Posts in Category: Texas Air National Guard

Taking weather to new heights 

Photo By Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton | Members of the 181st Weather Flight parachute into Lake Worth after jumping out of a C-130 Hercules during a deliberate water drop in Forth Worth, Texas, May 20, 2017. The training mission was scheduled for members to practice airborne covert water parachute infiltration and included a joint effort between the Texas Air National Guard, Army, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and local fire department. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton)
Photo By Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton | Members of the 181st Weather Flight parachute into Lake Worth after jumping out of a C-130 Hercules during a deliberate water drop in Forth Worth, Texas, May 20, 2017. The training mission was scheduled for members to practice airborne covert water parachute infiltration and included a joint effort between the Texas Air National Guard, Army, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and local fire department. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton)

FORT WORTH, TX, UNITED STATES

05.23.2017

Story by Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton

136th Airlift Wing (Texas Air National Guard)  

 

Among the most highly trained fleet of Airmen in the Texas Air National Guard are those from the Air Force Special Operations Weather Team. Far from the typical expectation of meteorologists, Air Force Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT) airmen undergo unique training to operate in hostile and denied territories to provide on-the-ground weather reporting to Air Force and joint service special operations units. SOWT members maintain weather and weapon system qualifications in addition to advanced special tactics skills which provide them with expertise needed to gather, assess, and interpret environmental data and forecast operational impacts in deployed locations.

To stay current in their capabilities, SOWT airmen from the 181st Weather Flight, 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard, stationed at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base executed a deliberate water jump into Lake Worth in Fort Worth, Texas, May 20, 2017. The training mission was scheduled for members to practice airborne covert water parachute infiltration and included a joint effort between the Texas Air National Guard, Army, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and local fire department.

“This was a big tactical training day for us and the first time any unit has parachuted into Lake Worth,” said Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Hobbs, 181st Weather Flight superintendent. “An intentional water drop is done to put us offshore where we can quietly swim in to reach an objective and remain uncompromised. Typically due to logistics it is easier for us to go and train with a larger unit that has more support capability. So, for us to pull this off and be able to coordinate with internal and external state and federal agencies improved our relations and strengthened our overall capabilities as a force and unit."

The mission allowed 12 service members to parachute out of a C-130 Hercules from an altitude of 1000 feet into Lake Worth using MC-6 parachutes. Members of the local fire department and Coast Guard Auxiliary provided boat support to aid in parachute and jumper recovery, and provide medevac capabilities if necessary.

“This was the first time we were able to do something like this as far as recovery,” said Ralph Diamond, Fort Worth Fire Department battalion chief. “There are more than 900 firefighters in the city with a lot of diverse backgrounds and skills sets, and several of those guys also serve in the military. We were able to utilize those internal relationships to train on things that we don’t have the opportunity to do as often. We also get to improve our methods on-the- ground, as far as communication and working through these missions to make sure they run smoothly in the
future. It truly benefits both sides and it was very exciting to see some of our own jumping out of that aircraft.”

Master Sgt. James Henderson, 181st Weather Flight special operations weatherman, one of the six guardsmen who also serves as a fireman with the Fort Worth Fire Department said the jump was successful and enjoyed working with both agencies.

“It really went great,” Henderson said. “Everyone came together and worked really well to make the mission happen. Working with other branches of special operations and being able to integrate the local department was helpful because it connects different agencies and allows us to work side-by- side to provide response and recovery that could be used in the future. It helps to rehearse and go over any potential malfunctions or mishaps, that way we are always ready.”

Teamwork is an essential element for SOWT members, as they regularly work with different services and organizations. Sergeant Hobbs concluded that without the assistance of everyone involved, there could be no mission success.

“It’s really all thanks to the people who helped out," Hobbs said. "Without them -- the aircrew, operations group, Carswell Field senior leadership and the city of Fort Worth, it wouldn’t have happened. We are a small unit so we rely heavily on other people to help us out. Having the special operations detachment, the 294th Quartermaster unit from Austin, the Fort Worth Fire Department and Lake Rangers, and Coast Guard Auxiliary assist and be a part of this coordination and mission made all the difference.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:06:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard

Command Chief Master Sgt. Oscar Tey Retirement  

Command Chief Master Sgt. Oscar Tey, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force, hands Brig. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, commander of the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force, the NCO sword at a change of responsibility ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, May 20, 2017. Tey hands over his duties to Command Sgt. Maj. Elizabeth Shockley. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon).
Command Chief Master Sgt. Oscar Tey, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force, hands Brig. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, commander of the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force, the NCO sword at a change of responsibility ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, May 20, 2017. Tey hands over his duties to Command Sgt. Maj. Elizabeth Shockley. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm McClendon).

AUSTIN, TX, UNITED STATES

05.22.2017

Story by SFC Malcolm McClendon 

Texas Military Department  

 

AUSTIN, Texas - “He is one of those individuals that is really, really good at absolutely everything that he does” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, commander of the Texas Domestic Operations Task Force. “He truly excels in everything and it’s infectious.”

Hamilton was speaking about Command Chief Oscar Tey to friends, family and fellow Guardsmen at the senior enlisted leader’s retirement ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, May 20, 2017.

“He has unique skills and is able to communicate with everyone across the force,” Hamilton continued. “He could walk in and talk to a group of soldiers just as easily as airmen.”

Hamilton recalled the obstacles the task force, which is made up of both Army and Air National Guardsmen, held and how Tey’s unique military career made him the right person to bridge that gap.

Tey began his military career when he enlisted in the United States Army in 1983 as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, Division. After three years he left active duty and transferred to the Texas Army National Guard, where he served as a communications team chief with the 49th Armored Division. 

“He came into the Army first and then he lost his mind somewhere along the way and joined the Air Force,” Hamilton joked. “But this is exactly what we needed.”

After a short break in service, Tey joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1991 and served in 149th Fighter Wing climbing the ranks to Chief, an accomplishment he owes to those around him.

“I never imagined I would stay in the military as long as I have and making it as high as I have,” Tey said. “It was those senior leaders that guided me when I was a young soldier and my family that convinced me to stay.”

The youngest of seven children, Tey recognized the positive, hard working traits his parents and brothers laid for him.

“There are many reasons I shouldn’t be here today,” Tey said. “I could have made many excuses, but I did not because of the strong foundation they laid out for me. And I stand here before you today as a chief master sergeant because of that.”

Tey said he recognizes the successful career he has had, but doesn’t do it to boast, rather to encourage and show junior service members that there are many opportunities out there and that one just needs to take advantage of them.

Tey served as the senior enlisted leader for DOMOPS since 2013 and passes on responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Elizabeth Shockley.

“He will be missed and it will be a tough time for us,” Hamilton said. “But the strong joint environment he has created within the unit will be a platform that command sergeant major Shockley can easily pick up and move forward with.”

Monday, May 22, 2017 8:03:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard

One last honor 

Austin, Texas

05.19.2017

Story by: Sgt. Elizabeth Pena

Texas Military Department

Service members on the Texas Military Department's Military Funeral honors team prepare to issue a three volley salute during the funeral of a U.S. veteran. (Photo courtesy of Texas Military Funeral Honors)
Service members on the Texas Military Department's Military Funeral honors team prepare to issue a three volley salute during the funeral of a U.S. veteran. (Photo courtesy of Texas Military Funeral Honors)

Memorial Day is a federal holiday to remember those that have died while serving. For most people this means a day off work and a good reason to fire up the grill and spend time with friends and family.

For the Texas National Guard’s Military Funeral Honors Team, Memorial Day comes every day — only barbecue is not included. 

“We are there at the moment when the family suffers the loss of their loved one who has passed away,” said Jim Levine Jr., Military Funeral Honors State Coordinator. “We are the last living representation of the military. It’s us honoring their service every day.”

This long-standing military custom dates back to World War I, and until recently, services were only provided when manpower was available. In 2001, the National Defense Authorization Act passed a law that mandated the United States Armed Forces provide the rendering of honors in a military funeral for any eligible veteran.

“All family members want military funeral honors, they want to see that flag being folded and the sound of the trumpet, that is closure for the family,” said Ricky Williams, memorial affairs coordinator, at Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

The family member or next-of-kin of the veteran must request honors through their funeral director. The funeral director then contacts the appropriate military service to arrange for the funeral honors detail.

Most Texas veteran memorial requests are processed through the casualty assistance office of Fort Sam.

“We cover everyone from Buda to Mexico and Beaumont to El Paso, active duty, reserves and National Guard,” said Williams. “We average 2,250 services a year.”

Williams assigns the services to Military Funeral Honor teams based on their component, area of responsibility and availability. In instances where active duty teams are over tasked, Texas guardsmen can honor any veteran in Texas.

“We depend on the Texas National Guard to help us make the family happy by coming out and performing funeral honors because we don’t have the manpower without them,” said Williams.

Recently, the team conducted a joint memorial service to honor a veteran from the Tuskegee Air Force.

“We did a joint service for a Tuskegee Airmen from WWII with the Air Force,” said Levine. “Since he was a pilot in the Tuskegee Air Force, we were able to do that with him. The Air Force did the flag folding we did the firing party, it was a great deal.”

The Texas Honor Guard has approximately 14 full-time Soldiers and 25 traditional Guardsmen. Regardless of the veteran’s military branch, Texas Guardsmen treat every service with honor and respect.

“It’s an honor for me to do this,” said Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Jonathan Strother, assistant team leader for Military Funeral Honors. “Whether they served in Vietnam, WWII or whatever era that they served, we want to leave a lasting impression of our sincerity and appreciation for their veterans services.”

Strother joined the team in 2011 as a bugler and worked his way up to an assistant team lead. He is the first Texas Guardsmen to perform nearly 1,900 services.

His leadership role allows him to instill his knowledge and expertise to incoming Soldiers.

“What I tell the young Soldiers coming in is be professional, this is not an easy job, we are on call seven days a week and we don’t usually get weekends off,” said Strother. “It is a very stressful job dealing with death and the families, but it is a very rewarding in the same sense.”

Through the military funeral honors program, Texas Guardsmen are able to share their passion of providing the family one last military honor.

“The family sometimes doesn’t see the honor behind their veterans’ service, they just know that he/she sacrifices; they are gone a lot and they deploy a lot,” said Levine. “But when they see our guys at the funeral, doing the flag folding, presenting the flag, playing the taps, we are honoring their service so therefore, for the family we are honoring their sacrifice.” 

As you celebrate your Memorial Day this year, please take a moment to remember those that have given their lives for our freedom, and their families still here.

Friday, May 19, 2017 3:19:00 PM Categories: Texas Air National Guard Texas Army National Guard

Desert Defender Female Sniper 

TMD Goes Green with Solar Energy

SAN ANTONIO, TX, UNITED STATES
05.19.2017
Video by James Buehler and Malcolm McClendon
Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center

In Ft Bliss El Paso, Texas, stands a course for Air Force Security Forces. Here you will find the only female instructor for the sniper course. Here is James Buehler with the story, that shows no favoritism.

Friday, May 19, 2017 9:06:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard Video Stories

149th FW Gunfighters participate in Coronet Cactus 2017 

TMD Goes Green with Solar Energy

SAN ANTONIO, TX, UNITED STATES

05.16.2017

Video by Tech. Sgt. Mindy Bloem 

149th Fighter Wing (Texas Air National Guard)

Coronet Cactus is an annual training event that takes members of the 149th Fighter Wing, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, to Tucson, Arizona to participate in an simulated deployment exercise.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:44:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard Video Stories

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

Across the wild blue yonder to serve ARCTIC CARE 2017 

Photo By Tech. Sgt. Wendy Day | Air Force Major Brett Ringger, 136th Medical Group, Texas Air National Guard, provide eye exams in a portable optometry clinic during ARCTIC CARE 2017, Port Lions, Alaska, March 28, 2017. ARCTIC CARE 2017 is part of the Innovative Readiness Training program, which is an Office of Secretary of Defense sponsored civil-military collaboration intended to build on mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. communities and the Department of Defense. ARCTIC CARE 2017 provides training opportunities for U.S. military (Active, Guard, Reserve) and Canadian Health service members to prepare for worldwide deployment while supporting the needs of underserved communities on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Wendy Day)
Photo By Tech. Sgt. Wendy Day | Air Force Major Brett Ringger, 136th Medical Group, Texas Air National Guard, provide eye exams in a portable optometry clinic during ARCTIC CARE 2017, Port Lions, Alaska, March 28, 2017. ARCTIC CARE 2017 is part of the Innovative Readiness Training program, which is an Office of Secretary of Defense sponsored civil-military collaboration intended to build on mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. communities and the Department of Defense. ARCTIC CARE 2017 provides training opportunities for U.S. military (Active, Guard, Reserve) and Canadian Health service members to prepare for worldwide deployment while supporting the needs of underserved communities on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Wendy Day) 

KODIAK ISLAND, AK, UNITED STATES

04.11.2017

Story by: Staff Sgt. Kristina Overton

136th Airlift Wing (Texas Air National Guard)

 

The mission of the Texas Air National Guard involves not only assisting individuals within the state, but also a nation-wide outreach effort to provide relief and care for citizens throughout the country. When called, guardsmen are equipped to travel coast-to-coast to offer services when needed. 

On March 28, the need was forged in Kodiak, Alaska, and Maj. Brett Ringger, 136th Medical Group optometry officer in charge, deployed in support of an Innovative Readiness Training mission on the island. 

“I took part in ARCTIC CARE 2017, a joint services mission to provide care to the underserved community of Kodiak, Alaska, and its surrounding villages of Old Harbor, Port Lions, Ouzinkie, Akhiok, Larsen Bay, and Karluk,” said Ringger. “I was in a village location, Port Lions. It is a community of about 120-125 people and is accessible only by airlift or water.”

The Alaska Air Force Reserve provided Blackhawk support and airlifted equipment and staff to the village airstrip. Despite the geographical challenges, Ringger and his team were able to set up their facilities to assist the community. 

“I was the optometrist for the team and performed 34 exams, approximately a quarter of the village population,” Ringger said. “I also served as officer in charge for the Port Lions location and was responsible for our team of 17 service members across the guard and reserve, Navy, Army, and Marine components. I was ultimately accountable for tracking patients and training hours, inventory, repacking equipment and supplies, and reporting to the Tactical Operations Center.”

ARCTIC CARE 2017 is an Air Force Reserve Command led event coordinated with Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) and civil authorities to provide medical, dental, optometry, and veterinary care for communities in the area at no cost to the patient. The exercise included active-duty, guard and reserve units and allowed for service members to hone their abilities to set up and utilize medical equipment in deployed environments.

“It’s vital to have the opportunity to train with the actual equipment that we would work with in a deployed environment to an austere location,” Ringger said. “For example, in a static optometry clinic we have automated equipment that measures the prescription in members' glasses, eye pressure, and approximate refraction. We had the ability to do all of these things with the portable equipment we use on deployments, which is much different in operation and mostly uses analog as opposed to automated. I was able to train the optometry tech assigned to perform all of the necessary tests on equipment she had never seen before. She is now proficient in being a part of a deployable optometric team.”

With multiple services involved in making ARCTIC CARE 2017 a successful operation, teamwork was paramount in the overall mission. For Ringger, being able to work with different units was a major highlight of the experience. 

“I really enjoyed getting to know my team,” Ringger said. “They all had a unique perspective that added to the mission and I appreciated how well we all worked together to complete the mission, and most importantly, to care for the people we came to serve. I loved interacting with the local folks and feel like this experience has been very enriching to me both personally and in my military service.”

As Ringger traveled back to his unit, he had several takeaways from his participation in ARCTIC CARE 2017, but the ability to train and provide services to citizens like those on Kodiak Island was one he said he could never forget and an exercise he would recommend. 

“It is great training to be forced to problem-solve and remedy things when they go sideways before something similar happens downrange,” Ringger concluded. “Alaska is a beautiful place and in our village, the locals made us feel right at home, as if we were already family. They were so appreciative of why we were there and were willing to help us in any way. The icing on the cake was to be able to provide care for appreciative people who may not otherwise have access to the care that they need.”

The exercise ended on April 6, 2017. 

For more information about members of the 136th Airlift Wing, visit http://www.136aw.ang.af.mil.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 8:10:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard

Single Father Driven to Become Best Warrior 

Photo By Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Reed | Staff Sgt. Juan Nunez a security forces specialist with the 136th Security Forces Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, and his son pose for a photo at the 136th Airlift Wing’s Annual Children’s Christmas party Nov. 20, 2016 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Reed)
Photo By Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Reed | Staff Sgt. Juan Nunez a security forces specialist with the 136th Security Forces Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, and his son pose for a photo at the 136th Airlift Wing’s Annual Children’s Christmas party Nov. 20, 2016 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Reed)
FORT WORTH, TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Senior Airman DeJon Williams 
136th Airlift Wing (Texas Air National Guard)  

 

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Finding motivation for accomplishing goals and excelling is something that most people can relate to. From making decisions in one’s everyday life to career choices that may affect the outcome of the future. Some even decide at a moment's notice to take on a new challenge to become the best version of themselves.

A physically grueling task such as competing in a military competition can be just that.

Staff Sgt. Juan Nunez, a combat arms training manager with the 136th Security Forces Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, represented his unit as a competitor in the Texas Military Department’s Best Warrior Competition March 2-4, held at Camp Swift in Bastrop, Texas.

The competition brought together members of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, Chile and the Czech Republic. The three-day event included an essay, an oral and appearance board, night land navigation, an M4 carbine qualification course, an obstacle course, a 12-mile ruck march and a mystery event that challenged the competitors mentally and physically.

“My son was my primary motivation,” Nunez said. “He’s always been the biggest motivation in my life. I asked my son to do something to challenge himself more, in school or anything else. I told him I was going to do it too… that I was going to find a way to challenge myself. I knew I didn’t have to, but he thinks I’m something bigger than even I think I am. That’s why I chose to do Best Warrior.”

Nunez is a single father to his 10-year-old son Tristan, so managing home life and preparing for the competition was a challenge in itself.

“I had to find a way to train between work and picking up my son, taking him to his tutoring and getting him to his Jiu Jitsu classes,” said Nunez. “Aside from that, I still had to help him with his homework, make dinner, workout and find time to try and squeeze in six hours of sleep. It was the same thing every day. By the time Friday hit, all I wanted to do was sleep. So one of the things I did was incorporate him into my training. I would do these long ruck marches and ask him to go with me.”

With such a busy schedule, balancing work and being a full-time father, Nunez found consistent ways to stay on top of his goals. Though he faced several different obstacles, he realized that being fit was the priority.

“The most important thing I knew I needed to develop was my physical fitness,” Nunez said. “I was already in good shape, I thought, but I knew I needed to prepare more for the actual event. I started focusing on cardio, I ruck marched every day and I started doing CrossFit type exercises as opposed to my normal workout.”

Nunez wasn’t alone on his quest for the Best Warrior Competition. He had support Airmen in his squadron and leadership as well.

“We had the tryouts a month before, and he showed a lot of heart and passion,” said Chief Master Sgt. Del Atkinson, security forces manager with the 136th Security Forces Squadron. “It 
was evident how hard he was pushing himself. I’m proud of him, I didn’t hear him complain one time.”

Sergeant Nunez successfully completed the competition, and did exceptionally well on the essay portion. Though results won’t be released for another month, for him, the biggest reward was getting home after the competition to see his son once again.

“He kept giving me hugs, and telling me how proud he was of me,” Nunez said. “What surprised me was he came up to me out of nowhere and said, ‘Hey Dad. You don't have to do all of these crazy things, I’m already proud of you.’ I don't think I’d be anywhere close to where I am in life without him.”

For more information about the Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing, visit www.136aw.ang.af.mil.

Friday, March 10, 2017 7:26:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard

Traditional Airmen given opportunity to showcase abilities 

Photo By Senior Airman DeJon Williams | Staff Sgt. Michael J. Davis, a loadmaster with the 136th Mission Support Group, Texas Air National Guard, completes a pre flight inspection on a C-130H2 Hercules aircraft, Feb. 26, 2017 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. Davis, along with other traditional Guardsmen, flew a max-fly effort that utilized only traditional Airmen. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman De'Jon Williams)
Photo By Senior Airman DeJon Williams | Staff Sgt. Michael J. Davis, a loadmaster with the 136th Mission Support Group, Texas Air National Guard, completes a pre flight inspection on a C-130H2 Hercules aircraft, Feb. 26, 2017 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. Davis, along with other traditional Guardsmen, flew a max-fly effort that utilized only traditional Airmen. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman De'Jon Williams)
FORT WORTH, TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Senior Airman DeJon Williams
136th Airlift Wing (Texas Air National Guard)

 

WORTH, TEXAS – Traditional members of the Air National Guard live two lives. While serving both the federal and state mission in their chosen military capacity, guardsmen are also avid members of the local community holding full-time jobs or attending school. Typically, active guardsmen maintain day-to-day operations for the base and flight line to ensure operational success. On Feb. 27, 2017, weekend warriors from the 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base Texas took the helm and demonstrated their capabilities during an aerial training mission. 

“Today was a max fly, max effort mission utilizing only our traditional force,” said Capt. Casey Vetter, 136th Maintenance Squadron officer in charge. “It’s significant because it really kind of proves that being a traditional Airmen, just like a full time guard or an active duty Airmen, really is a seamless transition. When we deploy you really shouldn’t even be able to tell the difference in the quality of training and execution.”

Members conducted two C-130H2 Hercules aircraft flights, one being a six-ship mission and the other being a four. All eight flights were fully manned by traditional guardsmen from the pilots down to the maintenance personnel. The full time Airmen were given the day off, giving the traditional members an opportunity to highlight their abilities. 

“We had guys out here a week prior, planning and getting everything prepared,” said Vetter. “There is a lot that goes into the process, and being here early allowed traditional folks an opportunity to see a part of the process that we don’t normally get to. Normally we show up on Saturday and are brought up to speed, whereas this time we really got to be a part of everything and executed the mission all on our own. We relied on the training and expertise of all of our subject matter experts here.”

The all traditional guardsmen flight was the second max-effort mission done by the 136th. The first took place in 2016. 

“This is the second largest fly they’ve done in the history of the unit,” said Capt. Adrian Burke, 136th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron officer in charge, “so this is big having the traditionals coming together to get them all off the ground. Outside of the normal coordination, there was a lot of effort from our traditional members coming in early and staying late to make sure that we had all six tails C-130H2 Hercules aircraft] locked and ready to go.”
The flights were a success, and leadership within the unit look forward to coordinating another all traditional guard flight to make sure that members are always at their best and able to fulfill the mission. 

“I think we’d all like to see this again,” said Burke. “It was a great deal last year when we did the max fly effort, and having it again gives us a greater purpose. Everyone that comes across the flight line when they get in in the morning wants to touch an aircraft and come to work to do what they wanted to do when they joined the Air Force. We got to do that together.”
For more information about the 136th Airlift Wing, visit www.136aw.ang.af.mil.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 10:33:00 AM Categories: Texas Air National Guard