Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

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.

I am the Guard

"I AM THE GUARD"

New Video from the Texas Military Forces

Story by: Chief Warrant Officer Two Janet Schmelzer

Posted: March 9, 2015

I am the GuardI am the Guard - Video AUSTIN, Texas) - The Texas State Guard is featured in the new "I AM THE GUARD" video produced by SFC Malcolm McClendon, Texas Military Public Affairs Office.  This video is about the Texas Military Forces which includes the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. 

One of the soldiers profiled is Staff Sgt. Jason Lopez, 2nd Regiment, Texas State Guard.  Photos include as well other TXSG soldiers. 

Video is available by clicking the image (left), the link in the right column on this page I am the Guard, or www.facebook.com/TexasStateGuard,  the TMD website  or www.facebook.com/TexasMilitaryForces.

Amputee Serves State in Texas Guard

Story by: Capt. Esperanza Meza

Posted: March 1, 2015

PFC Lonnie Roy(GREENVILLE, Texas) - Despite growing up as an amputee with a prosthetic leg, Pfc. Lonnie Roy, Texas State Guard, always wanted to serve.

Roy grew up watching his father, a retired chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy, serve and spent much of his childhood on military bases. Roy always had a desire to serve, but never could due to his disability.

Roy realized his dream when he graduated Regional Basic Orientation Training and became a Texas State Guardsman Nov. 16, 2014, at the Greenville Armory.

Roy, a Dallas-area resident and director of health systems research at Parkland Health & Hospital Systems in Dallas, was born with a bone disease that led to a leg amputation. After a chance meeting with Sgt. Brian Nail, 19th Regiment, Texas State Guard, Roy learned that his dream of serving might become a reality.

Nail told Roy to look into the State Guard, informing Roy that his disability may be an obstacle but might not be a disqualifier. Roy’s wife was excited and wholeheartedly supported him as she knew he wanted to be in the military his whole life, Roy said. 

“Being an amputee, some unique challenges required a little more effort to overcome aside from everyday inconveniences,” said Roy. 

During the training, troops received extensive training in land navigation, communications, customs and courtesies, rank structure and chain of command, wear and maintenance of the uniform, a basic leadership course, drill and ceremony and a physical fitness test. 

During his training, Roy had to get creative. He learned putting on trousers with a prosthetic leg was difficult due to its three inter-locking pieces. To minimize the time devoted to dressing in the morning, Roy decided it would be easier to pre-dress the leg and lace up the boot and leave it up against his bed roll before going to sleep. 

“RBOT was more difficult for me than my fellow trainees,” said Roy, about the training. “Marching presented some unique obstacles for me.” 

Marching on uneven surfaces makes it difficult for an amputee to maintain balance. That coupled with keeping in step with his prosthetic leg that seemed to take too long to follow through on the forward step, resulted in Roy falling to the rear.

To fix this marching problem, Roy adjusted his gait, taking 30-inch steps with his leg and 15-inch steps with the prosthetic leg, a suggestion given to him based on how wounded warrior amputees adjusted to marching.
 
In addition to adjusting to marching with a prosthetic, Roy experienced difficulty in completing the one-mile event on the fitness test, but with some encouragement from fellow service members, he was able to complete it.

“My success was a combination of internal fortitude and fellow soldier’s encouragement providing me the needed motivation,” said Roy. “I am very excited to be part of the Texas State Guard and the Texas Military Forces. I never thought it would be possible to serve in any military force. I hope to continue to serve the State of Texas.”

For those considering the Texas State Guard, but hesitant that a disability may inhibit them, Roy’s message is: "If you are interested in joining, apply and go for it."

Roy is assigned to 1st Battalion, 19th Regiment of the Texas State Guard.

Taking Care of our Own

By: SSG Timothy Pruitt

Group Picture

SPC Poncher and PFC Katz are both full time students while serving in the Texas State Guard.  During this years winter break, they parked SPC Poncher's car at the airport in what they thought was secured parking. 

The car had been broken into and both soldier's gear, uniforms  and other personal items were taken.  The soldiers, over the last few weeks have been slowly replacing all the missing items.

Today during drill at Camp Swift, 1SG Smith and LTC Dudenhoeffer presented replacement ruck sacks to the soldiers.  They used their personal funds to purchase the ruck sacks for their soldiers.

Col Dudenhoeffer said," this is how we take care of our troops in 1BN 2nd REGT."  The purchase of the bags send a message that the troops will be taken care of if the need  arises.

Promotion Ceremony for SGT Brenda Burns

Story by: CMSgt Paul Lankford

DEL RIO, Texas - Cpl. Brenda Burns was promoted to sergeant on December 17, 2014 during a Texas State Guard promotion ceremony held in Del Rio.

Sgt. Burns, who is assigned to the Texas State Guard’s Army Component Command, 1st Battalion 19th Regiment, is also working alongside the Department of Public Safety and other local law enforcement agencies in a joint-agency operation in the Del Rio area.

The Texas State Guard is a branch of the Texas Military Forces responsible for providing mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies, with homeland security and community service through Defense Support to Civil Authorities and to augment the other two branches of the Texas Military Forces, the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as force multipliers. The State Guard’s missions are directed by the Commander in Chief of the Texas Military Forces the Governor of Texas and commanded by the Texas Adjutant General.

Arthur Miller, Border Liaison Officer, conducted the promotion ceremony and Sgt. Burns’ husband Russell, who is a veteran U.S. Marine, pinned the new rank on his wife.

Promotion Ceremony picture 1Promotion Ceremony picture 2

TXSG OCS Class 14 Prepares for Graduation

After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on his back. Photo Credit Captain Shaw James
After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on his back. Photo Credit Captain Shaw James

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas State Guard (TXSG) Officer Candidate School (OCS) will graduate Class 14 on January 17, 2015.

Class 14, which began in October 2014, is the first to complete the newly revised 5 month accelerated OCS program which includes 1 month of preparatory online classes and 4 monthly drill events at Camp Swift. Previously, candidates completed OCS over 8 months; completing the condensed course has been no easy feat for the 8 candidates remaining from the 15 who started.

"Condensing the OCS drill cycle to five months instead of the previous eight months has proven to be beneficial for the candidates and cadre. The reduced number of drill periods resulted in less time away from families and employment while decreasing the potential for safety concerns during travel. The pace of the course is significantly faster, but overall quality of instruction has not been adversely affected. We believe we will see an increase in applications due to the shortened time frame and we are very pleased with the progress and enthusiasm of the current class of candidates" said COL Thomas Hamilton, TXSG J-7.

The TXSG began the OCS program in 2011 to meet the need for junior officers who are trained and prepared to fulfill the missions unique to the TXSG. The first month of the new OCS program utilizes the online Moodle platform for completion of pre-commissioning courses. The monthly four-day training exercises are designed to test the mental and physical endurance of candidates, while simultaneously requiring the devotion of countless off-duty hours to OCS academic and fitness demands. Class 14 has one more drill weekend before graduation, which will include completion of the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood.

Officer Candidate Scott Runnels gives a hop as he scales down the rappelling tower. Photo Credit Captain Shawn James
Officer Candidate Scott Runnels gives a hop as he scales down the rappelling tower. Photo Credit Captain Shawn James

Class 14 is comprised of 3 candidates from the Army Component, 2 candidates from the Air Component, and 3 candidates from the Texas Maritime Regiment. Candidates are blended from their respective components and come together as one team working towards their graduation and commissioning. Officer Candidate Samuel Sexton stated, “OCS is more challenging than I could have imagined. There is no way to make it as an individual and the key is working as a team and accomplishing the tasks together.”

Graduation will be held at the Camp Mabry Auditorium in Building 8 at 1300 HRS on January 17, 2015.

Class 15 is scheduled to begin in January 2015.