Welcome to this brief overview of roles and missions of the Georgia Army National Guard, a look at our organization, and a little bit about how we serve our State and the Nation in times of peace and war. Give a brief introduction about yourself and your role in the Guard. Thank you very much for this opportunity to talk with you today.
The Georgia Guard traces its history back through the militia maintained by the colony of Georgia, to the first formal militias established in the New World in 1636, to a much older tradition of militia in England. We come from all walks of life. Some of us are full-time, but most of us maintain entirely separate civilian careers. But we Georgia Guardsmen all have one thing in common: Our job is to serve our State anywhere, any time we’re needed – and to serve our Nation anywhere in the world. Because of our backgrounds as civilians, because of the depth of experience we bring to our military mission, we have a unique approach to everything we do – whether in the skies over Afghanistan, or down on the ground in its deserts, or right here at home responding to a domestic emergency.
And this is the mission of my component, the Georgia Army National Guard: Basically, to be prepared to deploy combat-capable units overseas or to support the Governor right here at home in case of an emergency. That could be anything from winter storms to hurricanes to wildfires, even to terrorist attacks. Some of those missions overlap almost completely --- transporting equipment or supplies, for example. But even some of the purely war-time missions, such as clearing minefields, requires training, skills, and leadership that we can put to use in almost any emergency. We’re deeply proud of our dual role and capabilities, and what we bring to the fight in both peace and war.
Most folks think of us as “The National Guard,” but it’s actually a little more complex than that. The Georgia Department of Defense is a state agency charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the Georgia National Guard. Headquartered at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, the Department includes the Georgia Army National Guard, the Georgia Air National Guard, and the Georgia State Defense Force. Pictured here are the Commanders of each component: Brigadier General Joe Jarrard, Georgia Army National Guard; Major General Tom Moore, Georgia Air National Guard; and Brigadier General Jerry Bradford, Georgia State Defense Force. More on those components in a moment. In peacetime, the Governor is our commander-in-chief. But as you can see, we also can report to the President; and we coordinate through the National Guard Bureau in Washington.
Let’s take a look at our major components. The Georgia Army National Guard consists of more than 11,100 Citizen-Soldiers training in hometown armories and regional facilities across the state. Georgia’s Army Guard is the 8th largest in the nation. Each of these large units is commanded by a colonel. As you see, we have Infantry, Engineer, Aviation, and Reconnaissance units, as well as a dedicated domestic response unit, the Homeland Response Force. Georgia has become well-known around the world for the high quality of its Army units, which have served with distinction in some of the most difficult combat areas.
One of our Brigades is the 48 th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. One of the oldest units in U.S. Army history, the lineage of the 48th Infantry Brigade can be traced back to 1825. It is one of few units in the US Military that also saw service as a unit of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. The Brigade has deployed both to Iraq and to Afghanistan.
Another brigade is the 78th Aviation Troop Command. The unit includes light-, medium-, and heavy-lift helicopters as well as a small number of fixed-wing transport aircraft.
The 78th Homeland Response Force, formerly the 78th Troop Command, is one of only ten Homeland Response Force units in the nation. It is responsible for emergency domestic support to civil authorities across FEMA Region IV.
The 560th is headquartered at Fort Gillem and centered around Atlanta. Its functions included highly skilled military intelligence and reconnaissance units.
While elements of the 648th had been previously deployed , in December 2011 the brigade headquarters deployed for the first time to Afghanistan in support of the mission there.
One thing most people don’t realize is just how many places the Georgia Guard deploys around the world. On any given day in 2011, you might have found over 1,000 Army Guardsmen and over 200 Air Guardsmen deployed overseas. You can see that some of the Air Guardsmen In fact, over 12,000 Georgia Guardsmen have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror since 9-11. This slide gives you just a small sample --- and only on this side of the globe! In addition to peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, we maintain a strong state partnership with the country of Georgia and maintain a small presence there. We also conduct regular, short overseas training deployments in places like Japan, Lebanon, the Horn of Africa, and even Zanzibar. Besides building or maintaining relationships with our allies and partners, these missions train strong, competent, insightful, experienced leaders who return to Georgia ready to serve in domestic emergencies…or to take that maturity back to their civilian workplace. Discuss some of your own deployments, whether in peace or in war. Audiences typically want to know a little about your duties; what daily life was like; and how your family was impacted. It’s always good to close with a discussion of what the deployment taught you, or how you grew as a result.
Another thing folks don’t realize is our financial impact on the state. We have a statewide presence…in fact, of Georgia’s 159 counties, 150 either have a National Guard armory or are immediately adjacent to a county with one. Although we don’t talk about it all that much, The Georgia Guard has an incredible impact on the State’s economy. For instance, we know that the State collects over 25 million dollars on our payroll tax alone. And of course we pay utility bills, maintain contracts, build buildings, buy food, and everything else you can imagine. All told, in 2011 we had about one billion dollars worth of positive economic impact on Georgia. Not bad, considering that our State budget is less than one percent of that.
Support for the National Guard has pretty much always been high in Georgia. But in the last decade of war, we have been humbled and amazed at the outpouring of support from our Georgia communities. There are places in Georgia where a Guardsman can’t buy their own lunch. When Troops come home, some towns let out schools to let kids welcome them home. And when Guardsmen have been killed in war, your love and support for the families has been warm, sincere, and almost overpowering. We deeply appreciate your support. Still, we’re often asked how people can support what we do. These are three great ways to do so. First, support drilling Guardsmen. We know only too well that our duties take us away not only from our families, but sometimes from our jobs as well. Thank you for your patience and support for our periodic absences while we do our duty to the State and Nation. Second, hire a Guardsman. Yes, we’ll be away from work periodically. But you know that you’re hiring someone with a great work ethic, solid values, a commitment to excellence, and leadership abilities well beyond the norm. Third, consider supporting our Guard families through the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation. It’s a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization established in 1994 to provide emergency relief assistance during times of financial crisis to the members and families of the Georgia National Guard.
So – that’s a little bit about the Georgia Army National Guard. If you’d like to learn more, I’d encourage you to visit us on the web at www.GeorgiaGuard.com. As you see from the icons, we have video, photo, Facebook, and other sites set up…but www.GeorgiaGuard.com is the easiest gateway to see everything. I appreciate your time, and appreciate the opportunity to tell you a little bit about who we are. We Guardsmen are proud of our mission, and proud of the role we play both at home and abroad. Thanks for having me.
The Georgia Army National Guard Always Ready, Always There.
MissionThe Georgia Army National Guard provideswell trained and motivated forces to theGovernor and the Combatant Commandersin order to support Full SpectrumOperations – Offensive, Defensive, Stability,and Civil Support.
Organization Governor Nathan Deal President Commander-in-Chief National Guard Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth Bureau Adjutant General Georgia Department of Defense Army Air StateNational National Defense State Guard Guard Force Operations11,100+ Soldiers 2,800+ Airmen 637 Members 460 State Employees
Georgia Army National Guard 78th Homeland Response ForceTotal Strength: 11,100+ Soldiers 78th Aviation Troop Command
78th Homeland Response ForceCERFP/CST Medical Maintenance Transportation Military Training Commands Regional Support Commands Public Affairs Band Finance Detachment Topographic Company History DetachmentOver 3500 personnel
560th Battlefield Surveillance BrigadeMilitary IntelligenceReconnaissanceCombat Service SupportOver 1300 personnel
Japan Kosovo State Partnership - Georgia Operation New Dawn LebanonZanzibar Operation Enduring Freedom Qatar (OND) UNCLASSIFIED
A Statewide Presence • $680M in federal funds come into the State, balanced by a state budget of only $9M • Over $25M in state income tax on Guard payroll • $135M in military construction in progress • 40% growth in the Georgia Guard since 2005
Supporting your Georgia Guard • Support drilling Guardsmen • Hire a hero • Support Guard families Helpful web sites: www.esgr.org for Employer support of the Guard and Reserve www.georgiaguardfamily.org for the Family Support Foundation
The Georgia National Guard Always Ready, Always Therewww.GeorgiaGuard.com