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4th Battalion - 112th Armor
"The Hellcats"

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. On June 10, 95 members of 4th Battalion, 112th Armor in Bryan, Texas, deployed with 16 trucks to Liberty, Texas, a town on the Trinity River northeast of Houston.

The 4th Battalion, 112th Armor of the Texas Army National Guard provided a sampling of its combat vehicles for on-campus display at Texas A&M University's cadets. The vehicles were provided as part of Branch Orientation classes. Among the selection were an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank, an M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, an M1064 Heavy Mortar Carrier and a Scout-type HMMWV. The exhibition provided the cadets with an opportunity for hands-on training with some of the vehicles used by the Army branches featured in the classroom and helped the cadets' make their decisions about whether to pursue a commission and which branch they would choose.

Residents East Texas woke to a rumble that shook homes and rattled windows. The disturbance was not a roll of thunder but multiple sonic booms from the fallen space shuttle Columbia during its failed re-entry into the earth's atmosphere during the early morning on the first day of February, 2003. Texas responded immediately to the disaster when Gov. Rick Perry called several hundred National Guard service members to duty to assist the recovery effort under the operational name of "Big Thicket."

Large military troop-carrying vehicles filled with soldiers rolled out from various armories throughout East Texas and converged on the impacted counties along the Texas-Louisiana border to help in the massive joint recovery operation.

The Texas soldiers worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other federal, state and local agencies during this emergency operation. Upon receiving their marching orders, members of the Guard quickly deployed to start searching the likely impact area that focused primarily on six East Texas counties, encompassing thousands of square miles along the shuttle flight path.



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