Posts in Category: Texas State Guard

Gov. Perry Appoints Brigadier General Betty as Commander of Texas State Guard

Posted: 20-AUG-14

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Brigadier General Gerald "Jake" Betty as Commander of the Texas State Guard effective Sept. 1, 2014 for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor. The commander of the Texas State Guard is responsible for the organization, training and administration of the Texas State Guard, and reports to the Texas Adjutant General.

Betty is Brigadier General of the Texas State Guard Army Component Command. He is a member of the American Legion, Association of Former Students of Texas A&M, Corps of Cadets Association and the Association of Former Yell Leaders. He served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve.

Betty received a bachelor's degree and master's degree in education administration from Texas A&M University.

2BN, 8th Regiment Changing of Command and Enlistment Promotions

Posted: 19-AUG-2014

MAJ Britton presents LTC Krueger with the Cavalry Saber from the 2nd Bn. Photographed by SPC Hays, 2nd Bn., 8th Regt. 16 AUG 2014
MAJ Britton presents LTC Krueger with the Cavalry Saber from the 2nd Bn. Photographed by SPC Hays, 2nd Bn., 8th Regt. 16 AUG 2014

It was already turning out to be a warm and humid Saturday even in the early hour of only seven-thirty in the morning. After pulling into the parking lot at the Bryan Armory several soldiers from Second Battalion were greeting each-other with warm handshakes and friendly banter. A steady stream of soldiers continued to arrive and, now numbering in the dozens, file into the classrooms inside the armory for company time. Once there the battalion companies briefly split into separate groups to review the process for the Second Battalion change of command ceremony and the promotion of four of the battalions enlisted personnel. After briefing the personnel verbally the companies rehearsed the Drill and Ceremony movements and functions before the ceremony itself took place in the vehicle bay of the armory.

The first round of ceremonies consisted of the promotion of four enlisted personnel in the Second Battalion from within Company A, and in the Second Battalion staff. Sergeant Gore, the Second Battalion S3 NCO, was promoted to Staff Sergeant, and Specialist Zelaya of Company A was promoted to Sergeant, and Privates First Class Manning and Hall, also of Company A, were promoted to Corporal and Specialist respectively. These enlisted men of the Second Battalion have demonstrated the dedication and competency of leadership necessary to be entrusted with greater responsibility and recognition deserving of promotion within the ranks. We look forward to their promising careers within the Texas State Guard and the Second Battalion.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the ceremony of the change of command of the Second Battalion resulted in the prestigious promotion of responsibility for one Major (MAJ) Britton to the role of commanding officer of the battalion, and the bittersweet loss of the outgoing commander of Second Battalion: Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Krueger. LTC Krueger, having inherited the Second Battalion from LTC Manning upon his retirement, set about creating the framework for a more consistent and quality focused training scheme for the soldiers of the Second Battalion. After working tirelessly with the Second Battalion for several years LTC Krueger has helped bring about many changes and improvements to the organization, efficiency, and quality of the personnel and training drills conducted by the Second Battalion.

As testament to LTC Krueger’s humility and exemplary leadership while in command he stressed in his farewell speech that his successes are not his own, but a result of the collective effort of each and every soldier in the unit. Each drill that saw an increase in the number of attending soldiers, every successful training mission undertaken by the unit, and the exemplary professionalism displayed at every Annual Training exercise is as much a reflection of the discipline of the men and women of the rank-and-file of Second Battalion as it is the quality of leadership from Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers alike. With Colonel Grantham, the Commanding Officer of the Eighth Regiment, presiding over the change of command, and with General Jake Betty in attendance, the mantle of responsibility for Second Battalion was passed to MAJ Britton.

Incoming commander of the Second Battalion, MAJ Britton, gave a short speech emphasizing that he will continue to build on the success of those before him, and presented the outgoing commander with a parting gift from the soldiers of the unit: A Cavalry Saber etched with the insignia of the Eighth Regiment shield, and the words “Texas State Guard” with a wooden display stand and an attached plaque inscribed with the name of LTC Krueger, the date and the purpose of the occasion for which it was presented. In the closing statements of the ceremony MAJ Britton wished LTC Krueger the best in his endeavors as he transfers to Texas State Guard Command Headquarters to continue doing greater and better things for the TXSG. LTC Krueger, we soldiers of the Second Battalion thank you for your dedication to us and for your service rendered thus far to our great State of Texas. You shall be sorely missed.

Texas State Guardsmen jumps into action!

Photo of the burning motorcycle.

By: LTC Cendy Antley, 2nd Regiment

Posted: 18-JUL-14

We all know Texas State Guard members are people who give of themselves selflessly to the citizens of the state of Texas.  Saturday, July 16, 2014 was no different.  On Interstate 35 South at Waco, CPL Michael Dunlap witnessed what few would ever want to see in their lifetime.

At approximately 5:45 p.m. CPL Dunlap was driving home to Austin when he witnessed a motorcycle in the right hand lane, on its side, on fire, with the driver lying in the lane not moving.  Fuel was running down the overpass on fire.  Without hesitation, CPL Dunlap stopped his car, checked to make sure the scene was safe, and pulled the driver of the motorcycle to safety with the assistance of a truck driver.

The motorcycle driver was conscious and answer pertinent questions posed by the CPL.  While no one Texas State Guard member expects to put their life on the line to save a stranger, we are very proud of CPL Michael Dunlap as he exemplifies what a State Guardsman is made of. CPL Michael Dunlap is the true grit of a Texas State Guard.  Bravo Zulu.

Chief Petty Officer Nathan Gilbert Promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer

By: CMSgt Paul Lankford, 5th AW Public Affairs Officer

Posted: 17-JUL-14

Members of the Del Rio JOIC stood in formation as Col Hamilton and Maj Kali Pinckney, Commander of the 449th ASG, pinned on his new rank.   Col Hamilton explained, “I’m pleased to promote CPO Gilbert to SCPO.  Chief Gilbert began his TXSG career with the Army side, later when TMAR stood up, he transferred to that component.”
Members of the Del Rio JOIC stood in formation as Col Hamilton and Maj Kali Pinckney, Commander of the 449th ASG, pinned on his new rank.   Col Hamilton explained, “I’m pleased to promote CPO Gilbert to SCPO.  Chief Gilbert began his TXSG career with the Army side, later when TMAR stood up, he transferred to that component.” 

Del Rio—During a July 15th Staff Assistance Visit, Operation Border Star OIC Col Thomas Hamilton, promoted Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Nathan Gilbert to Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO). SCPO Gilbert is the Training Officer for the Del Rio Joint Operations Intelligence Center (JOIC).

SCPO Gilbert’s home unit is TMAR 1st BN located at the Rosenberg, TX Armory. SCPO is the N-1 Personnel Actions Officer for TMAR 1st BN.

“The ‘Top Three,’ within the enlisted naval ranks of TMAR are the Chief Petty Officer, the Senior Chief Petty Officer, and the Master Chief Petty Officer,” said Col Hamilton. On April 1, 1893, the grade of Chief Petty Officer was established, and effective June 1, 1958 the grade of Senior Chief and Master Chief were created. The Chief Petty Officers (CPO) serve a dual role as both technical experts and as leaders, with the emphasis being more on leadership; including the recognized collateral duty of training newly commissioned Junior Officers. CPO’s are, in essence, the middle managers of the Navy, the Chief is in charge of getting the work done through the junior enlisted.

Arthur J. Miller, Border Liaison Officer Del Rio for Operation Border Star (OBS) said, “SCPO Gilbert is very deserving of this promotion. He is the JOIC Training Officer, who is responsible of not only new-hire training, but refresher training on OBS JOIC procedures.”

After the promotion ceremony, members of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Del Rio Border Intelligence Center (BIC) and TXSG members of the JOIC congratulated SCPO Gilbert during a promotion reception in the JOIC.

447th Air Support Group Change of Command

By: CMSgt Paul Lankford, 5th Air Wing Public Affairs Officer

Posted: 15-JUL-14

Col Thomas (Pre) Ball (left) presents the 447th ASG Guidon to Lt Col Barry Dolgow, new Commander 447th ASG (right), while Lt Col Patrick Cassidy, former commander looks on (center). (Photos by Capt Shawn James)
Col Thomas (Pre) Ball (left) presents the 447th ASG Guidon to Lt Col Barry Dolgow, new Commander 447th ASG (right), while Lt Col Patrick Cassidy, former commander looks on (center). (Photos by Capt Shawn James)

Houston, TX—Col Thomas Ball, 5th Air Wing Commander, conducted a promotion and change of command ceremony at the 447th Air Support Group located at the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, TX on Saturday July 12th. Col Ball promoted Maj Barry Dolgow to Lieutenant Colonel and then transferred command of the 447th Air Support Group from Lt Col Patrick Cassidy to Lt Col Dolgow. Lt Col Cassidy will be joining the 5th Air Wing staff as the Logistics officer.

Mrs. Dolgow assisted Col Ball in pinning on the new rank on Lt Col Dolgow. Col Ball said, “I’m pleased to promote Maj Dolgow to Lieutenant Colonel. He has had an incredible military career with the Navy as a Navy Flight Officer; he conducted two combat tours in Viet Nam as a F-4 Phantom Radar Intercept Officer, logged over 2,000 flight hours, 400 carrier landings, and completed 99 combat missions. Lt Col Dolgow will be a credit to the Texas State guard and the 447th Air Support Group.

Lt Col Dolgow joined the Texas State Guard over a year ago, and will begin the Command and General Staff College course July 25th at Camp Mabry in Austin, TX.

Lt Col Doglow assumes command of the 447th Air Support Group from Lt Col Patrick M. Cassidy, who served 9 years in the Naval Submarine service. Col Ball explained, “Lt Col Cassidy was assigned as a Missile Technician aboard the USS Michigan and later was an instructor at the Trident Training Facility, Naval Submarine Base, Silverdale, Washington.” Lt Col Cassidy has been a member of the Texas State Guard since June 2000, and supported relief efforts after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Humberto , Alex, Dean and Gustav.

Texas State Guard Keeps Citizens Safe During Celebrations

Posted: Friday, July 04, 2014

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Whether you choose to celebrate with a picnic in unfamiliar territory like several UT Austin fans – or take a tour of Independence Hall – there is no shortage of activities for today's Independence Day celebration.
But, for the men and women of the Texas State Guard – they enjoyed celebrating America's birthday all suited up and eager to keep you safe.

“The sense of pride of just being here and being able to serve other fellow Texans within the guard and outside the guard has always been a great thing for me,” said Texas State Guard soldier, Thomas Coleman.

"The Texas State Guard is about Texans serving Texans. We are here to volunteer our time to be able to perform a defense support and civil authorities mission at this commission,” said Texas State Guard soldier, Sgt. Jeff Gore.

Back at the command center – they prepare for today's patriotic mission at Washington on the Brazos Park by first briefing the soldiers before sending them to their assignments.

And it's safe to say – Park Director, Catherine Nolte appreciates their hard work.

"Those folks are absolutely crucial to the success and the pleasure that our visitors can have here,” Nolte said.

While their main mission is to assist during a state emergency, one of their duties this afternoon is just to make sure everyone gets in and out safely and enjoy the holiday without any issues.

As visitors listen in on the tour and others carve wood for the first time, guard members grab their gear and stand their post – all while remembering their own favorite holiday moments.

“I guess it's always been the fireworks – coming out and seeing them and participating in the fireworks,” Coleman added.

If you're in the Washington County area – festivities will last until 9 p.m.

19th Regiment Combines Annual Training with North Texas Mass Casualty Exercise

Story by: CPT Esperanza Meza

Posted: 16-JUN-14

Spc John Turner with 19th Regiment, 1st Battalion, scans a Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TETN) band to provide to shelter evacuees at Balch Springs Recreation Center, during a mock hurricane exercise, June 7, 2014
Spc John Turner with 19th Regiment, 1st Battalion, scans a Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TETN) band to provide to shelter evacuees at Balch Springs Recreation Center, during a mock hurricane exercise, June 7, 2014

The Troopers of the Dallas-based 19th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard, joined more than a dozen North Texas emergency management agencies in a mass casualty exercise that tested the full-range of the Regiment’s mission set. Operation Thunderbolt, led by the Dallas County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, tested the Regiment’s leaders and staffs at every level and provided Troopers unique and challenging training in readiness for this year’s hurricane season. The exercise took place in several communities across North Texas requiring the Regiment to operate simultaneously from numerous locations at the maximum range of its communications capabilities and to move every day.

“We set out from the beginning to exercise each of our METL tasks in an interagency agency environment on the turf where we’re likely to be employed”, said Col. Robert Hastings, commander of the 19th Regiment. “Every year, our annual training cycle culminates in a hurricane readiness exercise at the beginning of hurricane season.”

The training scenario revolved around a category 4 hurricane bearing down on the gulf coast triggering evacuations of Texas and Louisiana coastal communities and activation of the Dallas mass sheltering plan. It was further complicated by severe weather in North Texas with multiple tornadoes and severe flooding. In addition to thousands of evacuees, the scenario included mass casualties from an airplane crash and a hazardous chemical accident. The scenario enabled the Regiment to exercise its emergency response capabilities in communications, mass care, shelter management, evacuee tracking, wide area damage assessment, and search and rescue.

The exercise also contained a number leadership reaction scenarios designed to build teamwork and communication. In one scenario, teams conducting wide area damage assessment in the city, Grapevine, following a simulated tornado strike, discovered civilians and another TXSG team trapped in a “collapsed” warehouse – in reality a Grapevine Fire Department rescue training facility. The teams had to rapidly assess the situation, determine a course of action, and evacuate and treat the victims as the building “collapsed” around them. In another scenario, the Regiment responded to a request for assistance from the DFW Airport to help search for missing passengers from a plane crash in a heavily wooded area on the airport.

PFC Hunter Becker, assigned to 19th Regiment, 1st Battalion, attaches a Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TETN) band to one of the victims, acting as a role player, as her mother looks on  during a hurricane shelter management exercise, June 7, 2014
PFC Hunter Becker, assigned to 19th Regiment, 1st Battalion, attaches a Texas Emergency Tracking Network (TETN) band to one of the victims, acting as a role player, as her mother looks on  during a hurricane shelter management exercise, June 7, 2014

SGT Samantha Shipman, a Civil Affairs team leader, stated, “This AT tested both our basic and advanced skills in dealing with different real world scenarios and issues. It built our teamwork and communications to a new level and gave us an opportunity to find things to improve on that we may have overlooked in previous AT experiences.”

As thousands of displaced citizens began flooding into Dallas, the Regiment was redirected to the area of Balch Springs, Kaufman and Terrell to establish shelters and process evacuees. As evacuee “role players” streamed in by bus and carload, Troopers quickly established shelters, emergency tracking network stations and medical treatment stations for special needs patients. Each of the dozens of role players presented a unique and challenging problem for the shelter teams to deal with. Realism was further driven by injects provided by observer-controllers and civilian emergency management subject matter experts.

“I enjoyed getting the chance to set up and work with the emergency tracking network equipment and though there were some issues, it gave me the chance to practice coming up with a viable solution in real time with people actually waiting,” explained Spc. John Hurst.

The sentiment was echoed by Pvt. Jonathan Miller, a new member of the 19th Regiment, who added that the exercise put all his previous training in context. “Having just completed my FEMA and Red Cross training, it allowed me to gain real world perspective and partake in multiple disaster scenarios.”

The Regiment’s three battalions were augmented by a detachment from the TXSG Medical Brigade, a signals team from Texas Army MARS, and personnel from the TXSG Maritime Regiment.

"When the citizens of the Texas need assistance, exercises like this ensure we'll be ready. It was an opportunity to prove to ourselves and our emergency management partners that we are in fact prepared to respond," said Hastings.

Command and General Staff College Graduation of Class One

Command and General Staff College Class One

Story By: SSG Timothy Pruitt, Public Affairs Officers TXSG HQ

CAMP MABRY, TX —On Saturday 14 June 2014 the Command and General Staff College (CGSCG) graduated its first class of twelve graduates. The CGSCG is a Graduate level program for senior officers with the enduring purpose of supporting Leader Development and Education.  Professional Military Education ensures the professional vitality of officers by preparing them to discharge their duties in the service of our great state of Texas.

The twelve graduates are as follows: BG Brian K. Smallwood (Class Leader), COL Edwin A. Grantham (Asst. Leader), LTC Phyllis Brooks, LTC James Ray Hays, LTC Kristopher K. Krueger, LTC Kevin J. Lilly, MAJ Benedict J. Boerner, LCDR Robert W. Finley, MAJ Jose L. Garcia, MAJ Donna V. Lary, MAJ Wendell C. Sadler, and MAJ J. Michael Spraggins

Operation Alamo Shield

BY: CMSgt Paul Lankford, Public Affairs Officer 5th AW

Picture of People next to mapsPORT ARANSAS, TX—On Wednesday morning June 6th the weather in Port Aransas, TX was deceptively calm, with no heavy rains or gusty winds. Preliminary weather reports indicated the approach of a relatively mild storm, which had first formed as a tropical depression two days before in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm was being monitored by Air Force Hurricane Hunters from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler AFB, MS.

By nightfall the weather had quickly changed drastically, and the National Weather Service was now issuing warnings for a full-fledged hurricane with its eye on Port Aransas, Ingleside, Aransas Pass and Corpus Christi. Winds at landfall were now being predicted to exceed 160 miles per hour.

The suddenness of this storm had happened once before on August 3, 1970 with Hurricane Celia, which approached as a mild storm, but left 18 dead, 9,000 injured or sick, over 3,000 homes destroyed or damaged with estimated property losses exceeding $100 million. Celia also accounted for over $50 million in crop loss. This storm, as islanders later put it, “Surely was Celia’s sister.”

COL Vincent Carag, Texas State Guard Commander of the 1st Regiment (REGT) in San Antonio, had been monitoring the progress of the storm, and wisely conducted a practice “recall” on Tuesday night. COL Carag’s gut feeling later proved to be a “game changer.”

The hurricane hit Port Aransas on its march across the island to Corpus Christi, where it hit with devastating consequences. With so little warning, very few people were able to evacuate the area north up I-37 to San Antonio. Port Aransas normally has a year round population of 4,000, but during the summer months it swells to from 40,000 to 70,000. Corpus Christi is a moderate sized Gulf Coast city with a population of about 312,000.

COL Carag initiated a real-world “recall” on Thursday morning assembling a Task Force made up of 150 soldiers and airmen, who would provide evacuee tracking, shelter management, points of distribution, area reconnaissance, wide area assessment, limited search and rescue, area security, and other emergency management missions to protect lives and property in the storm-ravaged area.

Task Force 1st REGT is made up of San Antonio-area TXSG forces, soldiers and airmen who train annually for just such a disaster response. TF 1 REGT commander COL Carag said, “San Antonio is geographically closest to the summer island playgrounds of Padre Island, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass and the city of Corpus Christi, thus we would be the first get the call for hurricane disaster contingency operations.” He emphasized, “That’s what we train for—that’s who we are.”

The scenario described above was the basis for the Annual Training (AT) for TF 1 REGT, which also included the 449th Air Support Group, the Alamo Medical Response Group, and the Engineering Detachment. The 1st BN and 3rd BN of the 1st RGT were the Army components to the Task Force.

“After Hurricane Celia hit the area 43 years ago, much has changed in how we track, prepare and train for hurricane relief,“ explained Rick Adams, Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) for the city of Port Aransas. EMC Adams, working with Brandi Ashby-Fisher, District Coordinator for Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), COL (USA Ret) Rob Maxham, volunteer Assistant EMC Port Aransas, asked the TXSG executive counsel if they would be willing to conduct disaster training in conjunction with Port Aransas and Nueces County for their Annual Training this year. “We thought this training would benefit both the city of Port Aransas and the TXSG greatly,” COL Carag said.Pictures of 3 troops

“Ancillary emergency responders, who aided in the AT hurricane relief scenario were the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) ‘green egg’,” COL Carag stressed. He explained that the Red Cross aided in shelter management, while the Salvation Army provided meals for the Task Force.

Others involved included the Port Aransas Independent School District (ISD). COL James J. Gardon, Medical Response Group oversaw efforts to house TXSG personnel in the Burnett Middle School gymnasium, and set up the inflatable shelter on ISD grounds.

EMC Rick Adams said virtually every municipal employee was involved in the scenario, “Our Fire and EMS, our Police, our Water Plant personnel, our Waste Water personnel, and our facilities personnel all pitched in to make this a real success.”

Maj Ferdinand Girard, Commander of the 449th ASG, Lackland AFB said it best, “This is as close as you can come to the real thing (a hurricane)—this is exactly the type joint-training we should be doing.”

“Much of the success of this year’s Annual Training scenario belongs to the Operations Officer for 1st REGT, MAJ Don T. Shirley, who coordinated the planning,” said Col Thomas Ball, 5th Air Wing (5th AW) Commander.  Members of the 5Th AW were utilized to be “Evaluators” during the exercise.  Col Ball provided boat and water safety training in Port Aransas to Army and Air Component personnel.  “After  hurricane landfall, our troops may be asked to conduct operations around high-water areas, and we want to ensure they can perform those duties safely and effectively,” Col Ball explained.

Overall, COL Carag was pleased with the performance of the task force over the four-day training period. “We ran round-the-clock scenarios, and stressed our people with events much like they would encounter during a real hurricane,” COL Carag said. “Are we better prepared for a hurricane?, you bet we are,” he answered.

Medical Outreach Provides Care in East Texas

Photo of Dr. Jonathan MacClements and Nurse Practitioner Thoone
Dr. Jonathan MacClements and Nurse Practitioner Thoone

VAN, TX – The Texas State Guard in cooperation with a number of medical agencies, colleges, and other community organizations has returned for the second year to provide preventative and primary care to uninsured East Texans.  Licensed physicians and nurses are performing physicals, administering hearing tests, mammograms, and other health screenings, providing immunizations, dental care, and mental health services, and advising on healthy lifestyle choices.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Department of State Health Service and the Texas State Guard to deliver to those most in need in East Texas.  Lives are being changed,” stated George T. Roberts, Jr., Chief Executive Officer Northeast Texas public health district.

More than 500 individuals had arrived by Wednesday morning with two days of service still to go -- far exceeding the 300 visits last year. Many use this opportunity to receive the only health care and dental care they receive all year long and are very appreciative of the State’s efforts.

“We appreciate the support of the Texas State Guard who provided support of traffic flow, security, and filling in the hot spots each day.  We could not have made it without them.” said Dr. Paul McGaha, Regional Medical Director of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Partnering agencies include Van ISD, University of Texas at Tyler School of Nursing, UT Health Northeast Family Medicine Residency Program, NET Health, Texas Department of State Health Services, Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council Trauma Service Area-G, Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Dentistry, Andrews Center, Tyler Junior College and many other community organizations.