsmen assisted Amarillo civil authorities and set up shelters in the Panhandle.  In May 2014, guardsmen were again mobilized, to support operations during the Double Diamond wildfires in Fritch, where they assisted with WEBEOC and radio communications and helped monitor social media.

"I am proud of the performance and dedication of the men and women of the 39th “Roughnecks” and the excellent working relationship we enjoy with our TDEM partners,” said Col. Barney Welch, commander of the 39th Composite Regiment. “Through that valuable partnership, this unique concept continues to evolve as a viable mission set for the State of Texas."

The 39th Composite Regiment was also mobilized for hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Dean, Operation Lone Star and Operation Border Star.  In 2012 the regiment became the only composite regiment in the Texas State Guard, because it’s unique internal medical staff.  The regiment covers a large part of West Texas and the Panhandle. It is headquartered in Midland, and has subordinate units located in Midland, Lubbock, El Paso, and Amarillo.

Flag Ceremony Draws Spectators and Recruits​

Story by:  Sfc. Charlie Patak

Posted: May 27, 2015

Folding flag
Staff Sgt. Edward Thomas, Sgt. Joe Gahm, and Sfc. Ed Lack perform a flag folding ceremony at the National Polka Festival, Ennis, Texas, May 23, 2015.  They invited Boy Scout Troop 210 of Ennis, Texas, along with Scoutmasters Trent Clinton, Kelly McManus and Alan Linson to join in the ceremony.  (Texas State Guard photo by Sfc. Charlie Patak/Released)

ENNIS, Texas - The National Polka Festival attracts large crowds in Ennis, Texas.  This year the 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, took advantage of the opportunity to recruit for the Texas State Guard in Ennis, May 23, 2015. Recruiters Sfc. Ed Lack, Staff Sgt. Edward Thomas, Sgt. Joe Gahm,  Pfc. John McClellon decided that they needed something unique that would most certainly attract a crowd.  

The recruiters had a prime location, among 165 other vendors, so that thousands of spectators would see them.  Led by Pfc. McClellon, the recruiters set up the tent and placed numerous recruiting items for people to see.  Although the rain kept many from attending the festival, visitors talked with the recruiters and requested information about the Texas State Guard and the 4th and 19th regiments and a dozen filled out applications.

Then Staff Sgt. Thomas had a great idea.  The recruiters decided to conduct a flag folding ceremony for the audience.   They invited Boy Scout Troop 210 of Ennis, Texas, along with Scoutmasters Trent Clinton, Kelly McManus and Alan Linson to join in the ceremony.  

Hundreds of spectators watched as the 2nd Battalion Color Guard soldiers Thomas and Gahm along with the Boy Scouts demonstrated how to fold the United States Flag properly as the ceremony is conducted in events honoring veterans, KIA personnel, and their families.  

"It is an honor to let others see how important it is to treat the flag with respect and dignity.  And to have the Boy Scouts assist was especially a great experience for all," commented Staff Sgt. Thomas.

 

 

Texas State Guard signal unit prepares for emergency response

Story By: Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted: April 24, 2015

Courtesy Photo Cpl. Christopher Parrish, 19th Regiment signal unit, Texas State Guard, conducts a radio exercise during part of a communications exercise conducted at California Crossing National Guard Armory in Dallas, Feb. 6-8, 2015. The exercise tested communications at great distances, operations management and how to provide support to the communities and officials involved during a natural disaster. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza)
Courtesy Photo
Cpl. Christopher Parrish, 19th Regiment signal unit, Texas State Guard, conducts a radio exercise during part of a communications exercise conducted at California Crossing National Guard Armory in Dallas, Feb. 6-8, 2015. The exercise tested communications at great distances, operations management and how to provide support to the communities and officials involved during a natural disaster. (Texas State Guard photo by Capt. Esperanza Meza)

DALLAS - With natural disasters a constant threat, coordinating emergency response efforts is important to provide assistance and resources to communities. 

The Texas State Guard, 19th Regiment signal unit conducted a three-day field communications exercise at the National Guard armory in Dallas, Feb. 6-8, 2015. 

The exercise tested the unit’s ability to communicate over great distances, as well as across the local community to effectively manage operations and provide support to the communities and officials involved.

“During actual emergencies, there is a strong likelihood that the Texas State Guard will be working hand-in-hand to pass emergency radio traffic and digital messages back and forth,” said Maj. Glen Fowler, the regiment’s communications officer. “This means that establishing relationships in advance preparation is a good idea.”

Guardsmen worked with communications equipment powered by an 8,000 watt generator, emergency battery backups, and digital equipment that enabling high frequency messaging capabilities, for both near and remote locations, without the need for Internet access.

Guardsmen were able to connect with other state emergency resources without internet or phone communications, using mobile dual band very high frequency and ultra high frequency transceivers with vertical antennas and high frequency transceivers, something that is often needed in the event of a disaster, said Fowler.

The field exercise involved voice and digital modes, using high frequency and very high frequency transceivers, communicating with other military stations and Military Auxiliary Radio System volunteers across Texas and several other states. 

MARS volunteers are amateur radio operators, licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and trained by the Army to operate as government auxiliary radio stations on the high frequency spectrum provided by the Department of Defense. The 19th Regiment has three Army MARS station licenses issued by Army MARS headquarters in Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

“The Texas State Guard has its own communication systems, but they need to be closely connected with other regional, state and national communications resources,” said Fowler. “Such interoperability helps to ensure that we can reliably communicate over great distances as well as just across a local community to be able to effectively manage our own operations as well as provide support to the communities and groups that we serve.”

The regiment’s signal team sent digital messages between Dallas and Austin using high frequency messaging modes, during the three-day exercise, and made numerous voice and digital communications connections with components all over the state. 

Warrant Officer 1 Lew Thompson, Texas Army MARS Texas Military Forces liaison officer, worked one on one with the regiment during this exercise, providing additional technical support and remote communications test message reception and transmission.

“The exercise was used to further the communications capabilities and individual knowledge and skills of members of the signals unit and to show that long-range high frequency communication is a valuable resource for the Texas State Guard that should not be overlooked,” said Fowler. “It allows various components of the Texas Military Forces to be able to communicate state-wide to serve as the voice of command and carry out our important and diverse disaster and community support missions.”

TX State Guard team practices recovering car

Story by: KXAN News

Posted: April 11, 2015

TX State Guard recover carBASTROP (KXAN) — Members of the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment extracted a car submerged in Lake Bastrop on Saturday. There was nothing foul or suspicious about the vehicle because it was nothing more than a training exercise, however the skills can be crucial for cases when a vehicle ends up underwater.

“We are ready to aid those local agencies that do not have the assets to do things like what we did today,” said Brigadier General Brian Smallwood.

The Maritime Regiment TXSG is made up of 240 volunteers and operates across the state of Texas and many took part in the “underwater disaster preparedness” exercise.

Wednesday they played out a scenario of a car plunging into Lake Bastrop after being carjacked. Two potential “victims” were inside the car while a ground search took place for the suspect.

Using four divers and giant yellow air lift bags, the team located and then lifted the car out of the water with a very careful technique.

“There could be evidence and we have to be safe with the vehicle,” said Lt. Stephen Moffit.

http://kxan.com/2015/04/11/tx-state-guard-team-practices-recovering-car-from-lake/

Army Component Texas State Guard Welcomes New General

Howard N. Palmer, Jr. Promoted to Brigadier General

Story by: CW2 Janet Schmelzer, 4th Regiment, PAO

Posted: March 28, 2015

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28March2015) - Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  formally assumed command of the Army Component, TXSG, at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG.
CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28March2015) - Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  formally assumed command of the Army Component, TXSG, at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state. Photo by CW2 Janet Schmelzer, TXSG.

CAMP MABRY, AUSTIN, TX (28 March 2015) – The Army Component Command of the Texas State Guard has a new commander and a new general, Brig. Gen. Howard N. Palmer, Jr.  Maj. Gen. Jake Betty, Commander, TXSG, promoted Palmer to the rank of brigadier general and formally handed over the Army Component to Palmer at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, March 28, 2015. Palmer assumed command of the ACC, January 1, 2015. Palmer will command almost one thousand TXSG soldiers in six civil affairs regiments located across the state.

"I couldn't be more honored, or more humbled, by the opportunity to lead one of the premier organizations of this type in the United States," Palmer stated. "With my mentors' support and the support of the officers, NCOs, and enlisted members of the Army Component, we're going to continue moving forward as an organization with a culture and a strategy of continuous improvement."

Palmer was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Louisiana Army National Guard after completing the ROTC program at Louisiana College in 1980 and ended his federal service as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard in 2008.  His federal service active duty assignments included deployment to Bosnia for Operation Joint Forge in 2000;  Operation Noble Eagle II in 2003;  Operation Jump Start (Marfa, Texas); and J3, Operation Jump Start (Austin, Texas) from 2006-2008.  He is a graduate of Field Artillery School Officer Basic Course; Field Artillery  School, Cannon Battery Officer Course; Field Artillery School Officer Advanced Course; Combined Arms and Services Staff School; Command and General Staff College-Graduate; and Field Artillery Pre-Command Course.

At the ceremony Palmer also received The State of Texas Outstanding Service Medal for exemplary service in the military forces of Texas.  Palmer's highest awards for military service are the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal w/1 OLC, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal w/4 OLC, as well as various other state and federal ribbons.

Palmer joined the TXSG at the rank of Colonel in 2008.  He served as the commander of the 4th Regiment, TXSG, from 2010-2015.

Palmer holds a BA in English and History from Louisiana College-Pineville, Pineville, Louisiana, and a MA in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas.  He is an Assistant Principal at Denton High School, Denton, Texas.  He is married to Dr. Mary "Beth" Palmer. They have a son, 1st Lt. Howard N. Palmer, III, US Air Force, and daughter-in-law Julia C. Palmer.