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Founded 1959 | Volume 57 | Number 1 | Spring 2016


Texas Governor Abbott addresses the attendees at the NGAT conference business session in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by 1SG Daniel Griego)

Former NGAT President and Minuteman recipient COL (Ret) Ed Komondosky (left) presented former NGAT President CMSgt Charles Chavers with the 2016 NGAT Minuteman Award at the NGAT Conference in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by 1SG Daniel Griego)





57th Annual Conference Photo Highlights

NGATEF Scholarship Awards

Houston Flood Rescues

2016-17 Board of Directors President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President-Elect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice-President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary-Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joint Forces HQs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ARNG Troops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36th ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72nd IBCT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72nd IBCT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56th IBCT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56th IBCT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36th Sustainment Bde . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36th CAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176th Engr Bde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71st BfSB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136th MEB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HQ, TANG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149th FW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147th RW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136th AW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TX State Guard Rep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Retired Rep – Region I . . . . . . . . . . . . Retired Rep – Region II . . . . . . . . . . . . Retired Rep – Region III . . . . . . . . . . . Family Readiness Rep . . . . . . . . . . . . . Executive Director (Interim) . . . . . . . .

Kenn White Vacant Tony Carter Brian Hildebrand Christopher McKeag Tyra Swanson Mike Wallace Brian Hildebrand Richard Sublett Jet Hays Mark Horn Toni Savely Bob Roark Calvin Jenkins Patrick Hardy John Crawson Michael Selheim Albert Cardenas Leonor Milton Doug Clark Richard Chamberlain Priscilla Leger Melissa Harden Randy Ransom Miguel Torres Caleb Williams

Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Copy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Graphic Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Theresa Billeck-Zuniga Laura Bianco Aus-Tex Printing & Mailing

NGAT NEWS 3706 Crawford Ave Austin, TX 78731 512-454-7300 1-800-252-NGAT (6428) NGAT Home Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NGAT EMAIL






Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas 78710 and additional offices.

4 President’s Report 5 Members Corner 6 Committee/Outgoing Directors 7 Incoming Directors 8 Homecomings 10 Legislative Committee Report 11 NGAT Legislative Priorities 12 Member Spotlight 13 Leadership Update 14 57th Annual Conference Photos 16 Minuteman/Davy Crockett Awards 17 Membership Contest Awards 19 NGATEF Scholarship Winners 20 NGAT Conference Winners 22 Conference Survey/Heroes Day Declared 24 Around the World with the Guard 26 NGAT Membership Update 27 Military Plates/Cyber Units Coming to Texas 28 EANGUS/NGAUS 29 Red River 44 Crew Memorial/

NGAT News (usps 015-752) published quarterly by the National Guard Association of Texas, 3706 Crawford Avenue, Austin, Texas 78731-6308.

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Young Heroes Camp

30 NGAT Corporate Sponsors 33 Salute to Retirees 34 Houston Flood Rescues 36 Around Texas with the Guard 38 Taps 40 NGAT Planning Calendar


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PRESIDENT’S REPORT A LOT OF CHANGES HAVE OCCURRED since the Arlington conference. With the recent resignation of Dan Quick, NGAT’s president, I am honored and proud to step in early as your President and take the reins of this outstanding Association! Dan has been a member of NGAT’s Board of Directors since 2008 and served on the Executive Committee since 2012. We truly appreciate his service to this Association. 

CALEB WILLIAMS IS AN ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT AND MILITARY PROFESSIONAL WITH A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE IN BOTH. Caleb is a Veteran of the United States Navy, where he was enlisted and served in the Special Warfare Community. He currently serves as a commissioned officer in the Texas Army National Guard. Caleb holds a Master’s of Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. He is currently completing his M.B.A. and a certificate course in Executive Leadership through the Texas Society of Association Executives in conjunction with the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. 

Ray Lindner, our Executive Director, has resigned from the National Guard Association of Texas (NGAT) to take on his new role as CEO for Lindner Management Group after 11 years of service to the Association. Mr. Lindner served as the Executive Director of NGAT from April 2005 to March 2016, while simultaneously serving on the board of directors for the National Guard Executive Director’s Association (NGEDA), the Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation (TXNGFSF), the Military Forces Conference Foundation (MFCF), and the National Guard Association of Texas Educational Foundation (NGATEF). During his tenure with NGAT, Mr. Lindner was instrumental in facilitating the merging of the Texas State Guard Association into the National Guard Association of Texas. Additionally, he played a key role in Congressional and RAY LINDNER Texas State Legislature lobbying efforts in support of the Texas Military Department.  We are taking a slow, deliberate approach to filling the Executive Director position to ensure that we attract and hire the best qualified applicants. I believe it is critical to put someone into place who has experience as an Executive Director and a strong knowledge of a non-profit Associations. While we take this very important step within our organization, an Interim Executive Director has already been put in place by the Executive Committee. Caleb Williams was named as the Interim Executive Director until the process is complete and a full time Executive Director is hired. As your new President, I can tell you that there is an exciting future in store for the National Guard Association of Texas. You are about to be part of something really BIG. At NGAT teamwork is the cornerstone to our future success. As such, I am asking the Board of Directors, Executive Director, full time staff, and committees to stand together as a team to build this future together. In the next several weeks, “Team NGAT” will begin to unveil our plans on Social media and other platforms to give you a glimpse of what our members can expect in the near future.   As we look towards to these BIG changes in our future, I want to create an Association that mirrors other  professional Associations. I believe this is achieved by providing members with the tools to improve the registration process for Association events, on-line interactions with other members, and other functionalities that provide the best services for our members.   I want to improve our Governance processes to bring many of our practices and policies in line with current guidelines and best practices of other non-profit organizations. To help in this endeavor, the board will be asking for your support to make some minor changes to our by-laws. I believe we can create new meaningful, and innovative programs by reinvesting some of our earnings back into services and programs for our members and their families. Most importantly, I want to create an Association that becomes THE model for other Guard states across the country. This year, we will begin the planning for our annual conferences two years in advance. Planning in this manner, gives us the time needed to create a conference packed with meaningful content, guest speakers and new opportunities for vendors and members. There are exciting surprises in store for the San Antonio conference next year, so stay tuned to Facebook and the NGAT web site for updates. You will not want to miss the 2017 conference. Thank you for your service to our great Nation and the State of Texas. H  

Kenn White LTC, TXARNG  NGAT President  4 | N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Te x a s

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Watch our future unfold at #futureofngat



LATE HOLIDAY GREETING Despite missing the last issue of the NGAT News magazine we still wanted to share with you this great photo of the troopers of HHT 1-124th Cav Rgmt, sending their holiday greetings. H

LANGFORD PROMOTED TO CW5 Virginia Lake (right), with the help of Chief Warrant Officer 5 Earnest E. Metcalf, command chief warrant officer, Texas Army National Guard, pins her husband, William Langford, as he promotes to chief warrant officer 5 at a ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. CW5 Langford is a NGAT Life Member and currently serves as the executive officer for Joint Forces Headquarters. With the promotion, he now is the only human resources chief warrrant officer 5 in the Texas Army National Guard. H (Photo by SFC Malcolm McClendon)

CITIZEN SOLDIER IN ACTION Firefighter Elisha Burns (front) and CSM Michael Bland bring residents to safety along a flooded Bowie Drive in Bastrop, Texas, on Sunday, April 17, 2016. CSM Bland works full time at Camp Swift, serves as the command sergeant major for the Training Center Garrison Command and as lieutenant for the Bastrop Volunter Fire Department, and is a life member of NGAT. H (Photo by Terry Hagerty)

Lt Gen Joseph Lengyel Nominated to Lead National Guard Bureau LT GEN JOSEPH LENGYEL, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the bureau in Washington. Obama also endorsed the 35-year Air Force veteran for promotion to the rank of general. More than three decades in the United States Air Force, whether in the cockpit of an F-16 or serving as a defense attaché overseas, Lt Gen Lengyel has demonstrated strong and steady leadership. During his most recent role as vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, he has helped to ensure that 470,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel are accessible, capable, and ready to protect the homeland and provide combat resources to the U.S. Army and Air Force. Lt Gen Lengyel was commissioned in 1981 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at North Texas State University, Denton. He served in various operational and staff assignments, primarily as an F-16 instructor pilot and weapons officer. His experience in the F-16 includes tours in Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces, United States Air Forces in Europe, and the Texas Air National Guard. Lt Gen Lengyel served in the Texas Air National Guard from 1991 to 2004. During his time in the Texas Air National Guard he served in the following position:   September 1991— September 1995, Instructor Pilot Flight Examiner and Weapons Officer, 182nd Fighter Squadron September 1996— June 1997, Commander, 149th Operations Support Flight June 1997— October 1998, Operations Officer, 182nd Fighter Squadron October 1998— October 1999, Commander, 182nd Fighter Squadron October 1999— February 2002, Commander, 149th Operations Group February 2002— June 2004, Vice Commander, 149th Fighter Wing

Lt Gen Lengyel is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, primarily in the F-16. NGAT is proud to note that Lt Gen Lengyel is a life member of NGAT. H S p r i n g 2 0 1 6 H N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Te x a s |


Your New NGAT Executive Committee

LTC Kenn White President

Vacant President-Elect

CSM Tony Carter Vice-President

MAJ Brian Hildebrand Secretary/Treasurer

NGAT Outgoing Directors Thank You for your Service “It has been my pleasure and my honor to work with this Association. I feel

confident in Kenn White’s ability to manage this transition process and to provide guidance for our board in the future. I ask that you give him your full support.”

COL Daniel Quick NGAT President

LTC (TX) Kristopher Krueger Texas State Guard

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MSgt Anita Blue Secretary/Treasurer

LTC John Crawson 136th MEB

SGM (Ret) Jerry Horsley Retired Rep—Region II

CSM Murphy McCardell 36th Sustainment Bde

LTC Miguel Torres Family Readiness Rep

CSM Mark Weedon JFHQ

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CPT Christopher McKeag JFHQ

CPT Toni Savely 36th Sustainment Bde

1SG Daniel Griego 136th MEB

CSM (TX) Richard Chamberlain Texas State Guard

CW4 (Ret) Melissa Harden Retired Rep—Region II

LTC Scott Kingsley Family Readiness Rep

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S p r i n g 2 0 1 6 H N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Te x a s |



SOLDIERS IN THE 442nd ENGINEER COMPANY are excited to be in-flight headed to Texas after spending the past nine months in Afghanistan. H

ASSISTANT DEPUTY ADJUTANT GENERAL—ARMY, BG TRACY NORRIS (pictured center) poses for a photo with the first group of soldiers from the 442nd Engineer Company after their return from Afghanistan. While deployed, the 442nd Engineer Company completed the route-clearance mission, a high-risk mission that the unit had been preparing for for a long time. While addressing the soldiers BG Norris said, “It’s great to have the first group of our Titans back home safe and sound in Texas!” H


COL JEFFREY YOUNG (LEFT), COMMANDER OF THE 254th COMBAT COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, welcomes home members of the 221st Combat Communications Squadron from Southwest Asia. Pictured left to right are: Col Young, Amn Virgin, Amn Carnes, Amn Anderson, and Amn Martinez. H

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A GROUP OF AIRMEN ASSIGNED TO THE 136th AIRLIFT WING, pose for a photo in the 136th AW public affairs studio at the Naval Air Station-Fort Worth Joint Base Reserve, Texas, 8 March 2016. The group recently returned from a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia. H (Photo by TSgt Vanessa Reed)

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Legislative Committee Report The NGAT Legislative Committee had a very active year in FY14-15, actively pursuing legislative goals at both the federal and state level. Several key legislative goals were secured, and NGAT members were also very active in communicating with our congressional delegation.

Organization The organization of the Legislative Committee includes the NGAT office staff, the Legislative Task Force, the Resolutions Committee, and the Email/Fax Brigade. The NGAT staff is responsible for organizing and pursuing a year-round legislative agenda, and supporting the activities of the other three components. The Legislative Task Force is comprised of volunteers who pay their own way to Washington, D.C., and partner with the leadership of the Texas National Guard in presenting the TAG priorities and initiatives to the Texas congressional delegation. The Resolutions Committee reviews resolutions submitted to the association by TXMF, NGAUS, EANGUS, and industry for association endorsement. The Email/Fax Brigade responds to NGAT legislative alerts and directly lobbies members of Congress as constituents. SRA ALEXANDUR R. PEQUEÑO, A CYBER TRANSPORT RANGE TECHNICIAN WITH THE 273RD INFORMATION OPERATIONS SQUADRON, BASED AT JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, TEXAS, demonstrates Wi-Fi vulnerabilities to handheld devices for U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, co-chairman of the National Guard and Reserve Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, in Washington. The demonstration was part of the caucus’ State Cyber Day in the Rayburn House Office Building highlighting The National Guard and Reserve cyber capabilities. (Photo by 1st Lt Phil Fountain)

The Texas National Guard has a Legislative Affairs Office whose mission is to coordinate legislative activities, develop legislative priorities, and to respond to congressional and state legislative enquiries. The office is headed by LTC Malcolm Warbrick, an NGAT Life Member. NGAT has a close working relationship with staff, and together we strive to achieve an integrated and focused legislative agenda. In addition to actively working with the Texas Military Forces, NGAT maintains a close working relationship with several key legislative partners including the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), and the National Guard Bureau Office of Legislative Liaison (NGB-LL). Together, we closely monitor the legislative work of other key military associations, including the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), and the Air Force Association (AFA). Finally, NGAT works closely with national and state veteran entities to ensure proper and appropriate representation of Guard veterans. H

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Legislative Task Force Activities FEDERAL: At the federal level, most activity continues to be centered on force structure issues. We continue to support countering the Army’s proposed cuts to the Guard’s force structure and the transfer of the Guard’s combat-aviation assets to the active force. In addition, we are poised to support Texas Air Guard efforts to modernize platforms. In June, NGAT conducted a legislative visit to Washington, D.C. We hosted a reception for members of Congress and their staffs, and also underwrote a barbecue which the TXANG hosted for NGB staff. In July we returned to Washington for more legislative lobbying, including meetings regarding draft legislation to cover key retirement needs of the Guard that were not addressed in the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Report. In December, NGAT hosted a congressional delegation appreciation reception, which was well attended by members and their staffs as well as the secretary of the Army. In March, NGAT again visited members of Congress to lobby retirement issues and also hosted a congressional staff appreciation reception for members of Congress and their staffs. We plan to again sponsor activities associated with both the Army and the Air Guard’s State-of-the-State visits. STATE: The fight for improving Hazlewood Act’s benefits was defeated last session, but talks have already begun among veterans’ groups over the best course of action to defend some measure of the benefits this upcoming session. Last session we worked with both House and Senate members and their staffs to rewrite the Act with language that would secure the benefits, albeit with amended qualifications and without a legacy component (i.e., benefits would not be allowed to be passed to dependents). In the fall we will meet with the Texas Military Forces legislative team to identify the TAG priorities and to review potential legislative strategies. Additionally, we will pursue legislation to clarify the association’s tax status regarding state property tax. H





The politically charged atmosphere in Washington and the continued effects of sequestration and budget cutting continues to challenge our association as we attempt to secure new or expanded benefits while protecting existing benefits. In Austin, continued competition for scarce budget dollars combined with attempts to erode or discontinue educational benefits present a need to pay close attention to legislative activities during the upcoming biennial session.

• Pre-Tax Childcare Expenses: Allow Guard families to pay childcare expenses on a pre-tax basis. • Employment Program: Fund skill-building and employment programs for spouses and family members.

The recent threat to Army-Guard force structure appears to have somewhat abated since the arrival of a new Army chief of staff. We are awaiting the chief’s decision on whether to retain combat aviation assets in the Guard. We continue to focus on averting and avoiding any threat to mission and force structure brought on by the active force to use the Guard as a bill-payer. On the Air side, we support the component’s attempt to modernize the fleet and even expand Air assets by taking new missions. We are committed to enabling the adjutant general and the two component commanders to do what is necessary to meet the daily evolving challenges. We ask our members to remain educated, involved, and ready— ready to respond to any call of action that we send out; it is critical that we demonstrate wide-spread support to oppose benefit changes that are inconsistent with service career sacrifices. In addition to supporting the federal and state initiatives of the adjutant general, NGAT is pursuing the following priorities for our members.

Federal HEALTH • TRICARE: Protect against disproportional increases in TRICARE fees. Support innovative approaches to meeting healthcare coverage for all drilling and mobilized Guard members. • Pre-Tax TRICARE Payments: Allow uniformed services retiree beneficiaries, their family members, and survivors to pay TRICARE enrollment fees and supplemental insurance premiums using pre-tax dollars. • Dental: Provide all guardsmen coverage under the TRICARE dental program (TDP), including annual dental examinations at no cost to the member and dental treatments, needed for the member to meet regulated dental requirements, at no cost to the member with TDP accepting full payment for the treatment. • PTSD Assistance: Fully fund PTSD/TBI care and research initiatives. Partner with health care entities to seek funding for community-based programs that mitigate, treat, and help overcome the damage to service-family from PTSD.

• Total Force GI Bill: Raise GI Bill educational benefit rates to cover at least the average cost of a public college education and allow accrual of benefits for reservists who serve multiple tours of active duty up to 36 months.


RETIREMENT • Early Retirement: Credit all post-9/11 active duty service toward Guard early retirement. • The new hybrid retirement plan (for service entrants on or after 1 Jan. 2018), composed of reduced retired pay and a matched 401(k)-style system. • Title 32 Benefits Parity: Eliminate the lack of benefits parity between duty performed under Title 10 (federal authority) and Title 32 (state authority) by allowing military service under Title 32 to be creditable for the same purposes as military service under Title 10.

OTHER • Veteran Status: Secure veteran status for National Guard members entitled to reserve retirement pay. • Pre-Tax SSLI Payments: Allow service members to pay for SSLI with pre-tax dollars. • Employer Tax Credit: Authorize federal dollar-for-dollar tax credits to employers who makeup negative salary differentials of their deployed Guard and Reserve employees. Provide employers a tax credit for compensation paid during the period employees are performing service as members of the Ready Reserve or the National Guard.

State EDUCATION • Hazlewood Act: Protect Hazelwood educational benefits for the service member through amended eligibility requirements.

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION • Facility Upgades: Support state-matching funds for the second phase of facility upgrades on Guard installations around the state.

OTHER • Association Tax Relief: Secure state property tax relief for the association as it currently exists for nationally chartered veterans’ organizations.

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT “In the end we’re hoping it inspires other people to help out.” —MAJ George Hurd

MAJ GEORGE HURD (RIGHT) AND HIS DAUGHTER OLIVIA make final preparations for their trip to deliver water and toiletry supplies to people in need in Flint, Michigan.

Texas Guardsman Supports Flint Water Effort (Story and photo by 1SG Daniel Griego)

AS THE FLINT WATER CRISIS entered its third month, one Texas Army National Guard member decided to step up and directly help the people most affected. So he took a road trip to Michigan. Over two months ago, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Flint, Michigan, in response to the ongoing water crisis that has exposed up to 12,000 children to contaminated drinking water. Since then, private donations have poured in to support the community suffering from long-term lead poisoning. Sitting idly by was not an option for NGAT Life Member MAJ George Hurd, a Texas Army National Guard member and combat veteran. “Part of it comes from my experience overseas in Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan where we gave out bottled water to children all across that region,” said Hurd, “When I sat back and became more aware of what was going on in Flint and seeing the disaster that’s going on up there, I just thought there wasn’t enough attention. It affected me to the core and instead of just complaining about it, I decided to do something about it.” Hurd, who serves as the deputy operations officer for the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Round Rock, Texas, organized a support effort wherein he and his daughter Olivia packed the family truck and drove to Flint, over 1,200 miles from their Mansfield home, to deliver water and other supplies to the children in need. “We’re going to go door to door,” said Hurd. “We’re going to link up with local churches and the police department, and hit the areas that are most afflicted and haven’t received as much water as they’ve hoped or have been asking for.” The trip for the father-daughter team started the morning of Saturday, March 12, and lasted until their return home, March 16. In Flint, they delivered water, toiletry supplies, and other necessities directly to families affected by the crisis. “We wanted to do that human interaction thing and actually just meet with people and give them some water and find out what else they need,” Hurd said, “We’re hoping to create some awareness. We’re calling our mission the Flint Water Brigade, a spinoff from the old days when firemen and the community would come together with buckets of water to help put out fire.” Hurd’s daughter Olivia, a high-school sophomore, chose to spend her spring break on this trip with her father in support of the Flint Water Brigade. “I’m so blessed to have this opportunity to help people,” Olivia said, “I just want to make a difference one person at a time.” In total, the team delivered two truckloads of water, one truckload of baby wipes, and also helped a local single mother purchase a vehicle. “In the end we’re hoping it inspires other people to help out,” said MAJ George Hurd. H MAJ GEORGE HURD (LEFT), SSG ERDOO THOMPSON (CENTER), AND 1LT MATTHEW VERDUGO (RIGHT), which all are of the of the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, load bottled water in preparation for Hurd’s convoy to Flint, Michigan, 10 March 2016, in Round Rock, Texas.

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UPDATE H TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD WELCOMES NEW COMMANDER BRIG GEN DAVID M. MCMINN (left), the chief of staff of the Texas Air National Guard, sits next to Maj Gen Kenneth W. Wisian, commander of the Texas Air National Guard, during a ceremony recognizing Wisian’s relinquishment of command to McMinn at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, 23 Jan. 2016. Wisian’s retirement caps off a 34-year career that he began as a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at The University of Texas at Austin. Wisian served in the active duty Air Force for ten years before transitioning to the Texas Air National Guard, where he held leadership positions at all levels, including combat service in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.

FROM SLICK SLEEVE TO ONE STAR IN 1983, DAWN M. FERRELL enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard as a slick-sleeve airman basic. Nearly 33 years later, now-Brig Gen Ferrell continues to serve the Texas Air National Guard while making history becoming its first female general officer. To celebrate this historical milestone, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Military Department senior leaders, and Ferrell’s family and friends attended her promotion ceremony Jan. 15, in the Texas Capitol’s Senate Chambers with Abbott administering her oath of office. “I’m humbled and I’m proud to have been chosen for this position, and I recognize that this is an important step for the Texas Air National Guard,” Ferrell said, “I honestly hadn’t realized that there hadn’t been a female before, but I think it’s just another way of showing everybody that anybody can do anything in the Air Force.” Abbott appointed Ferrell the Texas Military Department’s deputy adjutant general-air in November 2015.Thinking back to the beginning of her career, Ferrell remembers only wanting to serve her initial commitment in the Guard and had later planned to pursue a college degree. However, once in the TXANG, Ferrell said she loved being in the military and a member of the guard, whose unique part-time structure allowed her to do both. Ferrell was able to pursue her education, earning a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate of philosophy degree, as well as a successful civilian career in higher education while progressing through the ranks of the TXANG. Ferrell has grown in her career at the 136th Airlift Wing from an aerial port specialist to an aerial port officer and group commander.She has served in positions director of plans and logistics operations at International Security Assistance Force Headquarters-Afghanistan to coordinating response efforts during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans and Houston. Now, as deputy adjutant general, she plans to ensure that TXANG is always ready to serve, whether a federal or state mission, as well as seek new missions for the state. H

In addition to serving as a traditional Air National guardsman, McMinn maintains a civilian career as a commercial airline pilot. He has deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, where he commanded at the group level. McMinn is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flight hours in multiple military aircraft, including the C-130 Hercules. H (Photo by 2nd Lt Phil Fountain)

TEXAS PROMOTES NEW ASSISTANT DEPUTY ADJUTANT GENERAL-ARMY TEXAS ARMY NATIONAL GUARD BG TRACY R. NORRIS was recently appointed the Assistant Deputy Adjutant GeneralArmy. Norris thanked her friends and family for their continued support and mentorship over the years, as well as the command group for their trust and BG TRACY R. NORRIS, ASSISTANT DEPUTY ADJUTANT confidence at this new GENERAL— ARMY, gets pinned by her mother, Linda Norris Baker, level during and Maj Gen John F. Nichols, the Adjutant General of Texas, at a her promotion ceremony ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, 11 March 2016. to brigadier general at (Photo by SFC Malcolm McClendon) Camp Mabry in Austin, 11 March 2016. Norris received an Army ROTC scholarship and began her military career in 1984 after graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. Since she has served the Army National Guard in four different states, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas, as well as at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. In her most recent assignment, Norris served as the director to the Construction and Facilities Management Office for the Texas Army National Guard and as the commander for the 176th Engineer Brigade. Prior to these positions, she served as commander for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion and worked as program manager for several programs at the National Guard Bureau. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, Norris holds a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a Master of Business Administration from University of Texas at Austin. H S p r i n g 2 0 1 6 H N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Te x a s |



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(Photos by 1SG Daniel Griego & COL (Ret) Stan Crow)

EXCITING CHANGES ARE COMING TO THE 2017 NGAT CONFERENCE! You won’t want to miss it! Make plans to attend March 31, 2017-April 2, 2017 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel. 14 | N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f T e x a s

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2016 NGAT Minuteman Award CMSgt Charles Chavers

Former NGAT President and Minuteman recipient COL (Ret) Ed Komandosky (left) presents CMSGT CHARLES CHAVERS with the 2016 NGAT Minuteman award.

CMSGT CHARLES CHAVERS was selected as the 2016 NGAT Minuteman in recognition of his outstanding service to the Texas National Guard and to the National Guard Association of Texas. Chief Chavers currently serves as the aircraft maintenance superintendent for the 136th Airlift Wing in Fort Worth. His service has been marked by a commitment to excellence, a concern for airmen, and proven leadership. Chief Chavers has long been an active and committed supporter of the National Guard Association of Texas. He joined NGAT as a young airman and became a life member in September 1993. In 2007 he was elected to the board of directors and served on the board for eight years, the longest recorded service on the board. He served on numerous committees during that span, providing continuity and wise counsel. During his term as President, he reinstituted the membership awards program and provided a needed focus on junior-leader recruitment. He served as this year’s conference chairman, planning and coordinating much of this year’s activities and venues. Chief Chavers has been a strong supporter of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States and has attended several national conferences. He has also attended conferences of the National Guard Association of the United States and the National Guard Executive Directors Association representing NGAT and served as chairman of the Facilities Committee when Texas hosted the 2010 annual NGAUS conference.

(Photos by 1SG Daniel Griego)

Chief Chavers’ distinguished service to both the Texas Military Department and the National Guard Association of Texas uniquely qualifies him for the coveted Minuteman award. H

2016 Davy Crockett Award THIS YEAR’S DAVY CROCKETT AWARD has been awarded to three recipients CSM (Ret) Bill Abernathy, COL (Ret) Richard Harrison, and COL (Ret) Ed Komandosky for their long and valuable dedicated service on the NGAT Scholarship Committee. COL Harrison, who could not be at the conference this year to accept his award, has served on the committee for 49 years since its formation in 1967, and he has served as its chairman for the past three decades. COL Komandosky and CSM Abernathy have each served on the committee for over twenty years, faithfully devoting their time and efforts to ensure a fair and equitable award of scholarships to the most deserving students.


Their devotion to duty, years of contributions to the NGAT Scholarship committee and commitment to the education of our future leaders demonstrated by these men represent the highest standards of servant stewardship and serve as a COL (RET) ED KOMANDOSKY (LEFT) AND CSM (RET) testament to their love and sacrifice for this association. H BILL ABERNATHY (RIGHT) pose with their Davy Crockett award plaques.

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(Photos by 1SG Daniel Griego)

1st Place—Command Level

1st Place—Unit Level

56th IBCT | 466 new members NGAT President COL Daniel Quick (left), COL David Webb (center), and CSM Murphy McCardell

HHC, 2-142nd Inf/56th IBCT | 107 new members CPT John Melendez (left) and NGAT President COL Daniel Quick

2nd Place—Command Level

2nd Place—Unit Level

71st BfSB | 379 new members NGAT President COL Daniel Quick (left) and MAJ Patrick Hardy

HHC, 1-143rd Inf/71st BfSB | 96 new members NGAT President COL Daniel Quick (left) and SFC Norman Lloyd

3rd Place—Command Level

3rd Place—Unit Level

72nd IBCT | 324 new members NGAT President COL Daniel Quick (left) and CSM Richard Sublett

Co B, 2-142nd Inf/56th IBCT | 88 new members 1LT Gabriel Stewart (left) and NGAT President COL Daniel Quick S p r i n g 2 0 1 6 H N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Te x a s |


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1/20/16 10:22 AM


Grand Canyon University is proud to support the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States Since 1949, Grand Canyon University has been helping students find their purpose and achieve their potential by preparing them to pursue their chosen career, advance in the current career, or re-career into a different field. GCU offers more than 150 academic programs in high-demand employment areas, such as nursing, IT and hospitality. GCU ADVANTAGES:

“Uncompromised Physical Security” For AA&E and Sensitive Information Meets all Requirements for Compliance AR-190 & ICD 705

• Dedicated Military Team – Our knowledgeable military university team, comprised mostly of veterans, serves as a knowledgeable resource for military students and their families. • Transfer-friendly – Transfer up to 90 credits. Submit your transcripts and a military enrollment advisor will be able to determine your estimated tuition costs and anticipated graduation date within 24 hours. • Special Military Rates – GCU offers a special reduced military rate per credit hour for National Guard members and their spouses. • Earlier Graduation – Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree in less time. • Convenience – Attend classes online or on campus at times that fit your schedule.

As a benefit of this partnership, when you submit your information, GCU will make a donation to your National Guard association!

For more information visit: Donations are based on verified inquiries who have not previously contacted or attended Grand Canyon University. GCU reserves the right to not provide funds for invalid inquiries. Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. (800-621-7440; 16MIL0034

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National Guard Association of Texas Educational Foundation THOMAS E. BERRY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP


$5,000 Samantha Hammontree Daughter of LTC (Ret) George Hammontree, Life Member since 1989

$1,000 2LT (TX) Justin Nguyen Member since 2015



$2,000 Thomas Abrams Son of SSgt Jeffrey Abrahams, Life Member since 1992

LEWIS KING MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP $2,000 Hannah Hammontree Daughter of LTC (Ret) George Hammontree, Life Member since 1989

TXNG RETIREES SCHOLARSHIP $1,500 Blake Krpec Son of CSM Gary Krpec, Life Member since 1989

$1,000 Edward Butt Son of SFC (Ret) Jeff Butt, Life Member since 1990

USAA SCHOLARSHIP $1,000 Nicholas Kimmel Son of LTC (Ret) Matthew Kimmel, Life Member since 2008

LTC GARLAND PARRISH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP $750 Carolyn Chavers Daughter of CMSgt Charles Chavers, Life Member since 1993

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1st Place—72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team—Cell Block Suite

HOSPITALITY As always at the NGAT conference everyone looks forward to seeing the creative ideas our soldiers and airmen come up with for the Hospitality Suites. Our first place winner was the 72nd IBCT who locked you up in jail and gave you a chance to sit in an electric chair (not real of course). You could also scribe your hash marks in the wall to represent the number of years you served in the military, as well as get your official mug shot. Second place went to the “Speakeasy Suite” hosted by the 56th IBCT. Their room took you back to the 1920s prohibition of liquor when people would find and drink bootleg (illegal) spirits and beer. “Sidenote:” In order to gain entry into the suite you needed to know the password or man-in-charge’s name. Their room featured flappers, mob bosses and 36ID moonshine.

2nd Place—56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team—Speakeasy Suite

Finally, our third place winner was the 71st BfSB that took you back to the movie set of Top Gun, complete with their own bar that included a real F-16 pilot seat and F-16 ice sculpture, not to mention aviators and the regular serenade to “You’ve lost that loving feeling.” Other entries included the 136th MEB “Revenge of the Nerds,” 36th ID HHBN Carnival & Circus, and the 36th CAB Aviators Lounge. The force was strong in the Air National Guard Star Wars themed room where the question of the night was who is Darth Vader? 3rd Place—71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade—Top Gun Suite

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GOLF 1st Place— CSM Mark Weedon, Justin Guthrie, Justin Frasier and Michael Miraglia 2nd Place— LTC Les Edwards, COL Robert Crow and COL Charles Schoening 3rd Place— 1SG Jason Kerfoot, CPT Victor Lauersdorf, MAJ Nicky Bearb and Tim Chavez Longest Drive—MAJ Nicky Bearb Closest to the Pin—MAJ Nicky Beard $720 was raised at the golf tournament to benefit the NGAT Educational Foundation.



PASSPORT WINNER 50" Flat Screen Color TV— CSM Richard Sublett

1st Place—CPT Phil Gilbert 2nd Place—1SG William Reece 3rd Place—CPT Kyle Kindy



This year’s silent auction consisted of 141 items and rasied over $4663. Thank you to everyone who participated.

1st Place—Lauren Gremillion 2nd Place—CW2 Patricia Crawson 3rd Place—SGT Michelle Auyer


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Texas Military Heroes Day Declared

2016 CONFERENCE SURVEY COMMENTS 2016 Rating out of a Possible 5.0*

2015 Results

WORK SESSION NGAT Breakfast/Business Session

4.56 ↓


SOCIAL FUNCTIONS Fun Run Welcome Party Spouse Luncheon Awards Dinner Professional Breakouts (average of all)

4.47 ↑ 4.01 ↓ 4.42 ↑ 4.66 ↑ 4.43 ↑

4.30 4.64 4.18 4.59 4.29

EXHIBIT HALL Visit the Exhibit Hall? Exhibit Hall Rating

84.4% YES ↓ 4.52 ↑

84.6% YES 4.45

SILENT AUCTION Did you bid in the Silent Auction? Silent Auction

43.4% YES ↓ 4.30 ↓

49.4% YES 4.45

TIME/FAMILY ISSUES Enough Family/Spouse Time Family Friendly

93.7% YES ↑ 91.5% YES ↑

87.1% YES 82.4% YES

NGAT PERCEPTIONS Is NGAT managed well? Is NGAT properly focused? Does NGAT speak for your interests? Conference was a good value? Do you plan to attend next year?

93.5% YES ↓ 94.4% YES ↓ 97.0% YES ↓ 93.1% YES ↑ 99.4% YES ↓

97.7% YES 96.8% YES 99.0% YES 89.3% YES 94.8% YES

What we take away: - The conference is an important networking and social event. - Members want a photographer for photos before the awards dinner. - Online registration is too complex—needs to be simplified. - Governors visit was well received by members. - Mixed reviews concerning the Six Flags Welcome Party. - Need schedule of events published in advance for better planning purposes. * Data based on 235 responses received during/after the conference

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GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT declared February 2 “Texas Military Heroes Day” in honor of all Texans who have and continue to defend the United States of America. Last year, Governor Abbott declared February 2 “Chris Kyle Day” in honor of Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. However, the governor issued a proclamation to include all who have sacrificed and served on behalf of the Lone Star State. The proclamation reads as follows: “Texas has a long history of brave men and women who have taken a stand against tyranny and selflessly fought for our freedom and liberty.  From the days of the Texas Revolution and our Republic to the current struggles the United States faces at home and abroad, Texans have answered the call to duty and made a name for themselves as the utmost defenders of liberty. Generations have learned the names of famous men that have sacrificed much on behalf of Texas: Travis, Bowie, Crockett and the brave defenders of the Alamo; Fannin and his massacred men at Goliad; Houston and the victors at San Jacinto.  In modern times, Texans have again proven to be invaluable on the battlefield. During World War II, Audie Murphy displayed a rare and magnificent feat of heroism as he solely took on a squad of Germans, sustaining serious injuries while allowing time for his men to retreat.  For his actions, he earned the Medal of Honor.  In more recent memory, we celebrated this day last year as Chris Kyle Day. Widely known as the United States military’s most prolific sniper, Chief Petty Officer Kyle’s legacy is so much more than marksmanship. He was called on every day to make life-and-death decisions on too many battlefields to count, sacrificing comfort and safety to fight for our country and save lives at home and abroad.  From his Texas roots to the front lines on which he served, his loyalty to our flag and commitment to liberty and justice for all stands as a shining beacon to this generation and the next. However, for all those mentioned, there are scores whose names are unrecognized and have quietly done their duty, serving Texas and the United States faithfully.  On February 2, and from every February 2 hereafter, we will honor all who have sacrificed and served on behalf of the Lone Star State. No matter the battle, no matter the job, they deserve our thanks. At this time, I encourage all Texans to recognize and honor those who have secured our freedom throughout the generations and those who are defending it still. Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim February 2 to be Texas Military Heroes Day.” H

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THE 71st BFSB COMMANDER, COL DAN QUICK, PROMOTES 2LT RYAN HIGGINS, a member of Det 1, Co B 4-133 FA, to 1LT on a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) during the units annual training at Ft Sill, Oklahoma.

SOLDIERS WITH THE 836th SAPPER COMPANY, 6th CBRNE ENHANCED RESPONSE FORCE PACKAGE hands off an infant “casualty” during a low-angle rescue mission, as part of exercise Operation Vigilant Guard 2016 near Baton Rouge, Louisians. (Photo by SSG Jennifer D. Atkinson) SRA ROBERT SATTER (LEFT), TSGT FEDERICO BARRIOS (CENTER) AND TSGT MARK NASH (RIGHT), aircraft armament systems technicians assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing, stand in a group following the loading portion of the 56th Fighter Wing’s quarterly load crew of the quarter competition at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, 8 April 2016. (Photo by 2nd Lt Phil Fountain)

PICTURED ARE AIRMEN IN THE 147th AIR SUPPORT OPERATIONS SQUADRON at Gila Bend with a 357th Fighter Squadron A-10 Warthog flying overhead. These Tactical Air Control Party members are in Arizona conducting a simulated deployment with their Czech partners. (Photo by 1st Lt Alicia Lacy)

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MEMBERS OF THE 136th AIRLIFT WING MAINTENANCE CREW AND CHILEAN AIR FORCE collaborate together during a questions-andanswer session, as they compare maintenance procedures at Santiago, Chile, during FIDAE 2016, April 1. Texas and Chile have a state partnership together and are uniquely matched due to their similarity in domestic operations. H Spring 2016




SGT ROBERT PEARL (LEFT) 1-143rd INF RGMT AND SFC JOSHUA BROWDER A MEMBER OF CO D 1-143rd INF RGMT proudly display their certificates after graduating from jumpmaster school in Fort Benning, Georgia.


H BG MICHAEL D. HOSKIN (CENTER RIGHT), THE COMMANDING GENERAL FOR EXPEDITIONARY CONTRACTING COMMAND, has a little fun posing for a photo with MAJ Joseph Cederstrom (left), SSG Scott Rinehart (center left), and SSG Kit Areeyat (right) of the 1956th Contracting Team. The 1956th Contracting Team is deployed to Afghanistan, performing a Procurement Contracting mission, and are part of the 36th Infantry Division.

MEMBERS OF THE 221st COMBAT COMMUNICATIONS SQUADRON show their Texas pride at a undisclosed overseas location. The function of the 221st Combat Communications Squadron is to provide communications in a deployed environment. MAJ TANYA ISLAND, CRITICAL CARE TEAM FOR THE TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD, 181st AIRLIFT SQUADRON holds a Chilean baby who is recovering at Hospital San Juan De Dios, in Santiago, Chile, during the Make-a-Wish visit at the children’s ward. (Photo by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert) MAJ ERIC HAYES AND SMSGT MARK JACKSON, 254th Combat Communications Group, are currently deployed to Djibouti as part of Combined Joint Task Force—Horn of Africa.

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NGAT Membership Update

THIS PAST YEAR THE NGAT BOARD OF DIRECTORS introduced a free membership plan for E6 and below, and since the plan’s inception we have had over 2,580 new members. We hope that most of our new members will continue to work along side us in the months and years to come. Currently, our life membership stands at 30,273 compared to 30,129 in February of last year. In general our life membership base is an aging population, so we lose a considerable number every year due to death. Our life membership numbers have picked up again after a slack year following two years of very strong growth. Last fiscal year we had 218 new life members. So far this fiscal year we have added 71 new life members. Our membership in national organizations remains overall stagnant. NGAUS, membership percentage edged up slightly. Last year we had only 189 active members, 177 active life members, and 192 retired life members. In EANGUS, our membership has remained constant, but low. At the end of 2014, we had 430 members, compared to 430 at the end of 2015. We encourage all NGAT members to assist us in expanding membership to the next generation of Guard soldiers and airmen. Some exciting new changes are coming so don’t miss out. Join us today! H

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NEW CYBER UNITS COMING TO THE TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD AS PART OF ONGOING GROWTH OF CYBER FORCES throughout the Defense Department, the National Guard announced plans to activate 13 additional cyber units spread throughout 23 states by the end of fiscal-year 2019. The Texas Army and Air National Guards will each activate a new cyber unit. The Texas Army National Guard will partner with the Louisiana and Mississippi Army National Guards to host a 39-member cyber-protection team while the Texas Air National Guard will head up a Cyberspace Operations Squadron. The Defense Department already has 10 cyber units spread across the country and expect another 23 units by the end of fiscal-year 2019. The new Army Guard cyberprotection team, or CPTs, will be activated across Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. The activation dates for the Texas units are expected to be fully operational by October 2018. “We are honored the nation has recognized Texas as a center of robust knowledge and understanding in revolutionary technology,” said Brig Gen Dawn Ferrell, deputy adjutant general-Air, Texas Military Department. “If you want to be on the cuttingedge of cyber, come to San Antonio.”

AS THE NATION CONTINUES TO HONOR those who have served in the U.S Armed Forces, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) reminds veterans and their families that they can display recognition of their service with special military license plates.

Because the Guard is community based, military officials say cyber teams and squadrons will be able to build on those relationships and help respond to emergencies—whether natural or man-made—in a timely manner. Activating cyber units in these states allows for the Guard to fulfill Army and Air Force cyber missions while positioning cyber-protection units in each of the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency response regions. H

In 2015 the Texas Legislature created 47 new military plates, and in 2016 the 36th Infantry Division plate was added to the list. Many of the new designs are for disabled veterans and feature military emblems. For the first time, Texas military plates will specifically recognize veterans’ combat and non-combat era service in theaters of battle in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq and display the award that the plate holder received. Additionally, there will be plates that will recognize the service members for their duty in combat. Legislators also recently expanded acceptable military medals which allow registration fees to be waived. A military member who has received certain medals will be provided a free set of license plates, and vehicle registration fees will be waived as long as the vehicle is registered in the State of Texas. Newly added to the award list was the Meritorious Service Medal. For more information and documentation requirements, visit H

U.S. REP. WILL HURD (TX-23) (CENTER) JOINS SENIOR LEADERS OF THE TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD in his Capitol Hill office in the Cannon House Office Building, in Washington, March 2, 2016. The service members were requested to provide an update on the 273rd Information Operations Squadron, a subordinate unit of the 149th Fighter Wing, based at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, which has been selected to become an Air National Guard cyber-protection team and recently completed a site-activation visit as they transition toward becoming a squadron. Pictured left to right: Col Kurt Leslie, representing the 149th Fighter Wing; Brig Gen Dawn M. Ferrell, Texas’ Deputy Adjutant General-Air; Hurd; Brig Gen David M. McMinn, Commander of the Texas Air National Guard; and CCMSgt George B. Longoria, of the 149th Fighter Wing. (Photo courtesy of the Office of U.S. Rep. Will Hurd)

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45th ANNUAL EANGUS CONFERENCE “Laissez les bons temps rouler” “Let the good times roll”


August 20-25, 2016


September 10-12, 2016 Baltimore, Maryland


Register to attend the EANGUS conference at More than 1000 National Guard members and families are expected to attend the EANGUS conference. The conference will discuss a wide variety of topics and identify specific legislative issues important to association members that will be brought before Congress during the congressional year. It also features a trade show of products and services that are beneficial to military members and their families. Senior National Guard leaders and National Guard Bureau leaders are expected to be in attendance.

The 138th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition will bring together over 4,000 attendees. The conference allows members to gather and vote on the top legislative priorities for NGAUS as well as share information and celebrate the camaraderie of being National Guard and NGAUS members. The conference is packed with keynote speakers, professional development, special events, and access to the largest defense industry trade show of the National Guard. This is an election year, and in the past presidential candidates have come to the NGAUS conference to speak to NGAUS members. Don’t miss this opportunity. Make plans to attend today. As soon as registration is open it will be posted on the NGAT website at

What are the conference registration fees?

What are the conference registration fees?

November 1, 2015–June 30, 2016: $175 July 1, 2016–August 19, 2016: $200 August 20, 2016 and later: $225 Registration fee includes registration, business sessions, professional development, welcome night event, exhibit hall admission, hospitality night and the awards dinner.

Do I have to be a member to attend?

Registration fee is $165 includes registration, business sessions, professional development, governor’s reception, company grade/warrant officer mixer, exhibit hall admission, hospitality night, and the states dinner.

Conference opens on the morning of August 21, 2016 and concludes with the banquet on August 24, 2016. Travel days are August 20, 2016 and August 25, 2016.

Effective this year (2016) to attend the NGAUS conference your dues in NGAUS must be current or you will not be permitted to register to attend the conference. Guest/ spouses are not required to be members.

Where are we staying?

What are the conference dates?

What are the conference dates?

The host hotel is the Hilton Riverside at the foot of Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.

What is the lodging rate? The hotel room rate is $101.00 per night for a single or double. Rooms must be booked through NGAT in order to get the conference group rate.

Which Airport should I fly into? The New Orleans International Airport (MSY) and then take a short 20-minute ride to the Hilton Riverside.

Register to attend at

Conference opens on the morning of September 10, 2016 and concludes with the states dinner on September 12, 2016. Travel days are September 9 and September 13, 2016.

Where are we staying? Texas has been assigned the Days Inn, 100 Hopkins Place, Baltimore, MD 21201.

What is the lodging rate? The hotel room rate is $182.49 per night for a single or double and includes all taxes. Rooms must be booked through NGAT in order to get the conference group rate.

Register to attend at 28 | N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f T e x a s

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Red River 44 Crew Memorial THE TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD FAMILY SUPPORT FOUNDATION is honored to be working with Beall Memorial Art and Groovy Automotive to create a lasting memorial at Camp Mabry for the Red River 44 crew. The bronze plaque will be located by a tree recently planted in their honor and mounted on a granite stone across from Building One and will stand as a lasting memory of our brave guardsman and their contributions to lasting freedom. A ceremony is being planned for the placing of the monument and will be published on the TXNG Family Support Foundation’s facebook page and website. H www.facebook/TXNGFamilySupportFoundation

2016 Young Heroes Camp ARE YOUR KIDS READY FOR A FUN FILLED, ACTION PACKED, GREAT SUMMER CAMP WITH OTHER TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD KIDS FROM ALL OVER TEXAS? Do your kids like swimming? Kayaking? Zip lining? Eating? Archery? Shooting? Arts and Crafts? Hanging out with kids that know what it is like to be a National Guard kid? IF SO, THEN THEY SHOULD ATTEND “YOUNG HEROES” CAMP THIS SUMMER!

June 6-10, 2016 Brownwood 4H Conference Center Camp is open to TXARNG youth that will be in grades 5-8 for the school year 2016-2017! Cost: Zero, nada, zilch! Your parent’s membership of the Texas Army National Guard is payment! So what does that mean? It’s FREE! Parents must provide transportation to and from camp. To register or to get more information contact: Bob Hankins— Amanda Del Prado— Juan Guerra—

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NGAT salutes our generous sponsors and corporate members who have contributed so much to our success over the years.

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Darley Defense DRS Technologies ESS LiteFighter Systems, LLC. USAA

AM General American Military University ARMAG Ashford University Big Ass Solutions Caylym Technologies Defenshield, Inc. GEICO Grand Canyon University Laser Shot Leatherman McClarin Plastics MetLife/TRICARE Dental Program Northrop Grumman Perkins Technical Services, Inc. SOI C4ISR Platforms The Boeing Company Transhield WileyX Western Shelter Systems, LLC.

BBVA Compass Benchmade Breezer Mobile Cooling Chris Mears & Associates, Inc. Cocoon, Inc. Columbia Southern University Higher Education Resource Center (HERC) Emergent BioSolutions EnerSys Envelop Protective Covers by Shield Tech Corp Fat Mongoose Technologies, Inc. Galls Massif Pelican Products Revision Military Rocky Skydex Technologies, Inc. Southwest Solutions Group, Inc. Unifire, Inc. United Site Services

COL (Ret) Rodney McNelley Kipper Tools

SILVER SPONSORS AAR Mobility Systems ADS, Inc. Kipper Tools Navy Federal Credit Union Robertson Fuel Systems Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars

Visti for links to all our sponsors and corporate members web pages.


S p r i n g 2 0 1 6 H N a t i o n a l G u a r d A s s o c i a t i o n o f Te x a s |



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Bonus offer: you’ll receive a first year membership for an eligible family member, for free ($28 value).1 1. With this offer you pay $42 ($20 admission fee waived and $10 discount on primary dues) and a free one-year Associate Membership at the Classic level of benefits when you sign-up for auto pay. An individual may have only one membership. See the Member Guide for more information. Member eligibility, dues, fees, benefits and services subject to change without notice. Applications subject to approval and acceptance by AAA. Offer expires 12/31/16. 2. By signing up for automatic renewal, your credit/debit card or bank account will automatically be billed each year for your annual membership dues then in effect. Each year before your membership expires, AAA will send a statement of your current services and renewal dues amount. You may cancel automatic renewal at any time by contacting AAA. Unless you contact AAA to make changes or cancel automatic renewal, AAA will automatically renew your membership and charge the dues shown on your statement to your account on file. 3. Each member is allowed up to 4 free Roadside Assistance service calls per membership year, including tows either back to the service provider or to a destination within seven miles of the point of breakdown. Roadside Assistance is generally provided by independent service providers and is limited to the U.S. and Canada. Certain Roadside Assistance service conditions and restrictions apply. See the Member Guide for more information. 4. ProtectMyID Essential and ProtectMyID Deluxe are provided by, Inc., an Experian company. To be eligible to enroll in either ProtectMyID Essential or ProtectMyID Deluxe, you must be 18 years of age or older and a current valid AAA Member. Products subject to change or termination at any time without notice. Certain terms, conditions and restrictions apply. AAA offers ProtectMyID – Essential to its members for Free as a benefit of membership. AAA offers other Identity Theft Monitoring services at member-discounted pricing. Valid AAA membership required at time of enrollment. Copyright © 2016 AAA Texas, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TEXAS STATE GUARD SAYS FAREWELL TO BG DAN FLYNN ON MONDAY, 11 APRIL 2016 at the Texas State Capitol, Dan Flynn of the Texas State Guard received a brevetted promotion to the rank of brigadier general for his 11 years of service to the Texas State Guard. During the ceremony he was awarded the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal and was presented with a Certificate of Discharge from the Texas State Guard. BG (Bvt/TX) Dan Flynn who is a NGAT Life Member is in his sixth term representing House District 2 in the Texas House of Representatives, where he has gained a reputation as a strong fighter for the values of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and family values. H DAN FLYNN RECEIVED A BREVETTED PROMOTION TO THE RANK OF BRIGADIER GENERAL with the assistance of his wife Susan (far left), Governor Greg Abbott (bottom center), and the Adjutant General of Texas, Maj Gen John Nichols (far right). (Photo

BG SALINAS RETIRES AFTER 30 YEARS OF SERVICE MG WILLIAM “LEN” SMITH, left, deputy adjutant general and commander of the Texas Army National Guard, presents BG Orlando Salinas, assistant deputy adjutant general— Army, with a Texas State flag flown over the capitol at Salinas’ retirement ceremony held at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, 20 Feb. 2016. Salinas retires with more than 30 years service. H (Photo by SFC Malcolm McClendon)


by Michelle McBride)

NGAT REUNION NGAT HELD ITS SECOND Texas Army & Air National Guard reunion in February at the Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant in Katy, Texas. Pictured below are some of the members in attendance. Also pictured is a miniature replica of the “Price of Liberty” statue that will be placed at the Texas Capitol. For more information about this project, visit their website at If your unit or organization will be having a reunion in the future please send the information to and we will be glad to pass on the information to our members. H

IN 2012, the Inspector General for Inspections office was a new program in the Air Force and didn’t officially come into play at the 149th Fighter Wing until the following year. When SMSgt Carl Boeshore arrived at the 149th, after his old unit, the 217th Training Squadron closed shop, he became the first enlisted member assigned to the newly developed IGI section. Boeshore is no stranger to the inspection process. He was once written up for having too many additional duties, 28 in total at the time, but said that experience has benefited him in his current IGI position. NGAT Life Member Boeshore, who retired from the Texas Air National Guard in April, said that with the military constantly reducing in size, having to do things efficiently is essential. With that in mind, he wants people to remember that the IGI exists for the unit’s benefit. “We want to change the culture of inspections,” he said, “We’re not the bad guys. We’re here to help.” H (Photo by SSgt Mindy Bloem)

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Texas Guardsmen rescue 140 in Houston floods Story by CPT Martha Nigrelle

TEXAS GUARDSMEN AND PARTNER FIRST RESPONDERS RESCUE TEXANS in need from severe flooding in Houston, Texas, 20 April 2016. (Photo courtesy of Texas Task Force 1)

TEXAS GUARDSMEN AND TEXAS TASK FORCE 1 RESCUE PERSONNEL wade through thigh-deep water to help stranded residents to rescue vehicles during severe flooding in Wharton, Texas, 21 April 2016. In coordination with Texas Task Force 1 and the City of Wharton emergency services, a detachment from Delta Company of the 536th Brigade Support Battalion, Texas Army National Guard, deployed several Light Multi-terrain Vehicles to floodwaters rescuing both people and pets. (Photo by 1LT Zachary West) TEXAS GUARDSMEN FROM THE 736th COMPONENT REPAIR COMPANY work alongside local and state emergency responders to rescue Texans in need from severe flooding in Houston, Texas, 19 April 2016. (Photo courtesy of 736th Component Repair Company)

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TEXAS GUARDSMEN from the 736th Component Repair Company, 36th Infantry Division, pulled 140 people to safety from severe flooding in Houston, April 19, 2016. Working alongside Harris County police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s office and Texas Task Force 1, guardsmen worked through the night to help Texans in need. After linking up with partner emergency responders at the Harris County Fireman Training Center in Humble, the soldiers split up to provide assistance to severely flooded neighborhoods, sending half of their trucks to Ponderosa, a neighborhood located on the north side of Houston. Each truck went out with officers from the sheriff’s office or the local police department, and some went out with boat rescue squads from Texas Task Force 1. The Emergency Medical Technicians, working with 9-1-1 dispatch, received addresses of distressed citizens, and passed the addresses on to guardsmen and firefighters so they could respond. “As we would go to the address, we would pick up others who needed help,” said SGT Allan Abel, 736th Component Repair Company, “We were supposed to stop at dark, but we got four priority calls just after dark and that took us a while because we kept filling up with people.” Deep waters made military land navigation training important in their ability to help those in need. “In some places we had to go light pole to light pole; there were essentially no markers,” said Abel, “Our training in hasty navigation and terrain association was hugely beneficial—that’s what we were doing.” “Texas National Guard high profile military vehicles were essential in rescue operations,” said Chief Bob Royall, Assistant Chief of Joint Emergency Operations, Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office. “The majority of first responder vehicles are unable to maneuver through such deep waters, and many rescue boats are limited to holding about six people,” said Royall. According to Abel, the military trucks were able to safely seat up to 25 people, in addition to the necessary soldiers and emergency first responders that accompanied each mission. “Many Harris County residents underestimated the dangers of rising flood waters; they lost all power and were cut off from society. Simple things like going to the doctor became very dangerous,” said Royall. “Had it not been for the National Guard’s high water vehicles, we would not have been able to get to many of these folks. There are untold hundreds, possibly thousands, we would not have been able to get to.” Members of the community also worked to support rescue efforts. “We went to Tin Roof Barbecue in Humble with Task Force 1 for lunch, about 60 people, and the owner refused to let us pay,” said Hoover. “There are a lot of civilians out here doing really outstanding stuff, supporting the guard, the task force and the police. They make our work a lot easier.” Throughout Harris County, and the state, people worked together to help those in need. “I’ve always felt the need to serve,” said Abel, “This is my main drive, to be able to do things like this for my fellow Texans.” To date, Texas guardsmen have helped rescue 221 people and 41 pets from severe flooding in southeast Texas. H

Rollbar™ Unit Issue APEL Model Number: #EE9018-01 NSN: 4240-01-630-8249

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W W W. E S S E Y E P R O. C O M




ONE TOUGH COMPETITOR STANDS OUT At the Texas Military Department 2016 Best Warrior Competition one competitor could not help but stand out among the group of thirty-seven elite competitors. TSgt Marie Sarabia, a member of the 149th Fighter Wing, was the only female competitor in this year’s BWC. She received no special treatment during the competition and completed all the tasks the same as her male counterparts. TSgt Sarabia is a member of NGAT. H (Photo by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert)

GUARDMEMBERS DON’T FORGET MANS BEST FRIEND Members of the Texas Army National Guard and Domestic Operations Task Force rescued more than 60 household pets during severe flooding in East Texas in mid March. The majority of the pets rescued were evacuated with their families and were returned to their families as soon as they reached dry ground. Texas guardsmen supported flood response operations in Orange, Jasper and Newton counties rescuing more than 160 people and conducting shelter operations for hundreds of evacuated Texans. H

For the month of March, the TXARNG Education Office was selected by the National Guard Bureau as the Education Center of the Month. Selection for this title recognizes the marketing and outreach efforts of the selected education office. The core competency of the TXARNG Education Office is to provide outstanding customer service. This is defined as timely processing of actions, timely response to inquiries, and active communications across multiple channels. Most members do not know all of the benefits and programs that are available to them beyond the GIBill or Tuition Assistance. The TXARNG Education Office provides information and resources to members about scholarships, grant programs, and other opportunities by partnering with external agencies such as state and national institutions of higher learning, Texas Workforce Commission, and Texas Veterans Commission. H

(Photo by 1st Lt Alicia Lacy)

For more information, please visit: TexasArmyNationalGuardEducation


TEXAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT BEST WARRIORS Thirty-seven elite competitors from the Texas Army and Air National Guard, U.S. Army Reserves and the Chilean military participated in the 2016 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift in Bastrop, Texas, 4 Feb. 2016. This is the first time the U.S. Army Reserves and the Chilean military participated in the BWC. The competitors stood before a board, wrote an essay, completed a landnavigation course in below-freezing temperatures, rucked eight miles, assembled, disassembled and fired a variety of weapons, ran an obstacle course, and faced the mystery event—all of which tested their aptitudes against today’s operating environment. H (Photo by SMSgt Elizabeth Gilbert)

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MOUNTED AIRFRAME CEMENTS WING’S LEGACY Members of the 149th Fighter Wing mount a remodeled F-16 static aircraft onto its display stand at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, 11 Feb. 2016. The idea to transport a retired airframe from Arizona to Texas and transform it into a newly remodeled F-16 static display began 10 years ago. Maj Gen John Nichols, former 149th Fighter Wing commander, now adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, originally requested the airframe be relocated to the 149th FW in a letter dating back to 2006. H


HONORING THE BATTLE OF THE ALAMO TSgt Jacqueline Crow, intelligence analyst with the 149th Fighter Wing, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, visits with local residents during the annual memorial service held on March 6, 2016, honoring those killed in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio. Crow represents JBSA as an Air Force ambassador, which is part of a military community engagement program. H (Photo by TSgt Rebekkah Jandron)

(Photo by SSgt Mindy Bloem)

136TH AIRLIFT WING CONDUCTS HISTORIC FLYOVER This past fall Eight C-130H2 aircrafts fly over Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, during a mass formation mission using all aircrafts assigned to the 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 1991, when all eight aircraft flew in mass formation over Naval Air Station Dallas. H (Photo by MSgt Joshua Woods)

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H TAPS H As of 04/18/16


SMSgt William M. Alexander, Life Member #9012, Retired, Boerne Marcia B. Ashby, Life Member #15513, Retired, Paris Bobby O. Barringer, Life Member #14508, Retired, Borger CW4 Michael D. Baskin, Life Member # 32967, Retired, Canton CMSgt Russell S. Batten, Life Member #2773, Retired, San Antonio BG Paul N. Biediger Jr., Life Member #2553, Retired, San Antonio SMSgt William “Bill” Blevins, Life Member #82, Retired, Crockett Chester W. Borgfeld, Life Member #1194, Retired, New Braunfels SMSgt Wilbur R. Brannam, Life Member #15512, Retired, San Antonio **PFC Grigory R. Broome, Co A 1-143D INF RGMT, San Antonio Lt Col Dennis “Burk” Burkholder, Retired, San Antonio **PVT Phillip W. Chambers, Btry A 1/133rd FA, Houston *Gordon Crouch, Life Member #14274, Retired, El Paso SGT Phil Daniels, Retired, Spring Branch SGT Thomas G. Duncan, Life Member #9795, Retired, Sweetwater MSG Ronald W. Ernst, Life Member #17486, Retired, Bowie SGT Gilbert F. Falcon, Life Member #8072, Retired, Shepherd Riley Felps, Life Member #4447, Retired, Austin **SGT Christopher C. Fields, Co B 536th SPT BN, Killeen Ernest C. Filippone, Life Member #6744, Retired, Irving SSG Ismael S. Fuentes, Life Member #15682, Retired, Andrews COL James T. Harris, Life Member #1087, Retired, Bellville SFC Antonio G. Hernandez, Life Member #16085, Retired, Fort Worth Lt Col Floyd F. Honea, Associate Life Member #704, Retired, Red Oak MAJ Ethridge E. Howarton, Retired, Electra SPC Randall C. Humphrey, Life Member #18663, Retired, San Antonio SGT Benito Maldonado, Life Member #9698, Retired, Laredo BG Jack T. Martin, Life Member #29, Retired, San Antonio 1SG James A. McGhee, Life Member #16767, Retired, Belton COL Donnie J. McManus, Life Member #4110, Retired, San Antonio MSgt Eugene “Gino” Pagliuso, Life Member #181, Retired, Houston **SSG Juan M. Picazo, HQ 72nd IBCT, Houston MSG Gustavo A. Ponce, Life Member #23896, Retired, Del Rio *CSM Larry D. Rayburn, Life Member #20620, Retired, North Zulch SSG Edwin C. Rindorf, Life Member #23694, Retired, Waco CPL John M. Santos, Life Member #24896, Retired, Brenham **CPT Andres Schloemann, HHC 949th BSB, El Paso MSG Glen E. Shelby, Life Member #3358, Retired, Pflugerville ** Caleb A. Sims, HHC 2-142nd INF RGMT, Plainview LTC John J. Stockton, Life Member #771, Retired, Midland SFC Gilberto Telles, Life Member #3325, Retired, El Paso Col Kevin Turnbo, Life Member #31189, Retired, Plano COL Lynn O. Walker, Life Member #5665, Retired, Sparks NV SGT Herman Wallace, Life Member #14813, Retired, Port Arthur **SPC Steven R. Whitfield II, Co C (LRS) 3-124 CAV, Spring Elroy Williams, Life Member #12262, Retired, San Antonio Col John Charles Wright, Retired, San Antonio Alejandro G. Zuniga, Life Member #7614, Retired, San Antonio Roger C. Zwieg, Life Member #3011, Retired, Houston *Had NGAT Life Insurance Policy **Had No-Cost Active Guard Policy of $1,000

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National Guard Association of Texas 3706 Crawford Avenue Austin, Texas 78731-6308


PLANNING CALENDAR (As of 30 April 2016)

2 0 1 6



Memorial Day (NGAT Office Closed)



U.S. Army Birthday/Flag Day



Independence Day (NGAT Office Closed)



NGAT Board Meeting, Austin



EANGUS Conference, New Orleans, LA



Labor Day (NGAT Office Closed)



NGAUS Conference, Baltimore, MD



Patriot Day



Columbus Day (NGAT Office Closed)



NGAT Board Meeting, Austin



Veteran’s Day (NGAT Office Closed)

NGAT Spring 2016 News  

The official publication of the National Guard Association of Texas.

NGAT Spring 2016 News  

The official publication of the National Guard Association of Texas.