The Texas Air and Army National Guard and Texas State Guard supplied about 800 people to work with local, state, and federal emergency responders during relief operations in South Texas after Hurricane Dolly ravaged the Rio Grande Valley July 23, according to a National Guard Bureau July 25 release. Col. John Nichols, commander of the Texas ANG’s 149th Fighter Wing, led the Joint Task Force and called the cooperation at all levels “phenomenal.” The Category 2 storm left hundreds without homes as coastal areas flooded and thousands without electricity. The military personnel set up 15 point of distribution sites to provide food, water, and ice and helped man seven emergency medical sites. (NGB report by 1st Sgt. Lek Mateo; Air Force report by TSgt. Phyllis Hanson.)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.