Airborne infantrymen from C Company (LRS), 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment float through the sky during a training exercise at Camp Swift. (Photo by Master Sgt. Brenda Benner, Texas Military Forces Public Affairs)
LOOK TO THE SKY! 36 ID Stands up Airborne Infantry Battalion
1st Lt. Deric Maruquin
Executive Officer, C. Co, 3-124 R&S
LOOK TO SKY! 36 ID Stands up Airborne Infantry Battalion
The rumors are true. The Texas Army National Guard is standing up an Airborne Infantry Battalion. The 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne) officially entered carrier status on September 1, 2009. The 143d Infantry Regiment last saw airborne service as G Co 143d Infantry (Long Range Surveillance) in 2001, and now the proud lineage of this regiment will be re-activated as the only Airborne Infantry Battalion in the Army National Guard. Like their active duty Army Airborne counterparts, the mission of the 1-143d IN will be capable of deploying world-wide to conduct Airborne forced entry operations into an objective in order to seize and hold terrain.
This new force structure in the Texas Army National Guard will include Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), Rifle Company, (B Co) Weapons Company (D Co), and a Forward Support Company (FSC). The balance of the battalion will be located in Alaska and Rhode Island.
These units are being built from the ground up as opposed to transforming an existing force structure, so this unit presents vast opportunities for Texas Guardsmen who want to be part of the elite force of paratroopers.
Every Soldier in this battalion is a parachutist and many of the positions are coded as Ranger and Pathfinder. The Forward Support Company is a dual gender unit comprising of logistic, food service, maintenance and supply occupation specialties, so female
Soldiers who want opportunities to attend Airborne, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder School and Air Assault School will be eligible to do so in the FSC. All companies will be co-located in Gatesville, TX which gives ready access to training areas and the airfield at Fort Hood for airborne operations.
This unit will not be for everyone, as all Paratroopers must be mentally disciplined and physically tough. It takes a special breed of person to be willing to exit an aircraft flying at 120 knots, 1500 feet above the ground in complete darkness wearing full combat equipment. Entry requirements for airborne school include passing the Army Physical Fitness test at the 17-21 year old age group standard.
Texas National Guard Soldiers who are airborne qualified or those who are interested in accepting the challenge of becoming a Paratrooper in the most elite Battalion in the National Guard, they should contact the Battalion S-1 at 512-782-6757 or via email: