Military


1st Squadron, 124th Armored Cavalry

1st Squadron, 124th Armored Cavalry is organic to the 49th Armored Division (1999) with units in Waco, Corsicana, Athens and Austin. Troop E 1/124th Cav Regiment is an Air Cavalry troop with OH-58A/C aircraft.

In 1973 the units scattered to the separate brigades were reunited in the 1/124, headquartered in Waco. The 3d Battalion 143d Infantry (Airborne) was redesignated as 1/124 Armored Cavalry, retaining the lineage of the 124th Cavalry.

Organized from six existing units of the Texas National in Central Texas on 13 February, 1929, the 124th Cavalry is the youngest of the ten combat arms regiments of the Texas National Guard. The lineage of the various units of the 124th generally is traced to Texas cavalry deployed during the First World War for Mexican border security service. The 124th Cavalry Regiment was the last horse cavalry regiment of the US Army. During the activation of forces for World War II, the 124th Cavalry of the Texas National Guard was called to federal service in 1940. The 124th Cavalry was the last cavalry unit in the nation to give up their horses and also the last regiment housed at Fort Brown. In August 1944 the 124th left to fight in Burma in the Far East, leaving behind only a few soldiers at Fort Brown. The 124th Cavalry (dismounted) was part of the Mars Task Force operation. As one of two regiments involved in establishing an American combat division in the China-Burma-India theater, they had the unenviable task of clearing the Burma Road, being used a mountain infantry with mules.

Texas Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Legalo Teofilo, a full-time UH-60L helicopter mechanic with Troop F, 124th Cavalry, enjoyed a miniature family reunion of sorts when a 2000 training mission led him to his younger brother's floating duty station, the USS Constellation. Their meeting materialized as Legalo accompanied UH-60L Black Hawk pilots and crew members participating in the Joint Shipboard Helicopter Integration Process program, also known as JSHIP. This innovative program is designed to better integrate non-Navy helicopters and their crews aboard Navy vessels. The Teofilos, born and raised in the small village of Fatumafuti, near Pago-Pago, American Samoa, have not seen one another for more than four years.

Crews from the Guard's 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation and 124th Cavalry provided helicopter support for two consecutive days in June 2001 for a joint water-rescue training exercise under the direction of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season. With floods and flash floods being a leading cause of weather-related deaths in Texas, water rescue training is a concern for state agencies in charge of rescue operations.

In June 2001 nearly 400 Texas Army National Guard soldiers and some active-duty engineers assisted local, state and federal aid workers as the nation's fourth-largest city dried out and begins assessing the damage caused by Tropical Storm Allison. The death toll in Houston stood at 20, and Houston Mayor Lee Brown estimated that heavy flooding caused more than $1 billion in damage to homes and businesses. To assist with nighttime rescues, a specially-equipped OH-58 Kiowa helicopter joined a UH-60 Black Hawk in the town June 11. The helicopter, used in the Guard's counter-drug program, is equipped with a one-million candlepower searchlight and with forward-looking infrared (FLIR) capability. By the night of June 11, the Guard's helicopters had flown more than 80 hours in support of rescue and recovery operations in the Houston area. Three of the helicopters redeployed to their home stations at mid-day. Guard trucks and helicopters transported over 3,500 people to safety.



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