Story by: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Janet Schmelzer
Posted: May 28, 2015
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Five soldiers from the 39th Composite Regiment, Texas State Guard, provided support to the Texas Disaster District Coordinators (DDC), the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Air National Guard during the recent flooding emergency in Wichita Falls, Texas, May 23-28, 2015.
State Guard participation in Wichita Falls helped local residents affected by flood waters remain safe and receive necessary emergency assistance.
Capt. Michael Garcia, Staff Sgt. Brenda Newton, Staff Sgt. William Willey, Spc. Desmon Dunn, and Spc. Zach Williams from the 39th Composite Regiment performed numerous tasks to support disaster coordination efforts, including administrative duties, answering phones, monitoring social media, and updating information on the Texas Web Emergency Operations Center.
As the emergency unfolded, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visited Wichita Falls, to thank the guardsmen, and other emergency responders and volunteers, for their service, May 25, 2015.
The 39th Composite Regiment is well-equipped to provide emergency assistance. Since 2009, the regiment has worked closely with David Solis, State Coordinator Region 5, Texas Division Emergency Management, who integrated the 39th Composite Regiment into the Region 5 emergency coordination and training efforts. This enabled the regiment to increase their emergency preparedness by working with other emergency response teams, even cross-training with the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency team in an effort to provide increased logistic support during crisis management.
This relationship has also increased the regiment’s support to disaster situations. During the winter storm of January, 2010, regiment guardsmen assisted Amarillo civil authorities and set up shelters in the Panhandle. In May 2014, guardsmen were again mobilized, to support operations during the Double Diamond wildfires in Fritch, where they assisted with WEBEOC and radio communications and helped monitor social media.
"I am proud of the performance and dedication of the men and women of the 39th “Roughnecks” and the excellent working relationship we enjoy with our TDEM partners,” said Col. Barney Welch, commander of the 39th Composite Regiment. “Through that valuable partnership, this unique concept continues to evolve as a viable mission set for the State of Texas."
The 39th Composite Regiment was also mobilized for hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Dean, Operation Lone Star and Operation Border Star. In 2012 the regiment became the only composite regiment in the Texas State Guard, because it’s unique internal medical staff. The regiment covers a large part of West Texas and the Panhandle. It is headquartered in Midland, and has subordinate units located in Midland, Lubbock, El Paso, and Amarillo.