The Texas Army National Guard was selected by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the United States Army to receive an additional force structure consisting of an Armored Cavalry Squadron. This will include the addition of tanks.
The squadron, relocating from the Pennsylvania National Guard, is a subordinate unit of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The 278th is aligned with the Texas 36th Infantry Division.
Adding this capability increases the overall strength of the Texas Army National Guard and will bring tanks back to the Texas Guard for the first time since 2004.
“In 1949, the 49th Armored Division was organized in Texas. With the end of the Cold War and the dawn of the War on Terror, light infantry was needed more than heavy armor and the Department of Defense made the decision to convert the 49th to a light infantry division. In 2004, the 49th was officially reflagged as the 36th Infantry Division,” said Jeff Hunt, Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum.
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Hunt said it will be a tall task, but he's happy they chose Texas for this opportunity.
“Maintaining a Tank Battalion is not easy and it really shows great trust in the Texas National Guard and our maintenance, training, and recruiting abilities to be entrusted with this mission.”
The 3rd Squadron of the 278th ACR will be re-stationed from Pennsylvania to the National Guard armory located in Temple. Their equipment will be moved to the Texas National Guard Mobilization and Training Equipment Site on North Fort Hood.
This will enhance the relationship of the Texas National Guard with the U.S. Army’s III Corps and Fort Hood, as III Corps is the Army’s heavy corps.
In addition, this will also enhance the Texas National Guard's Partnership Program with Egypt, Chile and the Czech Republic.
Each of these nations currently has heavy forces within their armies.
Egypt has the fourth-largest inventory of tanks in the world, being Texas' newest partner this will strengthen the relationships of military alliances around the world.