Posts in Category: Texas Army National Guard

Living history honors 75th Anniversary of WWII, 100th Anniversary of 36th ID 

Courtesy Photo | Spectators experience living history as they watch U.S. and German Soldier re-enactors simulate a gunfight from World War II during a living history war reenactment at the Texas Military Department Open House and American Heroes Air Show at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, April 22, 2017. The reenacting groups demonstrate how battles were fought in the European theater in honor of those who served and those who sacrificed their lives there by keeping the history and the era alive through living history. This year is the 75th Anniversary of the United States' entry into World War II and the 100th Anniversary of the 36th Infantry Division. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christina Clardy, 36th Infantry Division Public Affairs)
Courtesy Photo | Spectators experience living history as they watch U.S. and German Soldier re-enactors simulate a gunfight from World War II during a living history war reenactment at the Texas Military Department Open House and American Heroes Air Show at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, April 22, 2017. The reenacting groups demonstrate how battles were fought in the European theater in honor of those who served and those who sacrificed their lives there by keeping the history and the era alive through living history. This year is the 75th Anniversary of the United States' entry into World War II and the 100th Anniversary of the 36th Infantry Division. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christina Clardy, 36th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

AUSTIN, TX, UNITED STATES

04.23.2017

Story by: Sgt. 1st Class Michael Leslie

Texas Military Department

 

AUSTIN, Texas -- Friends and families attended the annual Texas Military Department Open House and American Heroes Air Show at Camp Mabry in Austin, April 22-23, 2017. 

A major focus this year is the living history aspect as this year marks the 75th Anniversary of the United States' entry into World War II and the 100th Anniversary of the 36th Infantry Division. 

The event hosted numerous living history groups and re-enactment units from the Civil War to World War II, including a re-enactment group of 36th ID Soldiers. In the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, the World War II groups joined together to create a large, simulated battle scene for spectators. As the German Army dug into their trenches, their tank and personnel track- carrier patrol came under fire. An assault force of U.S. Soldiers ambushed the patrol and pushed forward to capture the German line. The crowd-pleasing show featured simulated tank, artillery and grenade pyrotechnic simulators and blank-cartridge gunfire.

Shane Meyers, a 36th ID World War II re-enactor with Company G, believes that while re-enacting is fun, he sees it as an important way to give back and remember history.

"This gives us an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what it was like in combat in previous wars," said Meyers, who is also currently a staff sergeant in the modern-day 36th ID of the Texas Army National Guard. "Keeping the history alive is our way of honoring those who served and those who sacrificed everything for us."

The Texas Military Forces Museum, which is dedicated to gathering, protecting and sharing the history of the military forces in Texas, also supports the Co. G, 36th Inf. Div. re-enactment group. Located on Camp Mabry, the museum hosts a battle re-enactment for the TMD Open House and American Heroes Air Show every year. 

Members of the 4th and 6th Texas Infantry Regiment Civil War re-enactment group are also dedicated to preserving the history of Texas and it's military forces.

"Everything is bigger in Texas, including the history of the military forces of Texas," said Quartermaster Sgt. Bobby Moore, a re-enactor with Company K of the 6th Texas Inf. Reg. "And if you don't remember history, you lose it."

The history of the 36th ID spans over a hundred years. Born July 18, 1917, Texas and Oklahoma National Guard units were merged together in reaction to the U.S. entering World War I. The historic T-Patch unit insignia was created with a "T" for Texas on an infantry blue Arrowhead representing Oklahoma. 

They arrived in Europe in July 1918 and were involved in major operations in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The T-Patchers were mobilized again, this time in 1940 for World War II, and spearheaded the Allied Forces assault landing in Salerno, Italy on Sept. 9, 1943. The 36th ID was the first American division to land on the European continent. The division was instrumental in pushing the Axis-aligned Italian Army up through the Italian Peninsula liberating cities such as Cassino, Salerno, Velletri and Rome along the way. During World War II, 14 members of the T-Patch division were awarded the Medal of Honor for their courageous actions.

After returning to U.S. after World War II, the 36th ID was permanently attached under the Texas Army National Guard. Since then, the unit has been serving the people of Texas by responding to domestic emergencies, mobilizing in support of national and overseas combat operations, and participating in joint partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to include disaster relief and response, emergency preparedness, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and security assistance on some aspects of border security.

The 36th ID continues to participate in military and community activities throughout the state to celebrate and honor the 100-year history of the division throughout 2017.

Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:13:00 PM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Camp Mabry Continues History of Community Involvement 

Photo By Sgt. Mark Otte | Kids watch WWII re-enactment at Texas Military Department Open House And American Heroes Air Show at Camp Mabry. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Mark Otte, 100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

AUSTIN, TX, UNITED STATES

04.23.2017

Story by Sgt. Mark Otte

Texas Military Department

AUSTIN, Texas - Anyone who has ever traveled Austin’s MOPAC highway has inevitably become mired in the bumper-to- bumper traffic and hoped for a hero to rescue them. And then there it is; the imposing F-4 Phantom fighter jet, pointed toward downtown, nose up and about to take flight.

The aircraft, a welcome and interesting change of scenery for morning commuters and kids strapped in their car seats, is part of Camp Mabry's static aviation display, which may be the most recognizable part of the installation, but only begins to tell the post's story.

Initially, the space was little more than an 85-acre campsite, donated in 1892 by local citizens, at the urging of its future namesake, Brigadier General Woodford H. Mabry; in an attempt to professionalize the Texas Volunteer Guard. The new plot of land provided a place for those Soldiers to train for two weeks in the summer time.

During those weeks the community would make the trip out to the country to watch the mock battles and demonstrations the Soldiers would conduct. Those public displays are a tradition that continues today.

"You have to remember they didn't have TV, radio or internet," said Jeff Hunt, Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum. "So people going out to see military dress parades, drills and demonstrations, that was a form of entertainment."

As Austin has grown around the camp, so have the events hosted for the community. The Annual Texas Military Department Open House and American Heroes’ Airshow draws thousands to the post for battle re-enactments and helicopter demonstrations. The event also hosts local police, fire and rescue organizations.

The now 375-acre site that houses the Texas Military Department continues to serve the community that surrounds it. From Boy Scout campouts, 5K road races or historic-themed galas, Central Texans have shared the space since its inception in the 1800s. Lt. Col. Paul Mancuso, Camp Mabry Garrison Commander, said that while the open house is the largest public draw to the post, Mabry welcomes a host of other local organizations throughout the year.

"Because we have this beautiful facility, we have the ability to allow some nonprofits to come and do fund raisers and host events," Mancuso said. "It allows us to support those organizations that are in our local community, and lets our neighbors come out and see how beautiful Mabry is."

In 1992 the post converted a building designed as a mess hall in 1918 into the Texas Military Forces Museum. The almost 26,000 square feet of display space now house relics that date back to 1823 all the way to the present. Each item on display is used to help tell the story of the Texas military forces to youngsters and veterans a like.

Camp Mabry is an open installation so the community can come enjoy the 1-mile track or the catch-and-release fishing pond. Currently in the planning stages, the post will soon add a 5-mile hike-and-bike trail, with the help of Boy Scout Troop 1407.

"We will help clear the brush and make the trail," said Tyler Broz, a scout with the troop. "We will provide as much of the labor as we can."

For over 100 years Camp Mabry has supported both the soldiers of Texas and the community that supports them. The collective history of the post and those around it, provide an interesting lesson for both the those in uniform and those that call Texas home.

Sunday, April 23, 2017 10:22:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Texas Military Department Open House Demonstrates Partnership and Capabilities 

AUSTIN, TX, UNITED STATES

04.23.2017

Courtesy Story

100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Military Department members, along with representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement and first responders converged on Camp Mabry, in Austin, Texas for the annual Texas Military Department Open House and Air Show weekend, April 22, 23, 2017. 

The Open House highlights a multilateral partnership, which includes local, state and federal agencies. This partnership spans over three decades, and allows TMD and first responders to demonstrate teamwork and capabilities to the local community. The event also included by an array of vendors, living history reenactors, and dozens of volunteer groups.

Usually civilians are unable to interact with service members and first responders while they are on the job, but the Open House invites the community to see these agencies demonstrate their capabilities. Tim Pruett, commander of Special Operations with the Austin Police Department was on hand with members of the Austin Bomb Squad demonstrating some of their tools, such as bomb-sniffing dogs, tracked robots and bomb disposal suits. 

“It’s important to come out and visit the public and get those relationships built, not only for trust purposes, but to let them know we are people just like them,” said Pruett.

Steve Robertson, a special agent with the DEA drove down from Waco for his third straight year at the event. He felt the event was a critical part of informing the public about what they do. 

“Our primary job is to put drug traffickers in jail; however another part of our mission is to educate the public. So today, we are here for education and to talk to the public,” he said. 

Robertson also stressed that strong relationships between members of TMD, federal, state and local law enforcement and first responders are critical to the safety of Texas.

“Partnerships, task forces, team building, all those different words you use for working with different agencies are important to us because I have a four-man office that covers 13 counties. Without these partnerships we could not survive,” said Robertson.

Along with the static displays of vehicles, watercraft and helicopters, there were also demonstrations that showcased how partnering agencies work together during natural disasters - such as floods - in simulated rescues. 
One participant, Sgt. Destry Riggs, a UH-72 Lakota crew chief said it was important to reassure citizens that TMD stands ready to serve them. 

“We’re not just a combat role aircraft; we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Texas Department of Public Safety and other agencies on a regular basis ready to assist them,” he said.

“We work for the people of Texas to ensure their safety in the event of a natural disaster.”

The event was also a great opportunity for TMD to show its appreciation for the support it receives from the local community. 

“We host this event to thank our friends and neighbors,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of Texas.

One of the biggest attractions at the event is the battle reenactment put on by “living history” members and personnel from the Texas Military Forces Museum, also located on Camp Mabry. The event featured nearly 100 reenactors in World War II uniforms and equipment, along with tanks and armored vehicles, and drew hundreds of spectators.

“To me it is very important because we’re also remembering those who came before us,” said Nichols.

Museum Director Jeff Hunt felt the importance of the event and the participation by the museum and reenactors could not be overstated. 
“This is our busiest weekend of the year. We will have anywhere between 4,500 and 6,500 people come through the museum. We are educating people, not only about the past, but the present. Through educating them about the past, we are putting the present into context, which helps them understand it.”

Hunt also felt that the opportunities provided to members of the public by the Open House event could have far reaching impacts on the future of TMD.

“We like to think that the 6 year old that comes through the museum and gets to sit in the cockpit of the F-16, or stands in awe of the Sherman tank, or comes down to one of our battle reenactments, is more likely when they are 18 or 19 to raise their hand and take the oath and put on the uniform and step into that long line of heroes who have defended the country and they will hold the torch aloft for their time and then pass it along to the next generation.”

Sunday, April 23, 2017 9:48:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Battle Group Poland visits Elk, Poland 

Courtesy Photo | A Battle Group Poland U.S. Soldier poses with local children, on the ramp of a Stryker during a static display at a military academy in Elk, Poland, April 22. Families came by to see the NATO equipment and meet the soldiers in person. The unique formation comprised of U.S., U.K., Romanian and Polish soldiers, will serve as a deterrence force in northeast Poland in support of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brandon Shiplett/Released)

POLAND

04.22.2017

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Patricia Deal

Battle Group Poland

Elk, Poland —Residents of Elk, a small northeastern Polish town nestled by a glacier-formed lake and surrounded by forests, are not used to seeing American, British or Romanian soldiers in their small city. Yet hundreds of residents turned out to meet soldiers from Battle Group Poland as the multinational formation participated in an open house event April 22 at Centrum Edukacji Mundurowej, a local military academy.

This was the first meet and greet with neighboring communities for the battle group since it arrived April 1 at Bemowo Piskie Training Area outside of Orzysz, Poland, approximately 500 miles from the Russian border. The unique formation of more than 1,000 American, British and Romanian soldiers will serve with the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade in support of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence, a multinational contribution to demonstrate the Alliance’s readiness and resolve to deter and defend Eastern Europe.

Lt. Col. Steven Gventer, Battle Group Poland commander, said events like this are an excellent opportunity for area residents to gain awareness and an understanding of the NATO battle group’s unique mission.

“Our presence here demonstrates NATO’s collective resolve and cohesiveness in its capability to defend and protect its citizens and territory. We’re a multinational force for a reason--to make clear that an attack against one ally is an attack against all,” Gventer said. “By coming out to see the equipment and meet our soldiers, the residents can see just how capable and ready we are. It is a real treat for the soldiers to interact with the wonderful people of Poland in such a nice city.”

At the event, the battle group’s U.S. Army Stryker, U.K. Jackal, Romanian anti-aircraft cannon and small arms combat weapons were featured alongside static displays from the 15th Mechanized Brigade, with various events and performances held throughout the day. Residents were able to explore the equipment and get to know the soldiers up close and personal.

The battle group’s participation in the annual event was very exciting for the CEM students, too, giving them a chance to “learn from the best,” according to the academy’s director, Angieszka Pasko.

“We have this open house every April and we’re so pleased to have the Americans and other NATO soldiers participate. I had the opportunity to speak to the battle group’s commander about developing a cooperative and educational relationship for the future. It would be a very positive influence for our students,” she said.

The students, while busy trading flags and patches with the soldiers, also recognized the significance of the battle group and its NATO mission.

“It’s good that NATO is here. I think that while the Polish army can handle protecting us, additional help from other nation and soldiers is a good thing,” said Jokub Soboto, student at CEM. “With armies from other countries being near, people living here will live more safely.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017 11:05:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

TMD Day at the Capitol 

Texas legislators recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation, March 8, 2017 during a visit to the Capitol in Austin, Texas. The visit was to showcase capabilities of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Domestic Operations Taskforce, Office of the Executive Director and the National Guard Association of Texas. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)
Texas legislators recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation, March 8, 2017 during a visit to the Capitol in Austin, Texas. The visit was to showcase capabilities of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Domestic Operations Taskforce, Office of the Executive Director and the National Guard Association of Texas. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Pena)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Lawmakers had the opportunity to see first hand the Texas Military Department’s capabilities as representatives of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, Domestic Operations Taskforce, Office of the Executive Director and the National Guard Association of Texas, set up informational displays and met with elected officials as the Texas Capitol hosted TMD Day on March 8, 2017,
 
“There are always questions about how our organization works, how our funding works and how we help Texas,” said Maj. Christopher R. Mckeag, Texas Army National Guard legislative liaison. “A lot of people know we show up to the scene during disasters, but there’s a lot of behind the scenes work.”
 
Among the visitors was Texas Senator Donna Campbell, chairwoman for the Veterans Affairs and Border Security Committee. 
 
“She is pretty spun up so there wasn’t any questions that were burning for us,” said McKeag. “But just her coming out here, her presence serves as visibility and it increases the awareness of the organization.” 
 
During the visit, legislators recognized the members of the Texas Military for their service to the state and nation. Service members received a standing applause by all representatives and members of the public present, for the service the Texas Military Department gives to both the state and nation.
 
“We are Texans first and foremost so we are here for everyone,” said McKeag.
 
As part of TMD day at the Capitol, the Texas Army National Guard 36th Infantry Division Band held a surprise performance playing several patriotic and military songs in the rotunda. 
 
According to Mckeag, the Government Affairs team said they achieved their goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the Texas Military Department’s dual state and federal mission to both state representatives and the general public.
 
While addressing the gathered soldiers, airmen and civilian employees Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of Texas explained the importance of TMD Day at the Capitol. 
 
“I thought today went extremely well, they got to meet you all, they didn’t just see Nichols. They got to see the National Guard.”
 

Posted by SGT Pena Monday, April 17, 2017 1:10:00 PM Categories: Texas Air National Guard Texas Army National Guard Texas State Guard

Texas, Nebraska ANG benefit from State Partnership Program 

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Tyson Cannon, maintenance operations officer with the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard, and Czech Air Force 1st Lt. Pavel Popspisil, chief of electric and special equipment group, examines the main gear box of the Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopter March 22, 2017 at 22nd Air Base, Namest Nab Oslavou, Czech Republic. Popspisil explained how the gear box and engine were configured and removed. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman De’Jon Williams)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

04.06.2017

Story by: Senior Airman De'Jon Williams

136th Airlift Wing (Texas Air National Guard)

PRAGUE- Airmen from Texas and Nebraska Air National Guard units partnered with the Czech Air Force to participate in a subject matter expert exchange of maintenance information March 20-23, 2017, at air bases in the Czech Republic.

The maintenance exchange was part of a state partnership program between the Texas and Nebraska Air National Guards and the Czech Republic coordinated by Maj. Mark White, bilateral affairs officer, U.S. Embassy-Prague, Texas Army National Guard.

"Having the ability to have Airmen from across multiple airframes share their experiences and best practices is something that the Czech Air Force really appreciated and valued," said White. "You could see the dialog and discussion evolving with detailed questions. I was very happy with the level of information and the vast experience that the Airmen were able to share with their Czech partners."

The state partnership program has been in place since 1993 with a multitude of military exchanges and familiarization over the course of its existence. However, it had been many years since a dedicated Air Force maintenance exchange had taken place.

"I think it's very important to obtain a relationship with our sister units to exchange ideas and practices, said Tech. Sgt. Jarrett Patman, a crew chief with the 136th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "I feel this exchange can benefit our unit in that we can learn from the way that their cargo base runs and I hope to gain knowledge to take back to Fort Worth and implement within our squadron."

The Airmen traveled to the three Czech Air Force bases, each with different aircraft, to discuss maintenance topics such as front shop, back shop and all levels of maintenance planning.

"As a maintenance systems subject matter expert, my goal was to describe to the Czech Air Force how we do our maintenance practices back in Nebraska, help and promote some new ideas, as well as exchange ideas from them and their maintenance practices that we might be able to utilize back in the states," said Master Sgt. Corey Wacker, 155th Air Refueling Wing maintenance management analyst, Nebraska Air National Guard. "The overall goal was to gain knowledge and a better understanding of how maintenance and military operations go in their country."

There have been multiple pilot exchanges, but never ones including maintenance or munitions. Both of these units are integral elements for mission success and were necessary additions for the benefit of the program.

"My role specifically was just to show them how we do it in the fighter world," said 1st Lt. Tyson Cannon, 149th Fighter Wing maintenance operations officer, Texas Air National Guard. "I brought a few slides to show our daily maintenance production meetings. I gave them a little insight into how we separate different shop sections, prioritize work operations and how we do our daily maintenance procedures."

The state partnership has been in place for over 24 years between the Czech Republic, the Texas National Guard and the Nebraska Air National Guard. Many military engagements have been conducted during this partnership, and with nearly 30 more exchanges covering the numerous mission sets within the military, planned this year, the states continue to build an enduring relationship with their Czech counterparts.

Friday, April 7, 2017 9:46:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Texas Army National Guard commander helps build DPS leaders and partners 

Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, addresses the Texas Department of Public Safety Command College, Cohort V Class to prepare them for their culminating CAPSTONE event at the DPS Headquarters in Austin, Texas, March 8, 2017. The TXARNG and Texas DPS train together and support each other in domestic operations in order to better serve the citizens of Texas.

Story By: 1st. Lt. Jolene Hinojosa, Texas Army National Guard Command Group, Unit Public Affairs Representative

AUSTIN, Texas – Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, Deputy Adjutant General - Army and Texas Army National Guard Commander attended the Texas Department of Public Safety Command College, Cohort V Class as guest speaker to prepare them for their culminating CAPSTONE event, March 8, 2017, at their headquarters in Austin.

“The DPS Command College is our version of the Army's War College,” said Texas Army National Guard retired Brig. Gen. Orlando Salinas, Deputy Assistant Director, Education, Training and Research. “The leaders participating in this training are equivalent to lieutenant colonels and colonels in the military. The course is very selective to make sure that we are targeting the very best in our agency.”

 

Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, Deputy Adjutant General - Army and Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) Commander attended the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Command College, Cohort V Class as guest speaker to prepare them for their culminating CAPSTONE event at the DPS Headquarters in Austin, Texas, March 8, 2017. The TXARNG and Texas DPS train together and support each other in domestic operations in order to better serve the citizens of Texas.

The command college participants included 30 DPS employees and one member of the Texas Army National Guard.

Salinas, former Deputy Assistant Adjutant General for the Texas Army National Guard, understands exactly what the Texas Military Department has to offer. Creating a strong partnership to share knowledge and leadership experience is something that he and BG Norris hope to continue to build.

“I am excited about the partnership that we have with DPS and look forward to continuing to build our relationship with them,” said Norris. “By sharing our leadership experiences, we can all grow together in our craft as Texans serving Texas.”

Norris participated in the leadership development portion of the course’s curriculum. The main topics of discussion included discussion points and questions on topics such as leadership, ethics and communication.

“Throughout my 30-year career, I’ve had leaders who invested in me and took the time to make sure that I knew the way ahead for the organization,” said Norris. “This helped me understand what my role was and why I was doing the things I was doing. By seeing the bigger picture, even as a junior leader, I was able to exercise disciplined initiative and take action for the betterment of the organization.”

Leader development through mentorship and advocacy is one of Norris’ top priorities and supports the Adjutant General’s priorities of putting people first. The opportunity to communicate and partner with the Texas Department of Public Safety to share this message is one that she and Salinas hope to continue to foster.

“As always, Brig. Gen. Norris hit a home run,” said Salinas. “We appreciate the experience that she has as a military leader and are so honored to have her come and speak with us. We hope to continue to build the relationship between ourselves and the Texas Army National Guard.”

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 8:23:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Patriots Partner with Arrowhead Division 

Photo By Staff Sgt. Nathan Akridge | Col. Clarence Henderson Jr. (left) commander of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 36th Infantry Division and Col. Brian Sullivan (right) commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division discuss lessons learned while conducting a joint training exercise.

FORT POLK, LA, UNITED STATES
Story by Staff Sgt. Nathan Akridge 
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs

 

POLK, La. – Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI) “Patriots” trained side by side with members of the 36th Infantry Division “Arrowhead” during the Mountain Peak exercise here at Fort Polk, writing history together as the first two units in the Associated Unit Pilot program, or AUP, to participate in a major training event together.

In September 2016, the Patriot Brigade became the only Active Duty brigade combat team to wear a National Guard Patch. By partnering an Active Duty brigade with a National Guard unit, the Army hoped to drastically cut the time needed for the National Guard to prepare for a deployment.

Col. Brian Sullivan, commander, 3BCT, said that this training exercise shows that the AUP program is more than just a patch change. 

“The pilot has specific benchmark events that assess the effectiveness of the particular associations increasing readiness. For 3/10 and 36 ID, our benchmark for this year is our JRTC rotation in May,” said Sulllivan. “Mountain Peak serves as a critical rehearsal to ensure we are successful at JRTC. Right now there are 80 Soldiers from the 72nd IBCT [Infantry Brigade Combat Team], 36th ID serving as the exercise control for Mountain Peak, which means a National Guard IBCT from 36th ID is training its sister Active Component BCT 3/10.”

Col. Sullivan also stresses that the AUP partnership has already paid dividends to the Soldiers of 3BCT.

“3/10 has already benefitted greatly from our association with 36th ID,” said Sullivan. “The knowledge of their Division Master Gunner exceeds any on active duty I've known. Without him, we would not have been able to train our cavalry squadron to standard.”

Col. Clarence Henderson, 72nd IBCT Commander, said that both the 72nd and 3BCT leadership have a specific goal in mind.

“We are aligning the activities we are conducting between our two units with Gen. Abram’s and Gen. Milley’s intent, which is readiness is our number one priority,” said Henderson. “This is our first opportunity to partner with 3/10 and develop and mature the AUP program, as well as share the challenges that our units face.”

Soldiers from the 36th Infantry Division participated in all facets of the training during Mountain Peak, including the preparation, planning, and execution phases of the exercise. Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Sublett, Command Sgt. Maj. of the 72nd IBCT, a Soldier with 34 years of service, 13 of which were on Active Duty, said the AUP program has helped both the Active Duty and National Guard units involved.

“It gives us a better insight on lessons learned from the Active Duty side to the National Guard side and vice versa,” said Sublett. “What do we each do better than the other? It’s more of a best practices, what we learn from you and what you learn from us.”

Both sides profited tremendously from the training. Maj. Philip Waggoner, the 3BCT Plans and Operations Officer in Charge, said the National Guard enhanced the effectiveness and training value of the Mountain Peak exercise.

“I think this exercise proves that the National Guard and active duty components are very capable of working together. 36th ID, 10th Mountain Division, and 3BCT have conducted integrated planning on this exercise since October to make it a worthwhile training event for the 3BCT Soldiers. 36th ID’s ability to send personnel to serve as the EXCON [exercise control] and OC/Ts [observer controller/trainer] is truly valuable not only to making the exercise run properly, but provide critical lessons learned to make the BCT better during JRTC and in combat.”

So as the Army goes rolling along, the AUP program charges full speed ahead, strengthening the bond between our Active Duty and National Guard forces.

Monday, March 6, 2017 10:28:00 AM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

Texas Soldiers and Airmen join Czech and Chilean service members at Best Warrior Competition 


Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan Nunez, a security forces specialist with the 136th Security Forces Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, Fort Worth, Texas, completes the sit-up portion of the joint army physical fitness test during the Texas Military Department2017 Best Warrior Competition March 3, 2017 at Camp Swift in Bastrop, Texas. Nunez was graded based on his overall score that included a three mile run, push ups and sit-ups. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman De’Jon Williams)

BASTROP, TX, UNITED STATES
Photo by Senior Airman DeJon Williams 
136th Airlift Wing (Texas Air National Guard)

 

BASTROP, Texas —Soldiers and Airmen from the Texas Military Department competed alongside service members from partner nations in the Best Warrior Competition March 2 – 4, 2017, at Camp Swift near Bastrop, Texas. 

Twenty-seven members of the Texas Army National Guard and Air National Guard joined with service members from Chile and the Czech Republic to compete in a series of tactical exercises and soldiering tasks in a competition intended to foster joint-force and multinational comradery. 

“It’s a great opportunity to bring our Soldiers and Airmen together in competition,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, the adjutant general of the Texas . “While it’s a friendly competition, it’s also a very, very hard competition.”

This year, the Best Warrior Competition consisted of various scored and timed events including; the Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification, a road march, night land navigation, writing an essay, and appearing before a board that reviewed competitor’s personal appearance, military bearing and knowledge. The competition concluded with a mystery event, the details of which were not revealed until the event began.

Nichols said he appreciated the effect that this joint competition will have on future collaboration.

“That allows young Soldiers and Airmen to build relationships and gain experience that they will carry with them through their whole careers,” Nichols said. 

The experience the Texas Military Department forces gain from this joint competition will also translate to real-world benefits in emergency response and warfighting capabilities, Nichols said.

“The reality is that if we as the Texas Military Department find ourselves responding to an emergency, we are able to work with other branches or our foreign allies and operate more effectively,” Nichols said.

“With us having a joint Best Warrior Competition, we have our Guardsmen honing their skills to ensure mission readiness,” said Command Sergeant Major John Sampa, command sergeant major of the 36th Infantry Division. “But they also get to do that in conjunction with other services and our international allies to see how they operate.”

This will be the second time personnel from the military of Chile have joined Texan Soldiers and Airmen at the Best Warrior Competition, and the first for soldiers from the Czech Republic. 

The intent of the joint competition is for the foreign partners to also gain experience working alongside members of the Texas Military Department, Sampa said. 

“It’s our hope that they will take the impression back to their countries and their units that Texas Soldiers are well-trained Soldiers, professional Soldiers and be willing to come back again to train with us and, if need be, fight alongside us.” Sampa said.

Sunday, March 5, 2017 12:55:00 PM Categories: Texas Army National Guard

An enduring bond: NCO reinforces partnership with first-time Czech Republic competitors 

Photo By Sgt. Michael Giles | Czech Army Staff Sgt. Jakub Domeny receives a briefing with service members from the Texas Air and National Guard, as well as soldiers from Chile and the Czech Republic at the M4 qualification event as part of the fifth annual Texas Military Department Best Warrior Competition, at Camp Swift near Bastrop, Texas, March 3, 2017. This year's Best Warrior Competition was the second time Chilean soldiers participated and the first time for soldiers from the Czech Republic as part of Texas Military Department's initiative to develop relations with foreign partners. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Michael Giles)
TX, UNITED STATES
Story by 1st Lt. Allegra Boutch 
100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment  

 

BASTROP, Texas — The Texas Military Department enjoys a valuable and enduring relationship with Chile and the Czech Republic. The State Partnership Program, or SPP, facilitates frequent, constructive engagement with foreign armies. 
The foreign soldiers who participate in SPP exchanges carry the responsibility of bringing lessons learned from these events with them back home. They also represent their respective countries, building a reputation wherever they go.
Staff Sgt. Jakub Domeny with the 41st Mechanized Battalion, 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, understands this immense pressure. The Czech soldier, who decided to become a soldier after watching “Saving Private Ryan,” felt nervous as he prepared to compete alongside Texan and Chilean soldiers in the fifth annual TMD Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift, near Bastrop, Texas. 
”I am here for the first time,” said Domeny. “I am here to compete, but my main goal is to get experience from here and then get it to Czech Republic so we can have our own competition and continue sending our soldiers here.” 
The TMD Best Warrior Competition brings together exemplary Soldiers across Texas to test their skills in board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams and warfare simulations. 
Domeny trained during every spare moment before tests began. “This is people say the best Army in the world,” he said. “I thought that I was going to be average, but after being here for a week, I feel pretty relaxed.”
The greatest responsibility however may fall with the American service members assigned to each foreign soldier. Staff Sgt. Kevin Hannah,136th Maintenance Squadron, Airlift Wing, also sought to leave a good impression with his assigned soldiers.
“The main thing we are trying to do with the soldiers is take care of them,” said Hannah. “For any NCO, taking care of each other is the ultimate. So for the Czech soldiers, I can show how the American military takes care of our people by taking care of them. Hopefully they will go back to the Czech Republic and take those interactions with them.”
Hannah told his Czech counterparts jokes to help calm their nerves. Domeny then passed his board interview and went on to score a 29 of 40 on his marksmanship test. According to Domeny, Hannah’s efforts made him confident that he can return home and be a positive influence to his soldiers as well. 
“A good soldier is the results you have in the field, but it is also your behavior, your attitude and how you help,” Domeny said. “A good soldier will do the maximum they can do to serve.” 
After the competition, Domeny plans to return home and share the administrative and organizational techniques that made the Best Warrior run, in his words, flawlessly.

Saturday, March 4, 2017 1:02:00 PM Categories: Texas Army National Guard