Hurricane Harvey Texas National Guard rescue operations

HOUSTON, TX, UNITED STATES

08.27.2017

Video by 1st Lt. Zachary West

100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 

Footage of Texas National Guard soldiers conducting rescue operations in heavily flooded areas near Houston, Texas. The entire Texas National Guard has been called up in response to Harvey. 
Video by 1LT Zachary West, 100th MPAD)

Hurricane Harvey B-Roll 25 AUG

VICTORIA, TX, UNITED STATES

08.25.2017

Video by Sgt. Samuel De Leon

Texas Army National Guard (Texas Military Forces)

 

General B-Roll of Texas Guardsmen from the 176th Engineer Brigade, partnered with emergency first responders from Texas task Force One preparing for Hurricane Harvey to hit the Texas coast, Victoria, Texas, August 25, 2017.

Texas Soldiers prepare for Hurricane Harvey

BRYAN, TX, UNITED STATES

08.25.2017

Video by Sgt. Daisy Broker

72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (36th ID, TXARNG)

 

Texas Army National Guard Soldiers joined members of a Texas Task Force One Swift Water Rescue Team for interoperability training leading up to Hurricane Harvey, in Bryan, Texas, August 25, 2017. Training included loading and unloading Zodiac boats, use and recovery of throw bags, and the utilization of life vests and other safety equipment. Members of the Texas Army National Guard are being mobilized across the state as part of hurricane response operations.

Texas flying squadron celebrates 100th Anniversary

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Photo By Staff Sgt. Daniel Martinez | The 111th Attack Squadron at Ellington Field, Texas, celebrates their 100th anniversary on August 12, 2017 at Ellington Field, Texas. The 147th Reconnaissance Wing was also redesignated to the 147th Attack Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)

08.22.2017

Story by: Staff Sgt. Daniel Martinez

The 111th Attack squadron, known as the Ace-in-the-Hole Squadron, is the flying unit assigned to the 147th Attack Wing.

The ceremony included guest speaker Maj. General John F. Nichols, Adjutant General of the TXANG and a flag furling and unfurling ceremony.

“This was a great occasion to be a part of. It marks a powerful milestone for the fine men and women of the 147th Attack Wing.” said Maj. General David McMinn, commander of the Texas Air National Guard. “I am proud of the great Airmen here for their dedication to the mission and their great work.”

The flag furling and unfurling ceremony revealed the redesignation of the 147th Reconnaissance Wing to the 147th ATKW and was performed by Col. Gary D. Jones, commander of the 147th ATKW. 

“For a century the men and women of the 111th have proudly answered the call to arms for our nation in times of war, and rendered aid to our fellow Texans in times of crisis. These are duties that the Aces hold sacred and when called upon we will continue to perform them with pride. As our MQ-1 mission comes to a close and we begin a new century of Texas airpower, we are preparing for our conversion to the MQ-9 Reaper,” said Lt. Col. David Peck, commander of the 111th Attack Squadron. “We are grateful to the Aces that have come before us and paved the way, and we are committed to serving our nation and the great state of Texas with distinction.”

The redesignation comes after the wing received a new aircraft, the MQ-9 Reaper in place of their previous MQ-1 Predator.

The ceremony was concluded with a C-130 jump exercise from members of the 147th Air Support Operations 

THE MINUTE MAN MODEL

The minuteman models an innovative way to look at how Texas Military Department deploys Annual training through out the force, saving time money and space.

Texas Military STARBASE summer camp inspires children

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Photo By Sgt. Michael Giles | Children learn to use computer-aided design and drafting software on the 2nd day of STARBASE Summer Camp at Camp Mabry, August 1, 2017. STARBASE is a Department of Defense-funded program that encourages children to have fun with the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Michael Giles)

08.01.2017

Story by Sgt. Michael Giles

AUSTIN, Texas - "When I was a kid, Whitney Houston really reached me with 'the children are the future,'” said Ivy Williams, Deputy Director of STARBASE Austin. 

“And they are our future.” Williams asserted. “We just really need to work at pointing them towards a future where they'll have success.”

The STARBASE Austin staff held their 5th annual week-long summer camp for children of Texas Military Department employees, July 31, 2017 at Camp Mabry in Austin.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense-funded program that brings children onto military installations, like Camp Mabry, to have fun with the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. 

“What’s exciting about today is I have an opportunity to bring my son and his friend to participate in STARBASE,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcel Ruales, a logistics non-commissioned officer with the Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force. “It’s so exciting just to see our kids come over and have an opportunity to grow and learn.”

STARBASE brings math and science to life for students by giving them real-life technological problems to solve, explained STARBASE instructor Laura Badkoobeh.

"One of the things we say at STARBASE quite often is 'hands-on-minds-on,' and what that means for students is that they're getting their hands dirty, working and learning together in science, technology, engineering and math,” Badkoobeh said. "They're working to solve problems they may face in real life as they get older. They're developing skills that will take them far in their careers and in life."

The first engineering challenge they faced this year was to build a bridge out of lasagna.

“Our students start out doing operation bridge quest,” said Emily Bell, STARBASE Austin’s program specialist. “The students have an urgent mission to build a bridge for the town of water’s edge so that they can get food and water within ten days. Our students are given that problem. They go in and they have a problem to solve and explore.”

Schools from all across Central Texas transport students to Camp Mabry to attend STARBASE throughout the year. Williams explained that STARBASE serves an important role in the community by collaborating with independent school districts to facilitate learning opportunities that some districts may not easily afford to provide on their own. 

“Some schools have more resources and are able to provide more STEM education than others,” Williams said. “STARBASE Austin is here to fill that gap so that all kids have the same opportunities to understand how important STEM careers are.”

STARBASE Austin also collaborates with its sponsor, the Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force, whose members regularly attend to provide additional mentorship and inspiration to make good decision and pursue fascinating careers.

We are so excited to have a partnership with Counterdrug Task Force here on post,” Bell enthused. “We have soldiers that come out and sit with our students and encourage them and motivate them and ask some questions. They remind our students how important it is to make positive decisions and if they make a mistake to take responsibility for it and how to push forward.” 
 

Soldiers of Texas Army National Guard

Signed Letter

Soldiers of Texas Army National Guard,

The Texas Army National Guard is dedicated to the safety and well-being of its Soldiers and their families. Unfortunately, we have lost some outstanding Soldiers from our formations this year. It is critical that we allow ourselves a moment to grieve and recharge. Although circumstances and situations feel permanent, they are temporary and will pass.

As leaders in this organization, it is our responsibility to take care of each other. In order to do this, we MUST take care of ourselves first. When you board an airplane and a safety briefing is provided, they instruct passengers to put their oxygen mask on FIRST so they can then assist others. Likewise, we cannot be good Soldiers and battle buddies if we are not mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared.

Balancing work, family life, and our responsibilities as Citizen-Soldiers can be challenging at times and our organization needs its Soldiers, Families and Civilians to be resilient. Resiliency is coping and adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, and significant sources of stress. This ability to adapt and grow from experiences has been a hallmark of the American Soldier for more than two centuries. We need to reflect on the commitment we have to our military service and both the positive and negative effects experienced by Soldiers and Families.

I am asking each of you to take a moment to reflect on what makes you resilient, to "hunt the good stuff," so to speak, and recharge; go hiking, play with your kids, read a good book, hug a friend, or a furry friend, or curl up on your couch and just relax. Then I ask that when you return to work, you take a moment to check on a fellow Soldier. The Texas National Guard is an exceptional organization built on the core values of LDRSHIP, and we must take the lead to take care of each other.

I want to thank you and your family for your outstanding contributions this organization, to your communities, and to the State and Nation. Please use this time to take care of you, so you can be better leaders, resilient and ready to support your fellow Soldiers.

Sincerely,

Tracy R. Norris

Brigadier General, TXARNG

Commanding

Texas State Guard Troops Hone Search and Recovery Skills

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SFC Thomas Adamowicz and SGT Mark Lydahl conduct a leader’s reconnaissance prior to deployment of the GSAR team into the search area.

By 4th Civil Affairs Regiment Public Affairs

Texas State Guard

 

MINERAL WELLS, Texas- “Team leader, look what the terrain is doing to your formation,” said Staff Sgt. Joe Ringnald, platoon sergeant and certified Ground Search and Recovery (GSAR) trainer as he coached a team leader maneuvering a 12-member team through heavy terrain. “Look how that thick foliage to your right is driving your entire team to the left.” 

The GSAR drill was an element of a 4th Civil Affairs Regiment, Texas State Guard field training exercise at Fort Wolters Training Center, in Mineral Wells, in July. The TXSG contains a total of six GSAR Mission Ready Packages (MRP) for deployment across the state.  

 

To kick off the exercise, Regimental Operations alerted the GSAR team to assemble and move to a nearby remote community where recent storms and flooding had resulted in several missing persons.  

“In this scenario, we knew based on the operations briefing we were looking for remains.  The Soldiers conducted a deliberate search pattern focused on terrain where experience has taught us remains were likely to be found,” said Warrant Officer Jack Snow, GSAR operations officer.   

 

In the Fort Wolters mission, the GSAR team conducted two training iterations.  In a daylight scenario, the team conducted a wide-area search resulting in the location of simulated human remains.  The team then reset and conducted a night operation, successfully locating a simulated lost child.  The night search was the most advanced and challenging mission the unit has undertaken to date. 

“Guardsmen from this team have deployed on a number of real-world GSAR missions,” said Snow.  “Our goal here is to share their knowledge and experience and to make the training more challenging and under more difficult conditions to ensure we can successfully execute out in those real-world scenarios.” 

“Demanding training like this is all about confidence.  When lives are on the line we don’t want soldiers doubting themselves, their leaders or their teams,” he added.

To maximize the training value, the team rotated several Soldiers through the planning and leading roles.  

“The mission of the 4th Regiment is to provide task-organized mission ready teams to support civil emergency management authorities principally in the disaster response domain,” said Col. Robert Hastings, 4th Regiment commander, Texas State Guard. “We train to conduct mass shelter operations, emergency tracking network operations, search and recovery and to augment civil emergency operations centers. The mission ready MRP is the end-state. There are a number of enabling skills that are important – such as land navigation, first aid and radio operations, but the ‘magic sauce’ that brings it all together is teamwork and leadership, and that’s really the focus of our annual training plan and field exercises like this one.”   

Texas State Guard GSAR teams are validated and certified by other state agencies.

 

Texas Air National Guardsmen enhance 136th communications capabilities

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Photo By Senior Airman DeJon Williams | Members of the 272nd Engineering Installation Squadron, Ellington Field, Texas pose for a group photo May 24, 2017, at the 136th Medical Group, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. The EIS team travelled to Fort Worth, Texas from Houston to assist the 136th Communications Flight with category-five cable installations throughout the wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman De’Jon Williams)

NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, TEXAS , TX, UNITED STATES

07.22.2017

Story by Senior Airman DeJon Williams

136th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs (Texas Air National Guard)

 

Members from the 272nd Engineering Installation Squadron, 147th Attack Wing, Ellington Field, Texas Air National Guard worked with 136th Communications Flight to assist in upgrading the communications facilities for the 136th Airlift Wing and the 136th Medical Group. 

The project began April 27 and is scheduled to be completed July 12.

“The medical building and the wing multipurpose room are being completely rewired from category five to category six network cabling,” said Master Sgt. Patrick O’Connor, the 136th Communications Flight infrastructure non-commissioned officer in charge. “This switch will give better bandwidth, more port availability and putting us [136th Airlift Wing] ahead for future services.”

The 272nd provides installation and engineering for communication systems. This includes replacing outdated systems and network cabling. Another aspect of their work includes moving cabling from one location to another, which is what is being updated for the two facilities. 

“We were able to move the cabling to the network control center in the communications room,” said Master Sgt. William Taylor, a cable and antenna system craftsman with the 272nd Engineering Installation Squadron. “The benefit for us is that we get to learn from them [the 136th Communications Flight] as well. They’ve been very supportive since we’ve been here. Anything we’ve needed, they’ve provided.”

The two units worked together to provide the 136th Airlift Wing and Medical Group with better communication technology to support the unit’s missions. 

“There is only so much our communications flight can do here on our own,” O’Connor said. “Outsourcing gives us the opportunity to train together; it allows us to present project plans that we need implemented to better our facilities, and it gives the 272nd the opportunity to execute communications plans.”

The projection execution and training provides the resources and man hours to upgrade the facilities as necessary. This training included position knowledge, how to approach and manage projects, and supervision of Airmen, and leadership expectations.

“It’s all about building good relationships, feeding off of each other’s knowledge bases and using our expertise along with theirs to complete a common goal,” O’Connor said. “The experience has been positive, and it’s good to have other units you can rely on to accomplish the mission."

Texas Guard engineer battalion leans forward in training MDMP to new lieutenants

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Photo By Capt. Aaron Moshier | 1st Lt. Tiffany Finch, logistics officer, 386th Engineer Battalion presents her brief after receiving military decision making process training during annual training, 9-14 July 2017, Camp Swift, Texas. The MDMP training is offered through experienced trainers of the Army National Guard’s Mission Command Training Group based in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Courtesy photo)

TX, UNITED STATES

07.20.2017

Story by Capt. Maria Mengrone

176th Engineer Brigade (TXARNG)

 

CAMP SWIFT, Texas – Newly assigned lieutenants and staff of the 386th Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade received critical training in the military decision making process during annual training, 9-14 July, 2017, Camp Swift, Texas. 

The military decision making process (MDMP) is an Army seven-step method used to guide decision-making on and off the battlefield. 

“Since we have so many new lieutenants added to the staff it seemed like a fantastic training opportunity,” said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Tony Miles of the 386th Engineer Battalion and resident of Lincoln, Neb. “I want to introduce them to the mindset and the mechanism that they’re going to utilize throughout their careers.”

The group of approximately 12 staff officers worked in their respective sections with close oversight from experienced trainers of the Army National Guard’s Mission Command Training Support Program (MCTSP) based in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.

“We make sure they understand not only the "how" of mission command and the military decision making process but the "why" of each step, input and output,” said Doctrinal Training Team Leader John C. White resident of Austin, Texas. 

The six-day training consists of hypothetical scenarios designed to challenge and promote communication across staff sections. 

“It’s a complex process that requires us to work with each other regardless of section; you have to work with others to get help,” said 1st Lt. Cory Ferguson, administrative officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 386th Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade resident of Corpus Christi, Texas.

The staff exercise training is structured to enable commanders to train their staff to perform essential battle command planning, coordination, integration, synchronization, and control function.

“The more they see and apply MDMP the better officers they’re going to be,” said Miles.

The MDMP training is designed to meet the needs of the units requesting the training. 

“Even many captain’s that haven't served on a staff long may not be familiar or proficient in the operations process,” said White. “We simply tailor our instruction to the staff's experience level. We may have to take some steps slower, explain more or reduce the complexity of the mission or problem they are facing.”

The end goal is to ensure new lieutenants and staff can convert vast amounts of data into meaningful information allowing commanders to make well-informed decisions. 

“I’m excited to be able to get feedback during this training so as a staff we can give a better presentation and product to the commander,” said Ferguson.

Although this training was primarily geared toward new lieutenants of the 386th Engineer Battalion the MDMP training offered through MCTSP is open and available to other units.

“It’s a really good program for units to use and improve their staffs. It’s a one stop shop where we bring all the products and training material that’s designed with the commander's intent for training in mind. It doesn't cost the unit any money and they just need to commit the right personnel and time to make it effective,” said White.