CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - With resounding “Hooahs,” the soldiers of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team reassured the adjutant general of Georgia, commanding general of the Georgia Army National Guard and the state command sergeant major of their preparedness to deploy to Afghanistan at the beginning of the year, and complete the mission exceeding the standard.
“They are top notch,” explains Maj. Matthew Howard, a bomb technician with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “The best team we could possibly have running these types of missions here and overseas. They completed the last extraction in 17 seconds. You are safe in their hands sir.”
As the command team toured Camp Shelby to observe the 48th IBCT’s mobilization training, they were thrown into the scenarios and were amazed at the soldiers' skilled actions during each training event.
“I felt very safe and well taken care of,” explained Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Commanding General of the Georgia Army National Guard, who was placed inside a non-tactical vehicle as a guarded dignitary during a personal security detail training scenario. “They gave me the signal that they had a bad feeling about where we were and what was going on. And I trusted their gut and followed their lead in getting out of there.”
While at Camp Shelby Joint Training Readiness Center the Macon Volunteers have trained for weeks on individual task, but today was their first run at a culminating training event.
“We have had no down time since the beginning of the year, preparing for this deployment. But especially since we have been here, we have had no down time whatsoever,” said Master Sgt. George McVay, special team’s noncommissioned officer in charge. “We are trained to the fullest and are ready to do our job and any mission the nation or state asks of us.”
Receiving their mission’s details 20 minutes before they have to execute, the security forces teams must quickly plan and prepare for what they have to do, and still complete their missions while exceeding standards.
“This is the training kids join the Army to do: shoot, drive fast and be Hooah,” exclaimed Georgia Army National Guard State Command Sgt. Major Phillip Stringfield. “They seem to know exactly what they are doing and do it well. I would deploy with them.”
Visiting the security forces teams and several other of the deploying soldiers, Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth, the adjutant general of Georgia, along with the rest of the command team, observed their training and ensured the soldiers that their families and everything they needed back home would be taken care of.
“If your families need anything, anything at all, please tell them to let us know,” ensured Butterworth. “That is what our family readiness program is for. We are here for you, while you are there defending our freedom. Remember warriors, you are fighting to defend a 250 year tradition, freedom.”
Recognizing several soldiers as they visit, Butterworth, Jarrard and Stringfield handed out several coins, rewarding soldiers who have stood out amongst their peers throughout the training at Shelby. The Georgia Department of Defense’s coin displaying "Esse Qaum Videri" simply meaning "to be and not just appear to be."
Butterworth said that the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers always are, and stand true as to why the national knows them as the number one IBCT in the United States of America, and why the state of Georgia and their families were assured that the soldiers of the 48th are fully prepared to deploy and handle any mission that is given to them.