Posts in Category: Blog

36th CAB Memorial Run for E-40 

Courtesy Story by: Sgt. Michael Fitzpatrick

Posted On: Jan. 25, 2017

Members of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade at the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Austin-Bergstom International Airport in Austin Texas, gathered outside American Legion Post 79 for a memorial run around Austin’s Ladybird Lake to commemorate the loss of Capt. Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas, and nine other soldiers killed when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter Lyerly flew was shot down in the Diyala province northeast of Baghdad on Jan. 20, 2007.

The following information is a report from the Multinational Corps Iraq news release published By American Forces Press Service and reprinted online January 26, 2007 on the website: www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/572881/established-procedures-followed-after-black-hawk-crash.

The military statement said two coalition aircraft were flying on a routine mission when one of the aircraft crashed in a rural area northeast of Baghdad. Reports indicate a distress call from the trail aircraft. About 20 seconds later, the lead aircraft crew saw the trail aircraft go down.

The lead aircraft immediately circled back to provide security and assistance to the crew and passengers, the statement said. After determining the area was clear, the lead helicopter landed and quickly surveyed the scene for any survivors of the downed aircraft.

The crew observed that the aircraft was on fire and determined there were no survivors, officials said. They remained on the ground and secured the site until additional security arrived.

An aerial coalition quick-reaction force arrived on the scene to provide additional security about three minutes after the Black Hawk was reported down. This air support arrived quickly, officials explained, because the crews were already conducting patrols in the area. The lead aircraft involved in the initial incident stayed on the scene for an additional seven minutes before leaving the secured site to fly to Forward Operating Base Balad.

The lead aircraft crew, made up of soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 131st Aviation Regiment, "performed heroically in protecting and safeguarding their comrades" in the downed Black Hawk under extremely adverse conditions, the Multinational Corps Iraq statement said. 

The soldiers, who belonged to a number of active Army and Army National Guard units, are: Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Oklahoma; Col. Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Virginia; Lt. Col. David C. Canegata III, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Capt. Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Arkansas; Capt. Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas; CSM Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa; CSM Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Maryland; First Sergeant William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Arkansas; SFC Floyd E. Lake Sr., 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; SFC John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Arkansas; Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Virginia; Cpl. Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Georgia.

Posted by SGT Jacob Gately Wednesday, January 25, 2017 8:45:00 AM Categories: Blog

Texas Military Department Announces New Air Guard Commander 

Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the Adjutant General of TexasAUSTIN, Texas (November 18, 2015) – Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, is pleased to announce Brig. Gen. David McMinn has been named the Commander of the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), following the retirement of Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Wisian.

McMinn received his commission upon graduation from Clemson University in 1985, completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was assigned to Pope AFB, North Carolina as a C-130E pilot in 1986. While there, McMinn specialized in Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System Tactical Air Delivery and Adverse Weather Aerial Delivery System formation flying.

After serving during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, McMinn transferred to the TXANG and joined the 136th Airlift Wing as an instructor pilot and later served as the 321st Expeditionary Operations Group Commander during operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. He has also served as the Operations Group, Vice Wing, and Wing Commander in the 136th Airlift Wing. As a traditional Guardsman, McMinn has gained over 5,000 flying hours both in his role as a command pilot in the T-37, T-38, C-130E and C-130H2 aircraft and as a captain for a major commercial airline. He most recently served as the Chief of Staff for the TXANG.

As Commander of the TXANG, McMinn commands more than 3,000 service members and oversees TXANG operations, training, readiness and resource allocation for both state and federal missions.

The appointment follows the recent announcement regarding the retirement of Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Wisian, Deputy Adjutant General-Air and Commander of the TXANG. Wisian is retiring with more than 32 years of service to the state and nation, including tours of duty in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. He now serves as director of the Coastal Protection division of the office of the Texas General Land Office.

Details regarding a change of command and/or retirement ceremonies for the above individuals are forthcoming.

Friday, November 18, 2016 1:05:00 PM Categories: Blog

Texas State Guard Welcomes New Air Component Commander 

Brig. Gen. Johann “John” Kinsey,Story by: Laura Lopez

Texas Military Department Public Affairs Office

AUSTIN, Texas- Members of the Texas State Guard welcomed Brig. Gen. Johann “John” Kinsey, as the incoming Air Component Commander, during a promotion and change of command ceremony, at Camp Mabry, in Austin, July 23, 2016.

As commander of the Air Component Command for the Texas State Guard, he is responsible for maintaining the preparedness of highly trained guardsmen for State Active Duty and other missions in response to contingencies, incidents or emergencies in the State of Texas, as directed by the Governor and the Adjutant General. 

“I consider command an honor and a sacred trust that demands loyalty and dedication in all directions,” said Kinsey. “Consequently, it is my responsibility to uphold the highest standards of leadership and personal conduct by always doing the right thing.  I also firmly believe that by taking care of my people, they will take care of the mission."

Kinsey was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1977. As a career security forces officer, he worked at the installation, major command, Air Staff and joint theater staff levels in various positions to include serving as the chief of police and commanding several large nuclear security forces units like the 343rd Training Squadron (Air Force Security Forces Academy) and the 97th Mission Support Group.  

Since joining the Texas State Guard in 2010, he commanded the 449th Air Support Group, the 5th Air Wing and most recently served as the Vice Commander of the Air Component Command.

Kinsey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and a Master of Science degree in International Relations. His military education includes the Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, On Scene Commander Couse and Senior Office Protection Awareness Course.

Some of Kinsey’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with silver oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with one device, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with “N” device.

Kinsey assumed command from Maj. Gen. Donald Prince, who served as the Air Component Commander for five years.

The Air Component Command is organized under a two air wing structure consisting of seven Air Support Groups located throughout the state. These air wings and their subordinate Air Support Groups provide regular direct support to the Texas Air National Guard and other components of the Texas State Guard and the Texas Military Department.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 10:36:00 AM Categories: Blog

Georgetown resident retires after 27 years of service 

Texas Guardsmen and family gathered to honor Lt. Col. Norbert Flores's serviceCommentary by Sgt. Elizabeth Peña

136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

Texas Guardsmen and family gathered to honor Lt. Col. Norbert Flores's service to the Texas National Guard, Oct. 1, 2016, during a retirement ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.

“Flores has always been known for his great common sense and his natural intelligence, but the bottom line is we are going to miss him,” said Col. Scott MacLeod, commander of the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. “This command will not be the same without him and Flores even though the line will close to fill your gap, we will miss your sword and shield.”

During the ceremony, Flores reflected back on his career and thanked his friends and family for their support throughout his 27 years in service.

“At the end family is what keeps me going,” said Flores. “To my wife and kids, no matter how long I was gone, whether it was a weekend or four months or two years, they always welcomed me home with open arms.”

Flores began his military career in 1988, in the Texas Army National Guard. His career spanned every echelon from platoon through division and every level of leadership.

Flores currently resides in Georgetown with his wife Priscilla and their two children.

Flores’ tireless efforts and devotion to the Texas Military Department and the state of Texas made a significant impact that will undoubtedly last far into the future.

“I always enjoyed serving the state of Texas, the citizens of this country serving with soldiers - I love that stuff,” said Flores as he closed out his speech. “God bless America, God bless Texas and the U.S. Army, but especially God bless the Texas Army National Guard. Gun smoke and let's roll. ”

 

Saturday, October 1, 2016 9:10:00 AM Categories: Blog

Austin local retires after 49 years of service to TMD 

retired Sgt. Maj. Elwood Imken’s service to the Texas National GuardCommentary by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena

Texas Military Department Public Affairs

Texas Guardsmen gathered to honor retired Sgt. Maj. Elwood Imken’s service to the Texas National Guard, June 30, 2016, during a ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.

“We’ve all been saying for the last 20 years, what are we going to do when Imken leaves, and today that day is here,” said Maj. Gen. William L. Smith, Deputy Adjutant General for Army. “We are going to have to figure that out and we have some pretty big shoes to fill to make all the things that 49 years of institutional knowledge has “

During the ceremony, retired Sgt. Maj. Imken thanked friends for attending the ceremony and gave five principles to live by.

  • Listen to people and listen to what they say.
  • Learn from others.
  • Teach the five W’s.
  • Use common sense and keep it simple.
  • Take care of your Soldiers

Imken began his military career in 1967, in the Texas Army National Guard. His career spanned every echelon from Platoon through Division and every level of leadership.

After honorably serving alongside Soldiers for 38 years, Imken immediately began working for the Texas Military Department as the Chief Training Specialist.

It was his plans and integration of many key organizations that led to success for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Ike and dozens of other droughts, fires and floods that have affected Texas in the last 15 years.

Imken’s tireless efforts and devotion to the Texas Army National Guard and the state of Texas for the last 49 years made a significant impact that will undoubtedly last far into the future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:48:00 AM Categories: Blog

Pflugerville resident promoted to Army Guard Colonel 

Adjutant General of Texas, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, is pleased to announce the promotion of Texas Army National Guard Lt. Col. Theresa K. Cogswell, Chief Information Officer-Army, to the rank of ColonelCommentary by Michelle McBride

Texas Military Department Public Affairs

The Adjutant General of Texas, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, is pleased to announce the promotion of Texas Army National Guard Lt. Col. Theresa K. Cogswell, Chief Information Officer-Army, to the rank of Colonel.

In a ceremony at Camp Mabry, in Austin, June 10, 2016, Col. Cogswell thanked her friends and family for their continued support and mentorship over the years, as well the command group for their trust and confidence at this new level.

“As I reflect back on my life and my military career to this point, I realize that the people who influenced me throughout my life were setting me up for success and the ability to one day stand here in front of you humbled and blessed to be given this opportunity,” said Cogswell.

Cogswell began her military career in 1990, in the United States Army Reserve then, in 1995, received an Army ROTC commission from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her first assignment was to the 348th Quartermaster Company, Camp Humphreys, U.S. Forces Korea. From there she transferred to Fort Campbell, Kentucky where she served as the Battalion S4, 636th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne (air assault) Division and later as the Division Petroleum Officer and the General Supply Officer for the 101st Division Support Command.

After completing the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course in 2000, Cogswell was assigned to the First Infantry Division in Germany where she deployed as a Company Commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005.

Cogswell transitioned to the Texas Army National Guard and served in the 36th Infantry Division and the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team where in 2009, she deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served in the position of the Director of Support Operations for the 72nd Joint Area Support Group in Bagdad, Iraq. Currently, Cogswell serves as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G6, and the Chief Information Officer for the Texas Army National Guard. 

In addition to her Bachelor’s of Science from Ball State University, Cogswell also holds a Master of Business Administration from Webster University in Kansas City, Missouri. Her military schools include the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, the Strategic Deployment School, the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms and Services staff school, the Resident Command and General Staff College and she is currently in the U.S. Army War College.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 11:00:00 AM Categories: Blog

Memorial Day 2016 

Each year, on the last Monday in May, we remember and honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. On 30 May 2016, we again pay tribute to these men and women, remember their service, and renew our commitment to the nation. While I encourage each of you to take full advantage of the long weekend to relax and enjoy quality time with your family and friends, I want you to do so with safety in mind. Be aware of your surroundings; situational awareness is the key to avoiding hazardous situations. I thank you and your families for all you do in defense of our great state and nation.

-- Major General John F. Nichols, Adjutant General

Thursday, May 26, 2016 11:05:00 AM Categories: Blog

Texas National Guard Chief Master Sergeant to be inducted to Hall of Honor 

Texas Air National Guard retired Chief Master Sgt. Johnny D. JonesAUSTIN, Texas – Texas Air National Guard retired Chief Master Sgt. Johnny D. Jones will be inducted into the Texas Military Department’s Hall of Honor for his extraordinary impact on the Texas Military, during a ceremony at Camp Mabry in Austin, May 14, 2016.

Jones served in the U.S. Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard for more than 38 years. He enlisted into the Air Force as an aircraft loadmaster in November of 1969. Early in his career, he crewed C-141 and C-130 missions in Vietnam for 18 months, compiling over 300 combat missions with 575 combat flying hours, and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor as a young Airman 1st Class. He returned from Vietnam to serve as an instructor and evaluator loadmaster where his efforts resulted in superior combat readiness and an outstanding safety record.

Jones transferred to the Texas Air National Guard’s 136th Airlift Wing in 1978. Throughout his tenure at the wing, he served in the 136th Aerial Port Squadron, 136th Airlift Control Flight and the 181st Airlift Squadron. While the Aerial Port Squadron was activated during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he and his crew shattered all previous Air Force records for tonnage moved in a 24-hour period.

As a testament to his “service before self” attitude, Jones served on the National Aerial Port Advisory Council, and as Vice Chairman of the 136th Airlift Wing Chief’s Council. As Chairman of the Enlisted Performance Feedback Working Group, he led the implementation of a feedback program in the 136th Airlift Wing two years ahead of the Air National Guard. He also co-authored ANGI 24-101, Air National Guard Aerial Port Program Instruction, as well as the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Aerial Port Self-Evaluation and Quality Control Program.

As well as striving to improve the Air Guard, Jones served his state and nation both at home and abroad, improving the lives of thousands in need.

In 1988, Jones supported the aeromedical evacuation of the Corpus Christi State School during Hurricane Gilbert and assisted in the emergency airlift of a 30-ton air conditioning cooling tower, a type of load that had never been airlifted on a C-130 before. The following year, he led a team to support Hurricane Hugo airlift operations to the U.S. Virgin Islands. His efforts resulted in the rapid airlift and deployment of a Hospital Unit, medical supplies, food, water and equipment.

In 2005, Jones deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as the superintendent of transportation for the logistics directorate of the combined Air headquarters. There, he directed the airlift of over 105 tons of equipment increasing Air capabilities by 40 percent for Enduring Freedom's MQ-1 Predator strike mission.

Back home again, he served as the Deployed Aerial Port Superintendent for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita relief efforts at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Belle Chase), New Orleans and Ellington Field in Houston, where his team set up a fully functioning aerial port to handle the massive influx of aircraft delivering troops and supplies.

As the 136th Airlift Wing Command Chief, Jones was the "pulse" of the enlisted force, where his insight, experience and renowned respect were invaluable in his role as a mentor for the wing commander, over 1,200 wing enlisted personnel, and the entire Texas Air National Guard enlisted force. He was an active member of the National Guard Association of Texas, co-chairing the Enlisted Breakfast programs, as well as ensuring enlisted issues were well represented during break-out sessions and business meetings. He was also an active member of the Silver Eagles, an organization of 136th Airlift Wing tenured and retired members who dedicate themselves to improving the quality of life for airman currently serving.
Chief Master Sgt. Jones’ tireless efforts and devotion to the Texas Air National Guard and the state of Texas for more than 38 years had a significant impact on the force that will undoubtedly continue far into the future.  His competence and outstanding contributions to the Texas National Guard reflect great credit on the Texas Military Department and the state of Texas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 11:07:00 AM Categories: Blog

Texas National Guard Sergeant Major to be inducted to Hall of Honor 

exas Army National Guard retired Sgt. Maj. Elwood H ImkenAUSTIN, Texas - Texas Army National Guard retired Sgt. Maj. Elwood H Imken will be inducted into the Texas Military Department’s Hall of Honor for his extraordinary impact on the Texas Military, during a ceremony at Camp Mabry in Austin, May 14, 2016.

Imken’s military service spanned more than thirty-eight years from March 1967 through 2005. His career reached every echelon from Platoon through Division and every level of leadership, culminating as the Division Operations Sergeant Major for the 49th Armored Division and the 36th Infantry Division. In each capacity he demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to improving unit readiness and taking care of the Soldier.
   
As Operations Sergeant Major for the 49th Armored Division and 36th Infantry Division, a position he held for over fourteen years, he has left a lasting mark.  He served as the Operations Sergeant Major for all four division warfighter exercises and approximately 30 other major exercises conducted by the Division.

He also served as the State Active Duty coordinator for the Division, directing the mobilization of Texas soldiers in over 100 state active duty missions, ranging from hurricane relief to the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery mission.

As the lead trainer for the Division, he helped thousands of Texas soldiers get the required schooling for their grade and specialty. During the 49th Armored Division's historic deployment to Bosnia he served as the Operations Sergeant Major for the Multi-National Division.

Following his retirement, he immediately began working for the Texas Military Department as the Chief Training Specialist. In addition to supporting the soldiers of Texas, Imken worked hard to improve the quality of communication and planning efforts with law enforcement agencies, political leaders and citizens throughout the state of Texas

As the Texas Army National Guard Chief Training Specialist for the Texas Military Department, he was integral in designing the All Hazard's Plan and statewide rehearsal of concept drills where services across the state met to rehearse the plan for a state response to natural disasters. It was his plans and integration of many key organizations that led to successful responses for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Ike and dozens of other droughts, fires and floods that affected Texas in the last 15 years.

In addition to his immense impact in domestic operations, Imken played a huge role in establishing and sustaining community outreach programs such as Food For Families, a program that provides food to stock pantries across the state of Texas. His planning efforts directly contributed to the success of the one-day food drive collection of 1,552,714 pounds of food in 2014 alone. Similarly, he is very involved in the planning and execution efforts of Blue Santa, another outreach program where he worked hand in hand with the Austin Police Department to provide thousands of toys annually to underprivileged children across the state of Texas. 

On top of this, each year he coordinates Texas Guard support for the annual dual weekend George Washington Birthday Celebration in Laredo, Texas, a huge community event with international impact. 

He was integral in creating the annual American Heroes Open House on Camp Mabry, which showcases the Texas Military Department's mission through static displays and dynamic demonstrations of past and present capabilities to the public, military members, governmental and non-governmental agency members.   His unremitting planning and coordination efforts enabled the Texas Military Department the ability to educate 20,000 guests each year.

He worked alongside the Texas Department of State Health Services to create an annual medical emergency preparedness exercise, Operation Lone Star.  Operation Lone Star provides hands-on training for the Texas Military Department medical personnel as well as providing valuable community health services to Texas inhabitants that may otherwise not receive medical care. Imken facilitated the planning and coordination necessary to execute the establishment of Medical Points of Dispensing along the Texas border.  The magnitude of this operation is so big that 12,000 border area residents attend annually, and over 100,000 have been cared for during the program's 12-year history.

Sgt. Maj. Imken’s tireless efforts and devotion to the Texas Army National Guard and the state of Texas for the last 49 years made a significant impact on the force that will undoubtedly continue far into the future.  His competence and outstanding contributions to the Texas National Guard reflect great credit on the Texas Military Department and the state of Texas.

Friday, May 6, 2016 11:15:00 AM Categories: Blog

Van Native breveted to Army Brigadier General 

Brig. Gen. Flynn received his new badges of rank from both Governor Greg Abbott and his familyAUSTIN, Texas (April 20, 2016) – The Commanding General of the Texas State Guard, Maj. Gen. Gerald “Jake” Betty, is pleased to announce the brevet of Army Col. Dan Flynn, interagency partnering officer, to the rank of Brigadier General.

In a ceremony at the Texas Capitol, in Austin, April 11, 2016, Brig. Gen. Flynn received his new badges of rank from both Governor Greg Abbott and his family. During his speech, Flynn thanked his friends and family for their continued support, as well as expressed his appreciation, to the leadership, for allowing him to join an exemplary group and give back to others.

“To get to serve the great state of Texas is an honor,” Flynn said. “It’s an honor I truly hope I am worthy of.”

Flynn joined the Texas State Guard in 2005. Since then, he has deployed on State Active Duty to in support of numerous state disaster responses. Additionally, Flynn has had a positive impact on the State of Texas and the Texas State Guard and has been instrumental in helping to develop policies and programs that have had a lasting impact on the training and readiness of the entire Texas State Guard. Other military service also includes several years with the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division.

On the civilian side, Flynn currently serves in the Texas House of Representatives where he represents House District 2 in East Texas, to include Hunt, Hopkins and Van Zandt counties. While in this role he has sponsored bills passed into law that accept military training for Texas occupational and professional licensing, as well as to issue those licenses in an expedited manner. The U.S. Department of Defense has recognized him with their Distinguished Service Medal for his service and strong legislative support of the department’s efforts.

Flynn lives with his wife Susan, in Van, and is the father of three, grandfather of five and recently a very proud great grandfather.

Friday, April 29, 2016 11:18:00 AM Categories: Blog