Happy Birthday U.S. Air Force!

September 18, 2017

United States Air Force 70th Birthday (Facebook)

Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

President, First Lady Praise Air Force Members, Families

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2017 — Celebrating the 70th birthday of the U.S. Air Force, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump saluted airmen and their families during their visit this afternoon to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

The official birthday of the Air Force is Sept. 18, 1947.

The First Lady opened the event by thanking “the brave men and women who wear the noble uniform of the U.S. Air Force for having us here today.”

She added, “I had the privilege to visit with some of your wonderful children at the youth center here on base. I enjoy our time together, getting to know them, and want to thank everyone who helped make this visit possible.”

Military children from all service branches “should be enormously proud because your mom or dad is a true American hero,’ the First Lady said. “In the wake of two devastating hurricanes, the world has witnessed your courage and compassion, and you have made every American proud.”

‘We Know That We Are Free Because You Are Brave’

America’s citizens, she said, “have trust in the United States Air Force because we know you will never quit, you will never yield, and you will never fail. We know that we are free because you are brave.”

The First Lady told the airmen that said she and the president “are grateful for your service.”

She added, “I also want to take a moment to recognize the families of those who serve. You endure the time apart, are expected to move when new orders come in, and face the uncertainty that came in the times of need. This kind of lifestyle requires its own kind of courage, and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you.”

The First Lady then introduced the president.

‘The Greatest Air Force’

The president said he was honored to visit with the airmen and their families, noting the U.S. Air Force is “the greatest air force on the face of this Earth — by far.”

The commander in chief also said that he spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May, this morning “and relayed America’s deepest sympathy” for today’s London terrorist attack “as well as our absolute commitment to eradicating the terrorists from our planet.”

America and it allies will never be intimidated by terrorists, the president said.

“We will defend our people, our nations, and our civilization from all who dare to threaten our way of life,” he said. “This includes the regime of North Korea, which has once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbors and for the entire world community.”

The president saluted the “capabilities and commitment” of the Air Force and its people, adding that he’s “more confident than ever” that U.S. options in addressing the North Korean threat “are both effective and overwhelming.”

The president then discussed the ongoing recovery efforts for Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

“I visited Florida yesterday, where the American people have once again shown the world how resilient, strong, and truly united we are,” he said. “We’re going to help our fellow Americans put their lives, their homes, and their communities back together because when Americans are in need, Americans pull together.”

The commander in chief added, “And we know, we can always count on the courageous members of our nation’s military to be there every step of the way, just like more than 400 Air Force medical personnel who have deployed to Florida to help care for the sick and the injured.”

“To the men and women who proudly wear the Air Force uniform, who keep our country safe, and who fill our hearts with pride, thank you for your service and devotion to America. Thank you,” he said.

‘Celebrating 70 Years of Heroes’

Celebrating the Air Force’s birthday today means “celebrating 70 years of history, 70 years of heroes, and 70 years of victory,” the president said. “I also want to thank all of the amazing family members and loved ones whose sacrifices make your service possible. We love you; we appreciate you and everything you do. Thank you.”

For seven decades, America’s Air Force “has pushed the boundaries of science and technology, helped restore peace and stability to troubled lands, and kept Americans safe from those who threaten our very way of life,” he said.

And, “nothing inspires more confidence in our friends or strikes more fear in the hearts of our enemies than the sight of American warplanes on the horizon,” the president said. “You patrol the sky, protect the homeland and deliver American justice to anyone who dares to threaten our people.”

The president said America’s Air Force “has advanced from the earliest wooden biplanes, to the high-tech unmanned aerial vehicles, to the awesome power and stunning beauty of the F-35, B-2, F-22, — and I saw a lot of them today — the F-15, the F-16, the F-18, I don’t know which one I liked the most.”

America’s Air Force aviators “have given America total dominance of the air and space, no matter where we fly,” he said. “Now when our enemies hear the F-35’s engines, when they’re roaring overhead, their souls will tremble and they will know the day of reckoning has arrived.”

The Air Force “was born during a time of monumental change and uncertainty in the world,” the president said. “Unconditional victory in World War II had come at a terrible price. Millions of lives had been lost, empires had collapsed, and much of Europe laid in ruin.”

During the ensuing Cold War, the threat of global communism emerged from the void left by defeated foes,” he said. “And the free nations of the world, once again, looked to the United States to secure the peace. It was at this crucial moment that America established the Air Force as a separate military service and a truly great military service.”

‘We Have the Best People – By Far’

The president added, “And, from that moment, America has dominated both air and space like no other nation in history. Our air superiority is unquestioned — not merely because we have the best equipment, but because we have the best people — by far”

From the Berlin Airlift in 1948, through air operations during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, “American airmen have proven that they have no equal in courage, capability, or commitment.”

The president added, “You are the ones who own the sky. You are our greatest weapon of all. In the last 64 years, American ground forces have not lost a single life to an enemy air strike — pretty amazing — and that is truly a testament to the strategy and skill of American airmen and the essential role you play in our national defense.”

As the commander in chief, the president said he’s “committed to keeping the United States’ military the best trained, best equipped, and most technologically advanced fighting force on the planet.”

One of his key tasks is rebuilding the U.S. armed forces, the president said.

“Congress took an important step this year by heeding my call for a $20 billion increase in defense spending, and we’re going to be doing even much more than that,” he said. “But the servicemen and women who defend our nation with their lives deserve the predictable and consistent funding that will help them win quickly and win decisively.”

New Military Equipment

New military equipment will be obtained, the president said

“It is equipment like you’ve never even thought of before,” he said. “There is nobody in the world that will have anything even close” to U.S. military equipment.

America’s armed forces “have endured continuous combat for the past 26 years, yet despite this, the number of airmen on active duty has dropped by one-third since the 1990s, and we’ve cut more than half of our fighter squadrons,” the president said. “Terrible. That is why I’m calling on Congress to end the defense sequester once and for all and to give our military the tools, training, equipment and resources that our brave men and women in uniform so richly deserve.”

“Each of you is fulfilling your duty to America, and now government must fulfill its duty to you,” the president told the airmen. “We will stop delaying needed investments in our readiness, and we will renew our commitment to the patriots who keep America safe.”

‘Proud Legacy of Service’

He added, “In so doing, we will continue the proud legacy of service that each of you has inherited, a legacy built over the generations by legends like Yeager, Wagner, Rickenbacker, Boyd, Grissom, and Schriever — the heroes who broke barrier after barrier to push America farther. And they really did. They broke so many different barriers — they went farther, faster, and they always went on to victory.”

Like America’s air heroes of yesteryear, “each of you is a living, breathing symbol of our great country, the United States of America,” the president said. “The characteristics that define the Air Force aviator — boldness and bravery, action and instinct, power and grace — are woven deep into the American spirit and have defined our people since our nation was founded.”

The president said the legendary Air Force General Robin Olds immortalized those attributes when he said fighter pilots possess an attitude and display cockiness and aggressiveness.

“And I just met a lot of these folks,” he said.

The president added, “They’re truly, truly competitive. But there’s something else — there’s a spark. There’s a desire to be good, to do well in the eyes of their peers.”

‘The Sky is Never the Limit’

America “forever will be a nation of pioneers and patriots, risk-takers and renegades, aviators and astronauts,” he said. “We crave adventure and achievement, exploration and enlightenment. We carved out a home in the New World, gave birth to the modern world, and we will shape tomorrow’s world with the strength and skill of American hands. Because for America — the sky is never the limit.”

And, the U.S. Air Force “will remain the most awe-inspiring flying force ever known to man,” the president said. “Like every part of our military, the Air Force is born from the will of our people — to search, to explore, to reach new heights. It is the people’s will that you reflect and their power that you project to every single corner of the globe.”

Earlier this year, the president said he “had the honor of speaking with a great Army Air Corps and Air Force legend, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, the last surviving Doolittle Raider, and a true American hero.”

He added, “Like those who serve today, Dick Cole was a common American who answered to the call of duty with uncommon devotion. His place in the pages of history might have seemed unlikely prior to that fateful mission. He had never seen the ocean before boarding a ship that would take him halfway around the world. Neither he, nor anyone else, had ever flown a B-25 into combat from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Nor had we ever seen anybody to use a parachute before bailing out thousands of feet above the Chinese mainland.

“But he knew what his country needed, and what his duty required,” the president continued. “And there was no barrier that could stop Colonel Cole and his fellow Raiders from accomplishing their mission.”

That spirit of daring, devotion, duty and love of country that has defined the Air Force for the past 70 years “will lift each of you to new heights every day from this day forward,” the president told the airmen.

“There is no distance too far, no speed too fast, no challenge too great, and no height too high that will keep the United States Air Force — or the American people — from total victory,” he said.

The American people are eternally grateful for the service of their airmen, the president said.

“We will stand with you always. And never forget: I am always on your wing,” he said. “Happy 70th birthday to the United States Air Force. Happy birthday to everybody. We are so proud of you. Congratulations to each and every one of you. And thank you for keeping America proud, strong, safe, and free.”

The president added, “Thank you. May God bless the armed forces and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Congratulations. Thank you.”

Advertisements

On This Day In American History…

September 13, 2017

BLANK_FrancisScottKeyPoster

Frances Scout Key pens Star-Spangled Banner

September 13, 1814

History.com

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the “Star-Spangled Banner”: “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, at Terra Rubra, his family’s estate in Frederick County (now Carroll County), Maryland. He became a successful lawyer in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and was later appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

On June 18, 1812, America declared war on Great Britain after a series of trade disagreements. In August 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the White House, Capitol Building and Library of Congress. Their next target was Baltimore.
After one of Key’s friends, Dr. William Beanes, was taken prisoner by the British, Key went to Baltimore, located the ship where Beanes was being held and negotiated his release. However, Key and Beanes weren’t allowed to leave until after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry. Key watched the bombing campaign unfold from aboard a ship located about eight miles away. After a day, the British were unable to destroy the fort and gave up. Key was relieved to see the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry and quickly penned a few lines in tribute to what he had witnessed.

The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music of a popular English drinking tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” by composer John Stafford Smith. People began referring to the song as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Francis Scott Key died of pleurisy on January 11, 1843. Today, the American flag that flew over Fort McHenry is housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

The Nation Grieves With 9/11 Survivors, President Trump Tells Pentagon Victims’ Families

September 11, 2017

140911-D-SV709-197

Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

By Terri Moon Cronk

DoD News, Defense Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2017 — When the United States came under attack on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans turned their sorrow “into an unstoppable resolve to achieve justice” in the names of the fallen, President Donald J. Trump said at this morning’s Pentagon 9/11 Memorial observance.

“It was the worst attack on our country since Pearl Harbor, and even worse because this was an attack on civilians — innocent men, women, and children whose lives were taken so needlessly,” the commander in chief said.

Trump noted that for the more than 300 family members at the Pentagon anniversary today, not a single day goes by when they don’t think about the loved ones stolen from their lives. “Today, our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago,” he said.

Sanctified Grounds Prove Unity

“The [sanctified] grounds on which we stand today are a monument to our national unity and to our strength,” Trump said. “For more than seven decades, the Pentagon has stood as a global symbol of American might — not only because of the great power contained within these halls, but because of the incredible character of the people who fill them. They secure our freedom, they defend our flag, and they support our courageous troops all around the world.”

Among the 184 Americans who perished at the Pentagon were young enlisted service members, dedicated civil servants who had worked In the Pentagon for decades and veterans who served the U.S. in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, he said, adding that all of them loved their nation and pledged their lives to protect it.

“That September morning, each of those brave Americans died as they had lived: as heroes doing their duty and protecting us and our country. We mourn them, we honor them, and we pledge to never, ever forget them,” Trump said.

Flight 77 Passengers Remembered

Trump also paid tribute to those who boarded American Airlines Flight 77 at Washington Dulles International Airport that morning, minutes before it slammed into the Pentagon’s west side.

“Every one of them had a family, a story and beautiful dreams. Each of them had people they loved and who loved them back. And they all left behind a deep emptiness that their warmth and grace once filled so fully and so beautifully,” he said.

The living, breathing soul of America wept with grief for every life taken on that day, Trump said. “We shed our tears in their memory, pledged our devotion in their honor, and turned our sorrow into an unstoppable resolve to achieve justice in their name.”

The terrorists who attacked the United States thought they could incite fear and weaken the spirit of the nation, he noted, adding, “But America cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle.”

Terrorists Can’t Break U.S. Resolve

Terrorists tried to break Americans’ resolve when they attacked the Pentagon, Trump said, adding, “But where they left a mark with fire and rubble, Americans defiantly raised the Stars and Stripes — our beautiful flag, that for more than two centuries has graced our ships, flown in our skies, and led our brave heroes to victory after victory in battle; the flag that binds us all together as Americans who cherish our values and protect our way of life.”

Woven into the American flag is the story of the nation’s resolve, he said.

“We have overcome every challenge — every single challenge, every one of them — we’ve triumphed over every evil, and remained united as one nation under God. America does not bend. We do not waver. And we will never, ever yield,” Trump said.

At the Pentagon 9/11 memorial, he said, with hearts both sad and determined, the nation honors every hero who keeps Americans safe and free, and they pledge to work together, to fight together, and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle in the country’s path.

“Our values will endure,” Trump said. “Our people will thrive. Our nation will prevail. And the memory of our loved ones will never, ever die.”

Picture: From left, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald J. Trump face the flag during the 9/11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2017. During the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, 184 people were killed at the Pentagon.

DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley

9-11-2001: A Day America Will Never Forget…

September 11, 2017

911 new york

On September 11, 2001, 19 Islamic Militants with the Islamic Terrorist group Al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.

On September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors. As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767–United Airlines Flight 175–appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center and sliced into the south tower near the 60th floor. The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below. America was under attack.

Did You Know? September 11, 2001, was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters: 343 were killed.

The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist organization, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War and its continued military presence in the Middle East. Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the country in the months before September 11 and acted as the “muscle” in the operation. The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming ordinary commuter jets into guided missiles.

As millions watched the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, D.C., and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to the structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building. All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon, along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries, many severe.

Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane–United Flight 93–was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Air phone calls to the ground. Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger–Todd Beamer–was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. All 45 people aboard were killed. Its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.

At 7 p.m., President George W. Bush, who had spent the day being shuttled around the country because of security concerns, returned to the White House. At 9 p.m., he delivered a televised address from the Oval Office, declaring, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” In a reference to the eventual U.S. military response he declared, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Operation Enduring Freedom, the American-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based there, began on October 7. Within two months, U.S. forces had effectively removed the Taliban from operational power, but the war continued, as U.S. and coalition forces attempted to defeat a Taliban insurgency campaign based in neighboring Pakistan. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks, remained at large until May 2, 2011, when he was finally tracked down and killed by U.S. forces at a hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In June 2011.

Story from: http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks

In God We Will Put Our Trust…

September 9, 2017

InGodWeTrust_0

Hurricane Irma Rescue!

September 8, 2017

170907-N-BD308-243

Yellow Ribbon America Breaking News!

U.S. Sailors attached to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) load evacuees onto an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 (HSC-22), as part of first response efforts to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The DoD is supporting FEMA, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Irma to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Levingston Lewis (Released)

National Guard Units From Other States Join Harvey Response in Texas

August 30, 2017

170828-Z-FP744-039

Yellow Ribbon America Breaking News!

By Steve Marshall

U.S. National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 29, 2017 — One day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called up the entire 12,000-member Texas National Guard to assist civilian authorities with the epic flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey, several other state Guard units are in the hard-hit areas to offer manpower, and support.

“This will be a big undertaking,” said Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Lengyel, quoted in the Houston Chronicle. Before the response ends, he added, Guard troops from dozens of other states could be involved in an area stretching from Corpus Christi to Houston and areas inland that have been hit by disastrous flooding.

As of today, the tally of Air National Guard representation from other states includes:

— Alaska: About 13 airmen with the 176th Rescue Wing;

— California: About 90 airmen with the 129th Rescue Wing;

— Connecticut: A C-130 Hercules transport plane with eight airmen from the 103rd Airlift Wing;

— Florida: Nearly 100 airmen with the 920th Rescue Wing;

— Kentucky: Nearly 20 airmen with the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron;

— New York: More than 100 airmen, a C-130, three HH-60 Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters and two C-17 transport jets with the 106th Rescue Wing; and

— Oregon: About 15 members of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron whose missions include rescue as well as restoring airfields so supplies can be flown in.

Other Guard Support

Additionally, six helicopters from units in Utah, Nebraska and North Carolina were heading to Texas, National Guard Bureau officials said. Other Guard missions in the stricken areas include bridging, water rescue, logistics movement, airfield openings and medical water purification.

Meanwhile, neighboring Louisiana is bracing for the rains from what is now Tropical Storm Harvey. As directed by Gov. John Bel Edward, the Louisiana Guard has activated about 210 soldiers and airmen, with an additional 230 full-time Guard members supporting efforts.

Last week, the Louisiana National Guard began positioning Guard members, high-water vehicles and boats in southern Louisiana parishes, including Calcasieu, Vermillion, and Lafayette.

“Being ready and in place is as important as any training that we do, and our engagements at parish level are absolutely critical,” said Army Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, Louisiana’s adjutant general. “In anticipation of the storm’s track, we continue pre-positioning equipment and vehicles in potentially affected areas, as well as responding to the immediate needs of today.”

In addition to vehicles and boats, the Louisiana Guard has eight helicopters ready to support search and rescue, evacuation and reconnaissance missions as needed, officials said

Picture: Texas National Guardsmen from the 386th Engineer Battalion work with local emergency workers to rescue residents and animals from severe flooding in Cypress Creek, Aug. 28, 2017. Soldiers, fire fighters, paramedics and neighbors aided more than 1,000 people and hundreds of dogs and cats, evacuating them to dry ground and local shelters. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Texas Governor Activates All of State’s Guard for Harvey Relief Effort

August 28, 2017

170828-A-YG824-001

Yellow Ribbon America Breaking News!

By Texas Governor’s Office

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 28, 2017 — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today activated the entire Texas National Guard force in response to Hurricane Harvey, bringing the total number of deployed Guard members to roughly 12,000.

The National Guard members will assist in the ongoing search and rescue effort for any Texans in immediate danger, and will be heavily involved in the extensive recovery effort in the aftermath of the storm, the governor said.

“It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm,” Abbott said. “The Texas National Guard is working closely with FEMA and federal troops to respond urgently to the growing needs of Texans who have fallen victim to Hurricane Harvey, and the activation of the entire Guard will assist in the efforts already underway. I would like to thank FEMA Administrator Brock Long, as well as all our brave first responders for their hard work in helping those impacted by this terrible storm.”

‘Dangerous Situation’

Long said, “While this is still a dangerous situation with a long response effort ahead, the state and people of Texas are resilient. FEMA was here before the storm hit, and we will be here as long as needed, actively coordinating the full resources of the federal government to support Gov. Abbott and the state.”

“The men and women of the Texas National Guard are working around the clock to support all relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, Texas adjutant general. “We will not rest until we have made every effort to rescue all those in harm’s way. We will remain here as long as we are needed. I want to thank Gov. Abbott for his continued leadership and look forward to serving the great people of Texas.”

The Texas Guard currently has approximately 3,000 personnel activated and mobilized for operations relating to Hurricane Harvey rescue and recovery. This new mobilization by Abbott sends those who are physically able, not currently deployed, preparing to deploy or in a combat preparation cycle to answer the call for help and assist their fellow Texans in need. All Texas Military Department personnel should report to their respective units for further instructions.

President Approves Emergency Declaration for Louisiana

August 28, 2017

170827-A-ZW944-1010H

Yellow Ribbon America Breaking News!

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2017 — President Donald J. Trump today declared that an emergency exists in the state of Louisiana and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Harvey beginning on Aug. 27, 2017, and continuing, according to a White House news release.

The president’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, the release said. This action will help alleviate the hardship and suffering that the emergency has inflicted on the local population, and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the Louisiana parishes of Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermillion.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding, the release said.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long named William J. Doran III as the Federal Coordinating Officer for recovery operations in the affected areas.

Picture: A Texas National Guardsman carries a resident from her flooded home following Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug. 27, 2017. President Donald J. Trump, who previously declared a state of emergency in Texas, declared on Aug. 28, 2017, that an emergency exists in the state of Louisiana and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Harvey. Texas Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

America’s Iron Brigade’ Soldiers Hone Readiness at Grafenwoehr Exercise

August 28, 2017

170824-A-MK740-236

Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

By .S. Army Staff Sgt. Ange Desinor

3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, Germany, Aug. 28, 2017 — Soldiers of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, closed out their final major exercise in Europe with a bang during the Combined Resolve IX live-fire exercise held here Aug. 19-24.

The exercise, involving about 2,000 soldiers from five of the “Iron Brigade’s” seven battalions and the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, enhanced the readiness of U.S. Army Europe’s regionally allocated land and aviation forces to deter aggression in Europe while serving in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

“Combined Resolve IX is a brigade-level combined arms live-fire coordination exercise,” said Army Maj. Michael Harrison, 3rd ABCT, 4th Infantry Division, operations officer. “It’s a culminating event for our readiness progression as well as the deployment. This strengthens our readiness and ability to fight as a brigade.”

Synchronzied Capabilities

The brigade synchronized capabilities in a defensive scenario that emphasized speed while maneuvering to dominant battle positions against a conventional adversary.

Tanks and mechanized infantry took up the frontline fight as artillery, combat engineers, close-air support and unmanned aerial reconnaissance shaped conditions before and during the fight.

“This was a chance for us to challenge ourselves and see how we operate, how we fight, and how we function as a brigade-level organization,” Harrison said.

Combined Resolve IX was the sixth brigade-level combined arms live-fire coordination exercise for 3rd ABCT in the last 13 months.

Four of those exercises occurred during the brigade’s nine-month Atlantic Resolve rotation, including two opportunities to serve as a multinational task force during U.S. Army Europe exercises Combined Resolve VIII at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, and Getica Saber at Cincu, Romania.

“We are very well trained,” Harrison said. “When we go back to Fort Carson, Colorado, our level of readiness will be extremely high, especially when we transition back to our own training area.”

Army Sgt. Maj. Joseph Nicholson, the operations sergeant major for 3rd ABCT, 4th Infantry Division, said a key for the brigade is carrying forward the knowledge gained during the latest exercise and the cumulative bilateral and multinational training that’s occurred with NATO allies and partners since the brigade arrived in Europe in January.

“Our goal moving forward is to maintain our current state of readiness. We need to ensure that everything we have learned here is not lost. It must be captured and continued to be exercised and improved upon,” Nicholson said.

Air Assault Training

During Combined Resolve IX, an emphasis by the brigade was imposing its lethality on an opponent early and often. This included an air assault to move scouts and infantrymen to forward positions and an artillery raid designed to steer the notional enemy onto ground favorable to the Iron Brigade.

“The artillery raid was an interesting thing to do because some soldiers have never done it for and actual mission. Throughout this entire Atlantic Resolve rotation, we have really emphasized agility and innovative approaches to engaging a near-peer threat, if we ever needed to,” Harrison said.

This final validation exercise also allowed USAREUR’s rotational armored brigade to team up with its rotational helicopter assets from the 10th CAB, out of Fort Drum, New York. During the main fight, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters addressed targets overhead as M1A2 tanks from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, pushed to encounter their own targets.

Additionally, infantrymen from 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, who normally serve in a mechanized role in Bradley Fighting Vehicles, were excited to jump in UH-60 Black Hawk and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during an air assault with the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th CAB.

“It’s not often that we get to do an air assault mission,” said Army 1st Lt. Brandon Castinado, a platoon leader with Company A, 1st Bn., 8th Infantry Regiment “It’s a great experience to see the brigade use all of our assets in various ways to defeat an enemy. This shows that we are capable of completing missions that are thought to be difficult or impossible to achieve. We did it, and we beat the odds. We are adaptable, resilient and most importantly, well-trained.”

Picture: Infantrymen with Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conduct an air assault with the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade during U.S. Army Europe’s Combined Resolve IX exercise at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Aug. 24, 2017. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ange Desinor