Friday, November 5, 2021

122nd Long Range Surveillance Unit Completes First Unit Jump in Ga. ARNG History

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


Soldiers of Company H, 122nd load into a crew pod carried by a CH-54 for the first unit jump of the Ga. ARNG Nov. 5, 1988.
Georgia National Guard Archives.

On November 5, 1988, sixty-seven members of Company H, 122nd Infantry Regiment’s Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Company assembled on Fort Stewart’s Taylor Creek Drop Zone for the first unit jump in the history of the Georgia Army National Guard.[1] Following a prejump inspection from jumpmaster Staff Sgt Kenneth Hutnick, the Soldiers awaited the approach of a CH-54 helicopter equipped with a crew pod. The first chalk of LRSU Soldiers boarded the pod and were lifted to a jump height of 1,500 feet. Soon the sky filled with paratroopers as the Georgians drifted to the ground. Subsequent chalks were carried aloft in CH 54s and CH 47 Chinooks.

Left: Staff Sgt. Ken Hutnick of Company H, 122nd LRRP conducts a pre-jump inspection. Right: Staff Sergeant Dean DeAngelo from Co. H, 121 Infantry LRS, assists Capt. Craig Henderson, commander of the 165th Quartermaster Company during a pre-jump inspection April 28, 2016.

The 122nd LRRRP, commanded by Capt. Al Fracker of Lawrenceville, was organized and federally recognized in Cartersville Sept. 1, 1987.[2] Its original complement of Soldiers included veterans of the Vietnam War. The unit was reorganized as Company H, 121st Infantry Regiment Sept. 1, 1992.[3] Relocation to Newnan followed in 1994. From its Newnan headquarters, Company H entered federal service Feb 7, 2003 with the 221st Military Intelligence Battalion and mobilized to Iraq. On July 20 Sgt 1st Class Christopher Willoughby was killed in Baghdad. A veteran of more than eight-years’ service in the 75th Ranger Regiment, Willoughby was the first Georgia National Guardsman to fall in overseas service since the Korean War.

Company H was destined for two more overseas deployments returning to Iraq in 2006 and mobilizing as part of Troop C, 3rd Squadron 108th Cavalry, 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade as part of the Kosovo Peace Keeping Force 14 in 2011.[4]

Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers of Company H, 121st Infantry conduct airborne operations in 1988 and 2013. Georgia National Guard archives.

With the pending inactivation of the 560th Battlefield Surveillance Battalion, the unit was transferred to the 221st MI Bn of the 78th Troop Command and redesignated Company H, 121st Infantry Regiment. Soldiers of Company H conducted airborne operations in the Country of Georgia in May 2016 as part of the final overseas training mission of the 560th BFSB. The following year, Company H was inactivated during a ceremony at Wright Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Ga. where Lt. Col. John Futchko, commander of the 221st MI Bn and Capt. Christopher Pulliam, the final commander of Company H cased the units colors.

Left: A Soldier of Company H, 122nd Infantry Regiment’s Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Company leaps from a crew pod carried by a CH-54
helicopter Nov. 5, 1988 at Fort Stewart. Right: Ga. ARNG Capt. Christopher Pulliam, commander of the Marietta-based Company H, 121st Infantry
(Long Range Surveillance) exits a C-130 of the Savannah, Ga.-based 165th Airlift Wing in the skies over Vaziani, Country of Georgia, during
an airborne operation Aug. 4, 2017. 


[1] Elliot Minor. “LRRP drops-on at Ft. Stewart” The Georgia Guardsman. Dec1988/Jan 1988, 1.


[2] OA 8-87 “Organization of Company H, 122nd Infantry Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Co (LRRP)” (Washington D.C.: Department of the Army and Air Force, Feb. 12, 1987).


[3] OA 261-92. “Reorganization of Georgia ARNG Units.” (Washington D.C: National Guard Bureau, Oct. 21, 1992).


[4] “560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.” Georgia Department of Defense Annual Report 2011. (Atlanta: Ga. DOD 2012) 16.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive