Story by Staff Sgt. Gregory Illich, Texas State Guard
Posted July 26, 2019
HOUSTON –The Texas State Guard provided logistical and medical support for the 19th consecutive year to the annual Commemorative Air Force Wings over Houston Airshow at Ellington Airport, Houston, from October 17-21, 2018. With the anticipated number of visitors to exceed 50,000, air show organizers have come to depend upon the Texas State Guard support at one of the largest airshows in the country.
Securing the flight line is one of the important assignments of the Texas State Guard. Guard members from the 8th Regiment, Army Component, were on duty to maintain a safe distance from the active ramps and taxiways to prevent visitors from accidentally wandering into areas where aircraft are moving for takeoff, landing, or refueling.
"We are like a guardrail for airshow visitors. We stand along the taxiways to safeguard visitors who do not realize that they are approaching an off-limits area or a danger zone. We want everyone to enjoy the show but from a safe distance," stated Pvt. Mary Jane Moore, 8th Regiment, Army Component, Texas State Guard.
Guard members also staffed gated entry points to the airport. They checked to ensure items carried onto airport property adhered to airport rules. They also provided airshow information and directions to visitors.
The guard members from the 5th Air Wing, Air Component, assisted airport ramp personnel who moved aircraft as ramps were opened and closed to public access. They also established communications using the Texas Interoperable Communications Package, which is used as a means of communication when other types of communication equipment are not available, normal communication channels are damaged during an emergency or disaster, such as a hurricane or flooding, or when electronic data is sent from remote locations.
The 2nd Battalion, Texas Medical Brigade, staffed a medic tent with civilian counterparts to provide first aid to visitors.
Guard members support to the Wings over Houston Airshow is one example of how the Texas State Guard uses community service activities to exercise skills that are used to support state and local authorities in times of emergencies or disasters. Guard members practiced command and control, logistics, communications and other skills which apply to shelter management operations and traffic flow during the distribution of food and water.
"Anytime that the Texas State Guard can support our local communities, whether disaster support or community activity support, means that the Texas State Guard is serving our fellow Texans. We are Texans Serving Texas!" stated Maj. Austin Green, Executive Officer, 8th Regiment.