Archive for August 28th, 2017

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

August 28, 2017


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


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


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