“Mission Complete! Today, January 24, 2016, at 1500 hrs Dorchester County Emergency Operation Center declared that our mission was complete. What a great group of Guardsman (National Guard and State Defense Force) I had the opportunity to serve with. In the 60 hours we were activated they assisted in over 30 emergency calls with Emergency Services and Law Enforcement. The 6 wheel drive 5 ton vehicles had no problem pushing through the snow drifts and making a path for others to follow. We are the lucky ones; many other Defense Force, Guardsmen and EOC centers are still operating across the State. Keep them in your prayer as they continue to serve.”
New York Guard (State Defense Force) Legal Support Help Deploying Airmen
Photos by 2nd LT JOSEPH ANTHONY DEMPSEY, 56th Brigade, LSO Detachment
STEWART NATIONAL GUARD AIR BASE, NEWBURGH, N.Y.– On July 24 2015, over 10 New York Guard Soldiers from the New York Guard 56th Brigade and additional units participated in a Legal Services Operation, in support of a Yellow Ribbon Event for deploying Airmen of the New York Air National Guard and their families.
Led by Maj. Steven Hartov, JAG officers Captains Brian Kanner and Captain Frederick Marasco, together with 1st Lieutenant Robert Ellis, Jr. and 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Dempsey provided legal counsel, prepared wills and powers of attorney, and briefed soldiers on their legal rights as deploying military members. In addition to legal support, Chaplains from the New York guard provided Chaplain Services and support.
“These Yellow Ribbon operations are a great way for the New York Guard to provide much needed assistance to soldiers deploying to some dangerous places. Worrying about legal problems facing you or your family back home needlessly adds to the stress of overseas deployments and takes focus away from the job at hand. We work to put soldier’s minds at ease so they can focus on the mission,” 2nd Lieutenant Dempsey said.
Soldiers from the New York Guard 56th Brigade, Legal Support Unit (R) help deploying New York Air National Guard service members with legal forms and documents during a Yellow Ribbon pre-deployment event.
Fort Gordon, Augusta, Georgia, October 4, 2015 – Thirty-six Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) Soldiers were recently activated to support hurricane relief efforts near Augusta, Georgia. Hurricane Joaquin had been relentlessly pounding the eastern United States for several days; as a result, numerous areas experienced severe flooding.
GSDF Soldiers, working alongside Georgia Army National Guard (GAARNG) Soldiers, filled 8,000 sandbags and loaded them onto eight flatbed trailers. The sandbags were used to create a water buffer to control flooding in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Total over 100 Soldiers from GSDF and GAARNG (810th Engineer Company and 278th Military Police Company) supported the relief activities. The Fort Stewart Youth Challenge Academy sent cadets from their 2nd Battalion to help, as well.
Col. William Bryant, Commander of 1st Brigade, GSDF, said, “It’s great to see our Soldiers work hand-in-hand with the Guard to support the citizens of Georgia.”
On June 14, 2015 near the town of Willow, Alaska an unattended burn site quickly turned into a wildfire that engulfed an area of over twelve square miles. The main artery between Anchorage and Fairbanks, the Parks Highway, was closed down, more than fifty-five homes were lost and one thousand people were forced to evacuate. In the midst of this firestorm, Alaska Governor Bill Walker declared a state of emergency. Hundreds of firefighters were brought in to help contain the blaze and the Sockeye Wildfire Disaster Assistance Center was established.
In response to the request received by the Alaska National Guard for personnel to support the Disaster Assistance Center, eighteen Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF) soldiers were placed on State Active Duty. These troops were activated by the Alaska National Guard Joint Operation Center at the request of the State Emergency Operation Center. ASDF soldiers reported for duty from 17 June to 14 August 2015 at the National Guard Armory. These members served at the Sockeye Wildfire Disaster Assistance Center headquarters. Manning the phones around the clock, for eight hour shifts at a time, ASDF soldiers screened, coordinated and forwarded calls to the appropriate agencies in response to the needs of Alaskans who had been displaced by the fire and were requiring various types of assistance.
As of Friday August 7, 2015 a total of 743 fires burned 5,013,053 acres in Alaska. The Alaska State Defense Force was honored to serve the Sockeye Wildfire Disaster Assistance Center during the fire season.
Maryland Governor Hogan with Maryland Defense Force soldiers at FOB Raven Operation Baltimore Rally.
As of 0730 2 May 15 the MDDF has activated 33 personnel to support JFHQ, JTF Chesapeake and FOB Raven as part of Operation Baltimore Rally. Support has been provided in the form of Chaplain, Medical, and staff and sustainment support to the JTF/MJOC/Adaptive Battle Staff. Although I am very sorry about the reason for the call up of the MDDF, this has been a superior example of how the MDDF can be mobilized to support the Maryland Military Department. It made me feel good when I visited FOB Raven how many National Guardsmen came up to me and CSM Scott and thanked us for what the MDDF was doing to support the historic effort and how impressed they were that we are volunteers. Without a doubt National Guardsmen know of the MDDF and what it provides to the fight. I could name each of the 33 personnel who answered the call, but there are many more who wished to also be part of this effort that had to be told to stand by and wait for the call. A few names of personnel who went up an above include: COL (MDDF) James Coleman, LTC (MDDF) Michael Behringer, Chaplain (COL) (MDDF) Raymond Copp, MAJ (MDDF) Gary Miconi, MAJ (MDDF) Carolyn Copp, LTC (MDDF) Phillip Terry-Smith, COL (MDDF) Walter Hettinger and many others. At the time of the writing of this report the MDDF has received new mission FRAGO to support the JRSOI for stand down of MDMILDEP units at CFMR. I am so proud of the all MDDF Soldiers who participated or desired to participate in the mission, as it has validated that my vision of a more operational and professional MDDF has truly been achieved.
Read all about it at this link … 2015 New York Guard Sentinel!
On Wednesday, 17 June, the Virginia Defense Force’s (VDF) Mobile Communications Platform (MCP) of the 3rd Regiment stationed at the Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center, Winchester, Virginia successfully made its inaugural contact with the SHAred RESources (SHARES) High Frequency (HF) Radio Network. The SHARES HF Radio Network, administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provides an additional means for Federal, State, tribal, local, and non-governmental organizations with an emergency management mission to transmit critical messages to coordinate operations even when traditional means of communicating via landlines and cellphones are degraded or destroyed.
Two proven leaders are taking command of the Indiana Guard Reserve (IGR) and its parent organization, the Indiana National Guard this summer. While change is often difficult and uncertain, Guard Reservists are optimistic the new commanders will continue to build on the strong foundation developed over the past decades.
Maj. Gen. Bruce Bowers is the new commanding general of the IGR. Bowers has been a member of the IGR since 1987 and has served in multiple positions in second brigade and at IGR headquarters. Bowers entered military service in 1970 and was appointed com-manding general of the IGR and promoted to major general by Maj. Gen. R. Martin Um-barger, the adjutant general of Indiana, in April. His promotion was not a surprise to Guard Reservists, including Command Sgt. Maj. James Coe.
“Everyone knows his leadership and care of the soldiers will bring further greatness to the IGR,” Coe said. Bowers replaces Maj. Gen. F. Barry Green, who retired after leading the IGR for ten years and serving the IGR and Indiana Army National Guard for more than a half century.
South Carolina State Guard’s commander, MG(SC) Thomas S. Mullikin, actively participated with the National Guard contingent in the planning and execution of disaster relief operations during the recent Hurricane Joaquin event.
In this statewide emergency the volunteer professionals of the South Carolina State Guard served across the state. There were more than 100 State Guard members, from all three brigades and the headquarters detachment, providing engineering assessments in Newberry, manning the state Emergency Operations Center in Columbia, and filling sandbags in the Low Country. They provided strategic planning, augmented law enforcement, and provided engineering assistance – all at no cost to the state of SC.
Soldiers of the Tennessee State Guard stand in formation outside the gate to Fort Wautauga, at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, TN, during the official celebration of the 235th anniversary of the Overmountain Men’s historical crossing of the Wautauga River on their way to fight COL Ferguson’s British force during the Revolutionary War.
The Tennessee Volunteers were victorious over the British force at the Battle of King’s Mountain. The British Commander, COL Ferguson, was killed in battle; downed by a Tennessean sniper’s musket ball. This seminal event began the Great State of Tennessee’s volunteerism tradition that the Tennessee State Guard proudly carries on today.
The celebration took place on 25 SEP 2015 and was attended by the Tennessee Commissioner of Tourism and the Tennessee Adjutant General among other dignitaries and State Representatives.