Texas State Guard soldiers complete annual training at Camp Bowie

Special to the Bulletin
More than 300 soldiers with the Texas State Guard First Brigade took part in training last weekend at the Camp Bowie Training Facility.

The Texas State Guard First Brigade completed this past weekend its annual training and operational evaluation at the Camp Bowie Training Facility.

More than 300 soldiers took part in collective training focused on honing their readiness to respond to civil support and disaster relief operations for the state of Texas. The First Brigade is headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with soldiers assigned to units stationed as far away as Tyler and Amarillo. 

“The Texas State Guard is one of the state’s most important assets in times of crisis,” said Brigadier General Robert Hastings. “The men and women who dedicate their time to support their fellow Texans represent the best values of the Texas State Guard.”  

This annual exercise conducted in the Spring ensures the Brigade and its soldiers "are at peak readiness as Texas prepares for the hurricane season beginning in June,”  Hastings said.  

This year’s training included a range of missions encompassing command, control and communications, mass shelter and emergency tracking network operations, land navigation and emergency medical care. One key highlight of the training involved a mass casualty exercise based on a simulated tornado strike with numerous severe injuries.

The Texas State Guard medical teams assessed victims, provided triage, and practiced potentially life-saving field medical care. Air Evac EMS landed a helicopter to simulate airlifting victims directly from the field. 

“You will perform how you train,” said 1st Lt. Ed Schmidt, a medical company commander based in Tyler, Texas. “It also enhances camaraderie and teamwork. It’s a great teambuilding skill.” 

Texas State Guard soldiers recently deployed in support of communities across Texas following the severe winter weather in February and completed the longest continuous mobilization of the TXSG since World War II in 2020.  

The Texas State Guard, along with the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard, is one of the three military branches comprising the Texas Military Department. The Texas State Guard provides Texas with support in-state missions, from emergency and disaster response to border security and community service.  No matter the need, the Texas State Guard stands ready to serve--they are “Texans Serving Texas.” 

The mission of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies; to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities, and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required. 

From the volunteer units who fought for Texas Independence to the Travis Guards who provided home protection for citizens in the newly formed Texas Republic, to our current organization supporting state and local authorities, the Texas State Guard has a long and proud history of serving the citizens of Texas and remain Equal to the Task. 

Headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, the TXSG functions as an organized state militia under the authority of Title 32 of the U.S. Code and Chapter 437 of the Texas Government Code.