News: 1230th Transportation Company deploys to Afghanistan
Story by 1st Lt. Michael Thompson
CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, MARIETTA, Ga. – Friends and family of the “Road Dawgs,” 1230th Transportation Company, filled the Thomasville municipal auditorium as part of the unit’s departure ceremony hosted by city officials. The 1230th departed to Texas for mobilization training and 10-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of logistic operations. The 150 soldiers are part of the 265th Regional Support Group under the 78th Homeland Response Force of the Georgia National Guard.
Thomasville honored the deploying guardsmen a day earlier with a family day and a flag parade through the town square before the departure ceremony. Assistant city manager, Kha McDonald began the departure ceremony, “We lift you up in our prayers. We wish you a safe journey and a successful mission. If you think this celebration is something grand, you have not seen anything yet. Wait until you come back home.”
The 78th Homeland Response Force commander, Col. Vernon Atkinson, echoed the requests of the Family Readiness Group that any family member of a deployed Soldier contact their FRG representative if they have any need.
“This is actually the model of what you would want see done,” said Atkinson. “You have folks in the unit that care and have all the resources at their fingertips.”
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that you have the town’s support as well as your family support and everybody behind us,” said Sgt. Sahasha Anderson. “It makes us feel like we have a back up. We have people to call on. That's amazing, I think it is beautiful."
The transportation company’s mission overseas will be to support units in transporting personnel, material, and equipment to various forwarding operating bases and camps. The 1230th will also help in the consolidation and redeployment of units as they return home in 2014.
Initially, the 1230th was formed after the 560th Engineering Battalion was deactivated and restructured in 1995. In August of 2005 the Road Dawgs were deployed to Hancock County, Miss. as part of Task Force Lee during the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Hancock County was the final landfall of the eye of Hurricane Katrina, which suffered some of the most intense damage inflicted by the storm. The 1230th was instrumental in providing much needed aid to the communities and infrastructure.
In 2007 the unit was deployed to Iraq and received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for displaying exceptionally meritorious service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit’s accomplishments were heralded and compared to the “Red Ball Express” of World War II, which kept supplies moving when the French rail lines were destroyed by opposing forces, said Capt. Brantley Lockhart, the 1230th TC commander.
As the 1230th moves forward to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, they move out under the motto “Providing Momentum” the driving force behind movement. The company mascot is the “Road Dawg,” a symbol of loyalty and companionship as members of the 1230th are forever faithful and never leave a fallen comrade.