Tag Archives: Wyoming National Guard

Restored Spanish-American War flag unveiled

The Wyoming State Museum unveiled a newly restored flag from the Spanish-American War on March 22, 2021 in Cheyenne, Wyo. Descendants of the soldiers from the 1st Wyoming Volunteer Infantry Battalion who served in the Spanish-American war in 1898 were in attendance at the small gathering. The Wyoming Army National Guard’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter, was also in attendance as the guest speaker.

Around 1,000 soldiers in the Wyoming National Guard were selected to serve in the Spanish-American War. The first federal mobilization in Wyoming’s history. In total, 125,000 volunteers were asked to serve in the war effort by President William McKinley.

The flag was presented to the soldiers on June 5, 1898, before they departed for the Philippines. Wyoming’s First Lady Harriet Alice Richards headed the effort to raise the funds to purchase the custom embroidered flag. It returned home with the soldiers upon conclusion of their service in September 1899.

The restoration process began in 2020 and was funded with a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. Because the flag is still susceptible to damage from light, it will not be on display for long periods of time. A documentary of the flag will be presented in its place when not on display.

“It was an incredible collaboration between so many players that led to this flag coming back to Wyoming,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter, the adjutant general for the Wyoming National Guard. “Those efforts speak to the heart of this State – when it matters, we always come together.”

The flag is on exhibit at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Wyoming National Guard makes history

On a cold and windy January day, members of the 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery of the Wyoming Army National Guard made history by conducting the first live fire HIMARS Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) at Dugway Proving Grounds in Dugway, Utah, Jan. 21-22, 2021.

“For the 2-300th, it’s kind of historic for us,” said Lt. Col. Robert Lemay Lejeune, commander of the 2-300th, emphasizing the importance of this event.

HIRAIN missions have been around for a long time in the military and are a staple of combat in the Middle East that the 2-300th consistently trains for.

“This is one of our mission essential tasks,” explained Training Officer Maj. Shawn Stensaas. “It will help us improve and maintain our proficiencies and relevancy to support missions around the world, wherever they may be.”

The 2-300th first began practice for the exercise in 2015. For this attempt, they utilized a C-130 Hercules aircraft provided by the 153rd Airlift Wing out of Cheyenne, Wyo. Using the aircraft in this method allows the artillery greater mobility and a substantial increase in the overall range of their mission. This tactic makes HIRAIN missions very flexible.

“It can be used in any theatre where you can land a C-17 or a C-130,” explained Lejeune.

While it might appear that the use of aircraft in a field artillery mission like the HIRAIN would be normal, this is not the case. The normal method the soldiers of the 2-300th use to fire their artillery is to drive their M-142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to a set point on the battlefield and then to fire from that location. While this method can be highly effective, it is limited by the range of the artillery used, usually 18-42 miles. This range can be extended by conducting a HIRAIN mission.

“I can conduct a raid but it’s as far as I can drive and secure myself forward on the battlefield,” explains Lejeune. “Which is relatively short when you compare the distance to an aircraft. So by working with the Air Force, we add this great new capability in terms of range.”

This exercise that took place Jan. 21-22 saw the 2-300th load two HIMARS and one Humvee onto the C-17 Globemaster III. The airplane then took off from Cheyenne and flew to Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah. The following day the C-17 crew flew the members of the 2-300th to Dugway Proving Grounds where the HIMAIRS exited the aircraft, obtained a good firing position, and fired their payload. They then rapidly reentered the aircraft and returned to Wyoming.

This week’s mission included collaboration from an unlikely source, the 315th OSS Airlift Wing out of Joint Base Charleston in Charleston, S.C. The 315th provided the aircraft that would was used for the event, the C-17, a much larger aircraft that allowed the 2-300th to use two of their HIMARS and one Humvee.

This collaboration with the 315th came about by happenstance according to Col. Kent M. Porter, commander of the 115th Field Artillery Brigade, which is the headquarters unit for the 2-300th.

“They reached out to me,” Porter said, explaining how the mission came to life. “They had a mission on the west coast and part of their validation is to take mobile equipment up in their aircraft. I made a few phone calls and we have just built a good relationship that we hope to have continue.”

“We cannot do this without their assistance, it truly is a team effort,” Lejeune concurred.

Given the essential status of the HIRAIN mission in combat operations, training was required to conduct these exercises safely and effectively. The teamwork between the 2-300th and the 315th should continue for a long time.

New sidewalk opens to connect Town of Guernsey and Camp Guernsey

The Town of Guernsey and Camp Guernsey are connected in a new way. On Oct. 22, a new sidewalk, the Guernsey Connector, officially opened. The ribbon cutting ceremony gathered Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter, Mayor Nick Paustian, Matt Allred, town planner, and numerous members of the Guernsey community and Camp Guernsey staff.

As the new addition to the project, the sidewalk connects the town and Camp. It runs west from the main gate, hand railing U.S. Highway 26, and ends at S. Colorado Ave. The sidewalk provides a safer way to travel to and from Camp Guernsey.

“It’ also a great example of how a community, such as Guernsey, its mayor council, Camp Guernsey, it’s accompaniment and Commander, and everyone else on the way up the ladder to Maj. Gen. Porter, is going to benefit from the ability to use a route from the camp to town or vice versa, without walking the fog line on the highway,” said Allred.

Porter gave credit to the engineers that worked hard on the sidewalk, as well as the Town of Guernsey.

“You made the community look nicer and safer, certainly for those of us that are on the Camp. It would have been so easy to say, ‘This is too tough to get done.’ But, you didn’t. And you kept going, you made a difference, and you probably saved some lives when it comes down to it,” Porter said.

The Camp Guernsey Connector, as it is officially named, is a piece of the Lucindy Rollins Road project.

“We have made huge strides,” said Allred, after explaining all that was left of the development plan.

The sidewalk is years in the making, as the project’s eighth phase. There is still work to be done, as there are at least three phases and a couple of bridges left.

“This took a lot of work,” said Porter. “It wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t push past the little roadblocks in the way. And nobody said you had to do it. From all of us, I just want to tell you thank you for all the support that Guernsey gives us.”

Wyoming National Guard concludes Cyber Shield exercise

The Wyoming National Guard partnered with the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security to participate in a Cyber Shield 2020 exercise last month. Army and Air Guard members and state employees came together for the training event to test their capabilities for real-world cyberattack scenarios.

The state of Wyoming gains a lot from this type of partnership. One of the principal responsibilities of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security is to support local jurisdictions in times of emergency. WOHS does that through a supply of state and federal resources, and partnerships with agencies like the Wyoming National Guard allow them to be able to help the communities of Wyoming.

The event was initially supposed to take place at Camp Williams, Utah. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to re-evaluate and move the training to a virtual environment. Historically, Wyoming has sent service members to Cyber Shield exercises to augment other state and territory teams. This event was the first time Wyoming operated as an independent team, which was in response to being moved to a virtual environment.

Training like this gives everyone hands-on experience in the event they do get asked to support certain cyber defense security situations that might arise. If requested, the governor can activate the National Guard cyber defensive team. They can be called on to assist in an environment that might involve a company’s critical infrastructure.

“Electrical companies, gas companies who have these large industrial control systems in their environment, we can potentially be called in to assist with that,” says Chief Warrant Officer 4 Warren Burgess, the information security manager for the Wyoming Military Department. “Even though they are a private organization, because they are determined to be critical infrastructure, we can be brought in to assist.”

The team kicked off the exercise with a scenario in which a company was concerned about its network. The company asked for recommendations on their security. In the process of helping the company improve its security, the team discovered a breach. They responded to that breach by helping fight whoever attacked the network, tighten it down to where it was safe again, and get the company back to business as usual.

There were several different scenarios presented to the team. These scenarios included issues like website defacement, ransomware, and phishing attacks. Website defacement can be something as simple as changing a picture to make a company look bad. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files, and the hacker demands money to fix said malware. The most common type of ransomware is phishing. Phishing is when a user clicks on a phishing email attachment that could then send usernames and passwords to a hacker who now has access to that network.

But there are systems in place set up to detect these types of attacks. Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and even just an inventory of a company’s network can alert users to possible issues.

“I am working on the log analysis team. That means I am utilizing tools and an intrusion detection system to try and look for alerts that the system has was compromised,” says Tech. Sgt. Angel Wiles, a cybersecurity subject matter expert and participated in the exercise virtually. “I review lots of technical data that comes through, and then I have to decipher what that means, and what’s happening so that I can report it to other teams who are also helping to monitor for those things.”

These tools help prevent cyberattacks on a system. If they don’t stop an attack, they at least give the cyber team information they need to fight it.

There are a lot of benefits that come from a collaboration like this. Getting to know faces and getting comfortable working with each other will make it easier in the future if they are all pulled in to assist in a cyber-defense situation. The team can also learn the different ways each person does things, and perhaps learn a new, more efficient way to do something.

“I think it’s good to get a lot of outside perspectives, and lots of outside feedback, to say that’s one way to do it, but you could also do x, y, and z,” says Wiles.

The event was also the first time the team operated jointly. No one had ever interacted with each other before. Burgess reached out to find participants from the state first, then asked the Air Guard to see if they wanted to participate. They jumped on the opportunity. The exercise brought all the IT cyber responders into a single environment to train together. Burgess hopes this is the first step to help everyone work together in the future.