Till the last drop; Texas Guardsmen deliver drinking water to state jail
Story by: Capt. Jessica Jackson
Posted: Sept. 14, 2016
EL PASO, Texas—It’s the middle of summer, with temperatures in the triple digits and the water main breaks—leaving a jail full of inmates and staff without water. This was the situation at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail in El Paso, Aug. 11, 2016.
Jail administrators reached out to Texas Army National Guard 3rd Battalion, 133 Field Artillery Regiment based out of El Paso to see if the unit could assist in providing drinkable water for more than 1,400 correctional officers, staff and inmates onsite.
Understanding the severity of the problem, the unit quickly ramped up their water buffalos to provide assistance.
“The potable water was delivered the same day of the request,” said Capt. Charles Peters, 3rd Battalion, 133 Field Artillery Regiment S3 operations officer. “We were able to mount an initial response rapidly to provide the needed water within hours of notification.”
A quick response not lost on Garth Parker, Rogelio Sanchez State Jail warden.
“From the time they received the request it was only three hours until water was delivered,” said Parker. “This was a very impressive response time. It shows the amount of commitment of the Guardsman and how very well-trained they are to be able to put together such a rapid response.”
The Guardsmen provided water to the jail for approximately 22 hours and delivered more than 30,000 gallons of potable water.
“It is awesome; the guard being able to provide this service to those in need,” Parker said. “It shows their high level of leadership, professionalism and organization to be able to gather the requested resources and deploy them in such a quick response.”
The quick response not only helped those left without drinking water, but also gave Guardsmen a view into how their unique set of skills and equipment could help those locally in need.
“The soldiers were able to conduct a real-world DSCA mission, gaining valuable insight into supporting the community, and see how their actions can provide a positive impact within their own community,” said Peters.
Emergency situations are bound to occur, having these capabilities allow Texas National Guard units to provide much needed support throughout the state.
“To me this displays superior readiness for any emergency or situation that arises, it’s great to know …we can make a call and receive assistance,” said Parker.
Yet another example of how Texas Guardsmen are always ready and always there.