NCNGA Weekly Guardsman for March 22, 2018

March 22, 2018


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As the Executive Director of the North Carolina National Guard Association (NCNGA) over the past four years, I have been honored to help lead this outstanding organization. During my tenure, our team has been able to increase your State pension twice and increase the State tuition assistance twice. These two accomplishments alone have brought well-deserved funds and support to our thousands of Soldiers and Airmen across the State. Fortunately, we have also been able to increase our membership benefits, communications through social media and “Weekly Guardsman”, strengthen our relationships with elected officials as well as National partners and enjoyed a huge increase in sponsorship support. Our team of volunteers serving on the Executive Council and numerous committees deserve the majority of the credit and we owe them all much appreciation.

My tenure with the NCNGA will end this Friday and my new position within the health care industry will begin next week. While I will miss everyone, I am also excited about this wonderful opportunity for my career and family. I have enjoyed our time together and wish each of you and the organization the best of luck…

Thank you,

Craig Lloyd
Executive Director
North Carolina National Guard Association

North Carolina Guard uses Heavy Equipment Transport for long-distance convoy 

The North Carolina National Guard transported M1A1 Abrams Tanks and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles with Heavy Equipment Transport (HET) vehicles to Fort Pickett, Virginia, via I-95, on Sunday, March 18, 2018. This is the first time the NC Guard is using HETs for a long-distance convoy.

The HET is the Army’s largest transport vehicle able to haul tremendous amounts of weight. The Abrams Tanks and Bradley’s are heading to Fort Pickett to take part in NC Guard’s 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team’s gunnery training there.

“Never before has a movement of this magnitude been accomplished within North Carolina, let alone between two states, said Chief Warrant Officer 3, Jennifer Maloy, NC Guard’s State Movement Officer. “By working closely with the North Carolina and Virginia Departments of Transportation, this 200-mile movement was made possible with competent drivers, escort vehicles, proper route planning and adequate time management.”

The two state DOT’s were able to provide approved routes after careful review of weights, dimensional data and bridge and highway tolerances in order to maintain safe movement without impeding civilian traffic flow on I-95 and roads to and from each post.

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NC National Guard’s Best Warriors come from Fayetteville unit Charlotte Observer 

North Carolina National Guard soldiers competed over four grueling days to be named the state’s Best Warriors earlier this month.

Officials said the top soldiers both hail from a Fayetteville-based unit.

Sgt. Travis Millard of Wilmington was named top noncommissioned officer and Spc. Steven McMahan of Fayetteville was selected as the top lower enlisted soldier. They will represent the North Carolina National Guard in a regional competition next month.

Both soldiers are assigned to the 1st Battalion, 252nd Armor Regiment – a Fayetteville-based unit that is part of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team.

Officials said this was the first time Best Warrior winners have come from the same battalion. Millard and McMahon previously competed alongside each other for similar competitions at the battalion and brigade levels.

“It’s been good to have Sgt. Millard by my side. He has been a great mentor as we’ve been going through the different competitions,” said McMahon. “It’s been a lot of fun to get through each competition together and move up together, it’s the best part of it.”

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Maj. Gen. Hubert Leonard remembered for his legacy The Dispatch 

Hubert Leonard, a major general and former mayor of Thomasville, passed away Monday at 94, but his memory will always be included with the history of Thomasville, according to his family and friends.

Leonard was primarily known for his extensive military background. He entered the Marine Corps in 1942 during World War II and fought in the South Pacific on a B-25 bomber. He joined the North Carolina National Guard in 1953. Thirty years later, he reached the rank of major general and served as the adjutant general of the state’s National Guard. Following retirement, he was appointed civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for 10 years.

He served as Thomasville’s mayor from 1991 to 1997 and then again from 1999 to 2003. His civilian honors include Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Melvin Jones Fellow – Lions National Award, United Way Hall of Fame, American Legionnaire of the Year, Thomasville Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year, American Heart Association Silver Medallion and Key to the City of Thomasville.

He left an impact on several civic organizations including the Jaycees, United Way, Lion’s Club, Chamber of Commerce, Piedmont Triad Partnership, American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Davidson County Community College Foundation, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation, Davidson County Economic Development board and the N.C. League of Municipalities.

Thomasville City Councilman Neal Grimes, Leonard’s son-in-law, said Leonard was a wonderful civic leader, government leader and business leader.

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North Carolina Air National Guard, 70 Years and Still Flying Strong Warbirds News 

The 145th Airlift Wing stood up on March 15, 1948, just six months after the Air Force established its own separate service on Sept. 18, 1947. Starting its journey with the P-47 Thunderbolt, the Wing has undergone several transitions in mission and aircraft. The most recent change being the transition to the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in April, but what remains the same, is the dedication and commitment of its members.

The North Carolina Air National Guard has come a long way since its establishment 68 years ago. Then, Lt. Col. William J. Payne, who ran a furniture store in downtown Charlotte, was asked to start the unit, which became the 156th Fighter Squadron, the oldest unit of the North Carolina Air National Guard. The unit, which was equipped with P-47D Thunderbolt aircraft, was federally recognized March 15, 1948 and activated at Morris Field. Its mission was the air defense of the state.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Terry Henderson recalls a conversation he once had with Brig. Gen. Payne while driving him to Raleigh, N.C. “I was driving the general up to Raleigh when he started reminiscing about how the unit got its start. He said that back in 1948, he received a call saying that the Air Force had a group of P-47Ds in route to the base here in Charlotte. The general (then a lieutenant colonel) said he told them to turn them around; he didn’t have a jack or wrench to change a tire or the basic equipment to maintain the aircraft. They told him it was too late, the aircraft were in the air and would be there soon, and to just figure it out,” Henderson recalled.

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March — Today in Guard History National Guard 

1847 Vera Cruz, Mexico – American troops under the command of General Winfield Scott, who started his military career as a Coronet (lowest ranking officer of cavalry in early 19th century) in the Virginia militia, besiege and bombard this coastal city forcing it to capitulate after six days. Scott would soon move the army inland striking for the capital of Mexico City. His army numbers 13,660 men, more than half of whom, 7,919, are serving in state volunteer regiments from IL, KY, LA, PA, SC, TN.

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