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    648th MEB Receives Meritorious Unit Citation, Campaign Streamer

    Afghanistan Campaign Streamer

    Photo By Maj. William Carraway | Colonel John Gentry, commander of the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade watches as...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. William Carraway 

    Georgia National Guard

    Current and former commanders, command sergeants major and Soldiers of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade gathered for the presentation of the brigade’s first campaign streamer and Meritorious Unit Citation during the MEB Ball at the Columbus Iron Works, Columbus, Ga. Saturday. The campaign streamer and citation were earned during the brigade’s deployment to Afghanistan in 2012.

    “It is rare to have the opportunity to see the presentation of a brigade’s first campaign streamer,” said Col. John Gentry, commander of the 648th MEB.

    In 2007, the United States Army created the 648th MEB as part of the Georgia Army National Guard. The 648th was federally recognized two years later. In 2010, the 648th MEB received its first call to support forces in Kabul, Afghanistan. The 648th MEB arrived in Afghanistan in January 2012 and assumed command of the Kabul Base Cluster as Task Force Hydra. Over the next nine months, TF Hydra conducted base operations and force protection for eight bases within the Kabul Base Cluster, synchronized security efforts in the Kabul Province, partnered and mentored Afghan National Security Forcers mission.

    For the campaign streamer ceremony, all present former commanders and command sergeants major of the 648th MEB assembled. Colonel Anthony Hall and Command Sgt. Maj. John Smiley, command team for the 648th MEB during the Afghanistan deployment, added the campaign and Meritorious Unit Citation streamers to the colors of the 648th MEB before addressing the Soldiers and family members of the MEB.

    “I look at the success of the 648th and it is very rewarding, very validating to know that myself and Command Sgt. Major Smiley and the whole team from that period contributed in some degree to the success you are having today,” said Hall.

    Command Sgt. Major Smiley joined Col. Hall in thanking the command team of Col. Keith Knowlton and Command Sgt. Major James Nelson and Command Sgt. Major Charles Crews who preceded them and helped prepare the 648th for deployment from an original manning of 12 personnel to brigade strength.

    “They were the Lewis and Clark of the 648th,” said Smiley. “They led the way for us and we could not be here without them and we prospered thanks to their hard work.

    Also recognized during the ceremony was the command team of Col. Randall Scott Carter and Command Sgt. Major John Rainwater who led the MEB following the Afghanistan deployment. Under their leadership, the MEB deployed the 878th Engineer Battalion, the 848th Engineer Company, 1-214th Field Artillery Battalion, and the 876th Engineer Company.

    The 648th MEB’s mission is to provide manned, ready and fully equipped mission capable units to combatant and joint task force commanders with the capabilities of full spectrum operations and consequence management to support the war fight and homeland defense. The 648th MEB also provides defense support to civilian authorities during times of crisis, most recently during Hurricane Matthew.



    Date Taken: 05.06.2017
    Date Posted: 05.07.2017 21:29
    Story ID: 232944
    Location: COLUMBUS, GA, US 

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