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CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga., Oct. 19, 2016 - Mother Nature showed her wrath as a vicious hurricane hit the southeast coast. Governor Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency on October 4 for 21 counties in preparation for Hurricane Matthew which hit coastal Georgia three days later. Georgia Guardsmen from Calhoun to Savannah mobilized to assist Georgia citizens and first responders in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. More than 2,000 Guardsmen and State Defense Force volunteers would ultimately serve from Savannah to Saint Marys along the Georgia Coast.

Prior to Hurricane Matthew making landfall, Georgia Army National Guardsmen from the Monroe-based 178th Military Police Company were activated and reached Savannah ahead of hurricane impact in order to provide hurricane evacuation contra-flow support to Georgia State Patrol in Chatham and Glenn County. In addition, Georgia DoD HMMWVs and cargo trucks were staged at Fort Stewart to provide critical mission support as requested by the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency.

"We have many Soldiers on duty to support our local law enforcement with security and evacuation efforts," said Brig. Gen. Tom Carden, Commanding General of the Georgia Army National Guard. "We also have staged units just outside the anticipated affected area to assist with debris removal, search and rescue and aerial assessments. Even though we have not had a hurricane of this magnitude for years, we practice for this continually, and I am confident we will be able to alleviate suffering and quickly get things back to normal after the storm passes."

On Oct. 7, Hurricane Matthew brought torrential rain, powerful winds and a storm surge to Georgia's coastal counties. At the direction of the Governor of Georgia, the Georgia National Guard activated additional personnel. In total, more than 2,000 service members of the Georgia Army and Air National Guardsmen as well as volunteers from the Georgia State Defense Force provided personnel, equipment and expertise.

"Our fellow Georgia citizens should know the Georgia Department of Defense stands ready and capable to provide disaster response support alongside local and state agencies," said Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Adjutant General of Georgia. "We were able to respond quickly and effectively because of the investment in training and equipment we make to stay ready. The quick response is also indicative of the heart and soul of our Citizen-Soldiers who joined not only to fight our nation's wars, but to take care of their family and neighbors when disaster strikes."

In total, all five Brigades of the Georgia Army National Guard contributed personnel and resources. These include the Marietta-based, 201st Regional Support Group and 78th Aviation Troop Command; the Ellenwood-based 78th Troop Command; the Columbus-based 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Additionally, the two Georgia Air National Guard wings, the 116th Air Control Wing and the 165th Airlift Wing, contributed personnel and resources.

The Georgia Army National Guardsmen conducted operations from Chatham County to McIntosh County. Operations included traffic control and rerouting from heavily affected areas, debris clearance and road reconnaissance. Georgia National Guard assets also staged for delivery of relief supplies in the affected areas. Engineers of the 810th Engineer Company staged in Swainsboro before departing for operations in Glynn County. Also moving to Glynn were Engineers of the Georgia Army National Guard's 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion and the 116th Air Control Wing to assist with debris clearance.

"The engineers have ideal equipment to assist with removing any debris," said Capt. Christina Spruill, Commander of the Company D, 148th Brigade Support Battalion, Georgia Army National Guard. "This is what we are trained to do and we are glad to be here. We are here for as long as the county requires us to help."

The Georgia Air National Guard also assisted local law enforcement with route clearing and debris removal with heavy equipment and chainsaws. The 224th Joint Communications Support Squadron and the 283rd Combat Communications Squadron provided communications support for the Georgia Army National Guard units and other first responders.

"We've been working with the Chatham County Police to clear public roads and make sure everything is passable for the residents to come back to their homes," said Capt. Joel Conrad, 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia National Guard. "It's very rewarding to be able to come into the community and help our fellow Georgians. We have gotten a lot of good feedback from the citizens and workers thanking us."

Members of the Georgia State Defense Force also assisted with Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. A team of GSDF volunteers was deployed to Macon-Bibb County to provide logistical support at four evacuation shelters. Working in 12 hour shifts, the members managed the intake and registration of evacuees, setup cots and temporary living facilities, moved equipment and supplies, and coordinated crowd and traffic control. In addition, GSDF personnel organized and delivered items donated by the American Red Cross. The evacuees came from as far north as Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and as far south as Fernandina Beach, Florida; however, the majority were from Savannah. Over 400 evacuees were housed in the various shelters.

"I am so proud of our team, from the senior leaders coordinating our response, to the Soldiers and Airmen on the streets augmenting our local civil authorities to alleviate suffering and ensure public safety," said Jarrard. "Our Guardsmen are trained to respond to disasters such as Hurricane Matthew. They want to help their fellow citizens during state emergencies and are well prepared to do so."

Story by Desiree Bamba
Public Affairs Office
Georgia National Guard

Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Perry
124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Georgia Army National Guard

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FORT STEWART, Ga., Oct. 4, 2016 - There's been a recent integration of service members of the Georgia Army National Guard and active duty Soldiers on Fort Stewart beginning this year.
Elements of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), based out of Macon, and the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) have augmented the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) active duty unit on Fort Stewart. The 48th IBCT is an associated unit of the 3ID and are authorized to wear the 3rd ID patch. The 648th MEB supports the 48th Infantry Brigade.

Due to budget cuts and restructuring within the military, 3ID experienced downsizing of their personnel. As a result, the Georgia National Guard's 3rd ID Main Command Post Operational "Marne" Detachment (MCP-OD) was created specifically to help fill those empty positions, according to Lt. Col. Shawn Workman, Commander of the Marne Detachment.

Workman states, since the division was downsized and lost personnel on their staff, members of the Marne Detachment would flow into these positions within the headquarters in case the division became activated for deployment.

"This is a new way forward with the Guard and active duty meshing to complete whatever missions we're given," said Workman. "It's unique how we're integrated with the active duty for this Warfighter exercise."

The Marne Detachment has demonstrated interoperability with the active duty component during the Warfighter Exercise 17-1 that officially kicked off on October 4th. The Warfighter training exercise was lead by Major General Jim Rainey, the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division. Workman stressed that Rainey knows the importance of the Marne Detachment and what they can bring to the fight, to aid 3rd ID in their future missions.

"It starts with Major General Rainey," said Workman. "He is for this, and he realizes the significance (of the National Guard units)."
Workman added, this new direction of mission command for the detachment starts at the commander level and works its way down

"Our mission is to enhance the capabilities of the Division Headquarters," said Workman.
According to Workman, the relationship between the 3rd ID and the National Guard units serving with them, have been beneficial as the units conduct training exercises together to include the Warfighter.

"We've become an integral part of what they're doing," said Workman. "It has been great to work with them. They have welcomed us on board putting us next to their guys and doing what we need to do to make this thing successful. We now wear the 3rd ID patch, which is kind of historic and unique for the Guard. We are fully integrated with 3rd ID."

Story by Sgt. Howard Moses
124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Georgia Army National Guard

Photo by Sgt. Gary Hone
124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Georgia Army National Guard

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FORT A.P. HILL, Va. Oct. 3, 2016 - The final chapter of the Best Warrior Competition saga has come to a close. We have followed our very own Spc. Joseph Broam, a native of Savannah, Ga. and Junior at Armstrong State University, as he battled through to earn the title National Guard Soldier of the Year and advanced forward to represent the Army National Guard in the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition.

Specialist Broam, an 11 Bravo Infantryman in the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, started his journey in February when he won the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Best Warrior Competition. He then competed in March against the best Soldiers in the state of Georgia, and then advanced forward to the regional competition.

"I really didn't know what I was getting myself into back in February," said Broam. "After winning the state competitiono  I realized, at this leve,l it is not just about representing myself well anymore I am representing the Georgia Army National Guard."

At the April 2016 Region III Best Warrior Competition at Fort Stewart Ga., Broam competed against Guardsman from 10 states and territories. Broam excelled once again and showed his desire to fight all the way to the top. 

Broam had a little over a month to train before he competed in the National level competition where he faced the top Soldiers from the seven National Guard Regions of the United States. This competition proved to be the toughest for Broam who was nursing a knee injury in the last days of competition. 

In the end Broam was selected and moved on to represent over 350,000 service members as the National Guard Soldier in the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition.

"Broam is the epitome of what 'being ready' really is," said Georgia Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Stringfield. "He never gave up, he stayed motivated, in shape and trained hard for every single competition. I am proud of him, the entire Georgia National Guard is proud."

The Army Best Warrior Competition was comprised of one NCO and one Soldier from 10 Army commands across the world. This was the first competition in which Broam faced competitors from Army Reserves and Active Duty.

"While I am thankful, I am humbled by this opportunity," said Broam, "It was an honor to not only be a representative for the state of Georgia, but for the entire Army National Guard."

The four-day competition held, at Fort A.P Hill, measured warriors physical and mental stamina. Each competitor was tested through multiple events, including physical fitness, marksmanship, land navigation and combat scenarios.

"Thankfully, I received an amazing amount of support from my state and my home unit. Everyone in my command has helped me grow and prepare for this competition, I knew it is going to be tough but I was ready," said Broam.   

For Broam, preparing for the competition was tough due to his academic schedule.

"If I wasn't studying for school I was studying for the competition or working out," said Broam. "I never really had a break or any personal time."

This competition pushed each Soldier to their limit and proved to be very difficult. Broam gave his all until the very last event.

"I left it all out there," said Broam. "I'm grateful for all the support everyone has given me through this entire competition. It was an honor to represent the National Guard, Region III and the Georgia National Guard. I may have not won, but God's plan for me is already better than I could ever have imagined. Winning would've been incredible but I wouldn't trade the relationships, the connections, the lessons learned or the training I received for anything. I'm eager to give back to the BWC and help other Soldiers get this opportunity to develop and advance their military career. I'm looking forward to recovering and getting ready for air assault and other chances to develop myself and others."

Story by Sgt. Shye Stallings
Public Affairs Office
Georgia Army National Guard

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FORT STEWART, Ga., Sept. 16, 2016 - The US Army's 3rd Infantry Division and Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team celebrated the latest chapter of their mutual history with a patch-changing ceremony at Fort Stewart's Marne Gardens September 16, 2016.

"We have had a great partnership in the past," said Maj. Gen Jim Rainey, commanding general of the 3rd ID during his address to the Soldiers. "We have trained together, fought together and sadly, we have bled together."

Brigadier General Joe Jarrard, The Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard also noted the long history of partnership between the 3rd ID and the Georgia Guard.

"This formalizes a great relationship," said Jarrard. "This is going to make us better and it will make the division better as well."

During the ceremony, the Georgia Guardsmen replaced the patch which has symbolized the 48th Brigade for more than 40 years with the historic patch of the 3rd ID.

"It is bittersweet," said Col. Reginald Neal, commander of the 48th IBCT. "I've worn a lightning bolt patch for over 20 years, but putting on the 3rd ID patch means we are part of the team. There is no distinction between a 48th Soldier and a 3rd ID Soldier. It is a very significant day for the National Guard."

The ceremony reunited the two storied combat units whose predecessors fought together near the waters of the Marne River in 1918 and the Tigris in 2005.

In March 2016, the U.S. Army announced the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th IBCT, and 3rd ID would be the first units to enter into an associated unit relationship. Nationwide, 27 National Guard and Army units are participating in the associated unit pilot.

As part of the associated unit pilot, Task Force 1-28, an Army infantry battalion based at Fort Benning, Ga., is associated with the 48th IBCT. The 3rd ID provides training guidance to the 48th IBCT while the training program for TF 1-28 is provided by the 48th IBCT.

Since March of this year, the 3rd ID, 48th IBCT and TF 1-28 have integrated operations and training. In addition to exchanging personnel, the units have planned and conducted training exercises.

"This is about readiness," said Maj. Gen. Rainey. "This is about going to war.

The patch ceremony is the latest evidence of the growing interoperability between the 3rd ID and the Georgia Guard. In August, the 3rd ID Main Command Post Operational Detachment activated at Fort Stewart. The MCPOD is a Georgia Army National Guard unit which will augment the 3rd Infantry Division staff during contingency operations.

The 3rd ID and 48th IBCT have storied histories. Elements of the 48th IBCT predate the American Revolution. During World War I, the 3rd ID fought at the Second Battle of the Marne where it earned its nickname "Rock of the Marne". In that same battle were Georgia Guardsmen of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion, whose companies carry on today in the 121st Infantry Regiment of the 48th IBCT.

The 3rd ID, and units of the 48th IBCT, served during World War II and both have completed multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During its 2005 deployment to Iraq, the 48th IBCT served with the 3rd ID. Some of those Guardsmen now proudly wear the 3rd ID patch on both shoulders, a testament to the long interconnected history between the Georgia-based units.

Story and photo by Capt. William Carraway
Public Affairs Office
Georgia Army National Guard

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FORT STEWART, Ga., Aug. 20, 2016 - The Georgia Army National Guard's 3rd Infantry Division Main Command Post Operational Detachment (3ID MCPOD) was activated during a ceremony at Fort Stewart Saturday, August 20, 2016. Senior leaders of the 3rd Infantry Division and Georgia Army National Guard were present to welcome the new unit and celebrate the latest chapter of partnership.

"This is a great day for the 3rd ID," said 3rd Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. James Rainey who noted that the Georgia Guardsmen of the 3ID MCPOD would be part of future division deployments.

With an authorized strength of nearly 100 Soldiers, the 3ID MCPOD's mission is to provide additional personnel and support to the 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters. This support is critical as Army force structure changes have reduced division staff manning.

"We have Soldiers that embed with each warfighting function within the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters," said Lt. Col. Shawn Workman, commander of the 3ID MCPOD.

A veteran of 25 years of military service, Workman enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman in 1991. He completed officer candidate school and served as an infantry platoon leader and company commander in the Indiana National Guard. Transferring to the Georgia National Guard, Workman began a long association with the 1st Battalion 118th Field Artillery Regiment and deployed to Afghanistan as the battalion's operations officer.

"This is an incredible, historic opportunity," said Workman. "I am very fortunate to be in command of this unit at this time."

The activation ceremony included the unfurling of the 3ID MCPOD guidon by Workman and Operations Sergeant Major Timothy Baker. Additionally, Soldiers of the 3ID MCPOD changed their shoulder sleeve insignia from the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade to the 3rd Infantry Division symbolizing their new assignment.

"Putting the 3rd ID patch on is an incredible honor," said Workman.

Brigadier General Tom Carden, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard praised the teamwork developed between the 3rd Infantry Division and the Georgia Guard under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Rainey and Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Tagalicud. He noted that the 3ID MCPOD not only benefits the 3rd Infantry Division, it also brings opportunities for growth to Georgia Guardsmen.

"The Georgia National Guard is a leadership factory," said Carden. "What better place to grow leaders than the 3rd Infantry Division?"

In December 2015, when the first elements of the unit were established, the 3ID MCPOD was assigned to the Georgia National Guard's 648th MEB. While the 3ID MCPOD will still be administratively assigned to the 648th, the 3rd Infantry Division will have operational control over the unit during deployments and will shape the mission, staffing and training.

The 3ID MCPOD is the latest Georgia Guard unit to embark on a partnership with the 3rd Infantry Division. In June, the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team became the first National Guard BCT to associate with an active-duty division when it entered into a pilot association with the 3rd Infantry Division. The 648th MEB is also a total force partner with the 3rd Infantry Division.

Brigadier General Carden recalled how the Georgia National Guard had previously worked with the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart and in Iraq, and how they will work together in the future.

"I couldn't be more proud of the Soldiers, the families and all those who have had part in making this a success," said Carden.

Story and photo by Capt. William Carraway
Public Affairs Office
Georgia Army National Guard

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