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National Guard Aviators from Marietta, Ga. Prepare for Deployment

By Maj. William Carraway | Georgia National Guard | Sept. 23, 2020

MARIETTA, Ga. — Citizen Soldiers of the Georgia Army National Guard’s Marietta-based Detachment 1, Company C, 2nd Battalion 151st Security and Support Battalion will soon join hundreds of Georgia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who are deployed supporting operations in four geographic combatant commands around the world. The Soldiers held a departure ceremony at the cavernous Hangar 300 at the Clay National Guard Center Sept. 22, 2020.

“I appreciate you being here today,” said Capt. James Akin, commander of Detachment 1 as he addressed family and friends of the assembled Soldiers. “I appreciate our family members and their support. I am excited by this mission and this opportunity.”

The detachment, part of the Marietta-based 78th Aviation Troop Command, has deployed personnel and aircraft overseas and domestically in support of state and federal missions, but this is the first time that all personnel of the detachment will mobilize together.

Brigadier General Dwayne Wilson, Director of the Ga. DoD Joint Staff and former commander of the 78th ATC addressed the Soldiers and families gathered for the departure ceremony.

“My hat is off to you, I know you are ready, said Wilson. “I know this is not the first time for many of you… Thank you very much to you and your families.”

Detachment 1 is among nearly a dozen Ga. ARNG units with personnel deployed in 2020 and is the third of Georgia’s rotary-wing aviation thus deployed. The 171st General Support Aviation Battalion returned from Kosovo earlier this year while Company B, 2nd Battalion, 245th Aviation Regiment returned from The Central Command area of operations. Soldiers and Airmen of the Georgia Department of Defense are also currently in the Country of Georgia participating in Noble Partner 2020.

The deputy commander of the 78th ATC, Lt. Col. Will Cox, spoke on behalf of Col. Jason Fryman, commander of the 78th ATC, who was in Europe for Noble Partner and could not be present for the ceremony.

“I am proud of your effort and proud of your sacrifice,” said Cox. “This is a historic mission, one which you are well prepared for.”

Georgia Army National Guard aviation units are among the most frequently deployed in the state and region supporting overseas combat missions as well as emergency response missions at home ranging from hurricane response to COVID-19 support.