CMD Headquarters Breaks Ground

Published: Mar 24, 2017


The Army Honored Sgt. Engles for his Role in Battle of Soui Tre

MURRIETA, Calif.— The U.S. Army awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor to retired Sgt. Joseph E. Engles on March 20, 2017, at the Veterans Memorial in Murrieta, California. The California National Gaurd supported the ceremony with a Color Guard team which presented the National Colors.

Retired Maj. Gen. Juilian Burns presented Sgt. Engles with the Bronze Star for gallantry in the face of the enemy during the Battle of Soui Tre on March 20-21, 1967. The battle was part of U.S. Army’s Operation Junction City in the Tay Ninh Province, in the Republic of Vietnam.

“In talking to those who witnessed that ferocious battle, in the space of two football fields where 197 men were wounded and 51 killed in just three hours, we came to realize Joe (Engles) was more than just a gunner,” said Burns. “Joe was also much, much more. Mr. Engles was a hero, and worthy of commendation for valor.”

Before his recent death, former Chief of the Staff of the Army Gen. Jack Vessey asked Burns, his former aide, to ensure Engles was honored for his role in the Battle of Soui. As a lieutenant colonel, Vessey served as commander of the battalion in which Engles served during the battle.

“As the battle commenced with intense rocket and grenade and sniper fire, he (Engles) manned the gun and commanded his team to return fire,” reads the official history of the Battle of Soui. “When a rocket landed close, without regard for his personal safety he neutralized the enemy ordnance and continued the mission. … Though Specialist Engles was wounded in his left arm, he remained in command of his gun. As the blood loss worsened he reported to the battalion aid station. With the shrapnel removed, he returned immediately to his gun as gunner.”

Published: Mar 24, 2017

129th Rescue Wing has Saved 1,014 Lives since 1977

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. – After saving the life of a 63-year-old civilian
contractor aboard a U.S. naval ship just seven days ago, the California Air National Guard’s
129th Rescue Wing (RQW) conducted its 1,014th life-saving mission Saturday evening,
completing a long-distance rescue over the Pacific Ocean. This latest mission saved the life of a
seriously ill 29-year-old Filipino man on board the Noble Salute, a Japanese bulk carrier vessel.

“This, our second save in a seven-day span, is a testament to the selfless dedication and
professionalism that our citizen-airmen bring to the table every day,” said Col. Taft Aujero,
129th Rescue Wing Commander. “The 129th Rescue Wing is always mission-ready.”

Early Saturday morning the Noble Salute was approximately 490 miles west of San Francisco
when the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) requested the
129th RQW to conduct the long range open ocean rescue. With AFRCC and U.S. Coast Guard
coordination, the 129th RQW launched two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, two MC-130P
Combat Shadow aircraft and an 11-man Guardian Angel pararescue team from Moffett Federal
Airfield around 12 p.m. to the Noble Salute.

In spite of marginal weather conditions, the Rescue Task Force successfully delivered
pararescuemen from a Pave Hawk helicopter to the Noble Salute, stabilized the patient, and
hoisted him via litter. The Guardian Angel team provided en route medical care to the patient
until their arrival at a local Bay Area hospital.

The 129th Rescue Wing is credited with saving the lives of 1,014 people since 1977. The Wing
conducts combat search and rescue missions, as well as the rescue of distressed persons on board
ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations across the continental United States.

For more information about this weekend’s rescue or the 129th Rescue Wing, please contact
1st Lt. Roderick Bersamina, public affairs officer, at 650-603-0760.

Published: Mar 24, 2017

National Guard, Association of U.S. Army to host Sacramento-area event

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Military Department (National Guard) and the Association of the United States Army will host a Veterans Day ceremony honoring all Californians who served as pilots or crew members during the Vietnam War on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Mather Air Base, near Sacramento. A fly-in of UH-1H Huey and AH-1 Cobra helicopters will accompany a plaque dedication to honor this very important group of veterans. Credentialed media and the public are welcome to attend.

WHAT: Vietnam War Pilots & Crew Commemoration

WHEN: 11 a,m., Friday, Nov. 11, 2016

WHERE: Mather Air Base, 10616 Superfortress Ave., Mather, CA 95655

WHO: Hosted by California Military Department (National Guard) and the Association of U.S. Army

The event is one of about 60 Veterans Day community events the California National Guard is supporting across the state this weekend. Since 9/11, California Guardsmen have deployed more than 45,000 times across the world in support of combat and peacekeeping missions.

For more information on the Veterans Day Vietnam War pilots and aircrew ceremony, please contact Capt. Will Martin, public affairs officer, at 916-854-3829 or