Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The 201st RSG Embarks on First Stage of Overseas Deployment

By Maj. William Carraway, Historian, Georgia National Guard


Left: The shoulder-sleeve insignia of the 201st RSG. Right: Specialist Caleb Moore, from Rome, Ga., assigned to the 201st Georgia Agribusiness
Development Team shakes hands with local Afghan boys at the Khoshi District Center, Logar province, Afghanistan, May 12, 2012. Moore is a part of a
mission to inspect cool storage units to help the Afghans become better farmers. Georgia National Guard Archives.

The Georgia National Guard continued its two-decade history of continuous global engagement Monday, February 13, 2023 with a departure ceremony for Soldiers of the 201st Regional Support Group the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga. The Soldiers will train stateside at a pre-mobilization station before deploying overseas later this year.


Brigadier General Dwayne Wilson, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard addresses Soldiers of the 201st Regional Support Group at a departure
ceremony held at the Clay National Guard Center February 13, 2023. The Soldiers will conduct premobilization training stateside before embarking
 on their overseas mission. Photo by Maj. William Carraway.

“The Soldiers you see before you represent the very best of our nation,” said Brig. Gen. Dwayne Wilson, commander of the Ga. Army National Guard during the 201st RSG departure ceremony. “This organization has a rich history supporting the Army National Guard’s two missions: responding during domestic response operations and fighting and winning as the primary combat reserve of the Army.”


Soldiers of the 201st Regional Support Team case their colors during a departure ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center February 13, 2023.
The Soldiers will conduct premobilization training stateside before embarking on their overseas mission. Photo by Maj. William Carraway.

The 201st Regional Response Group is a unique structure within the Georgia National Guard. Comprised of a diverse group of units with specialty response missions, the 201st RSG is equally capable of supporting overseas combat operations and domestic emergency response operations. Two battalions, the 170th Military Police Battalion in Decatur and the Marietta-based 265th Chemical Battalion can mobilize Soldiers to perform security and response operations overseas and augment civil authorities within the Federal Emergency Management Area Region IV response area when natural disasters strike the southeast United States. Rounding out the 201st RSG force structure is the 870th Engineer Detachment and the 4th Civil Support Team Weapons of Mass Destruction. A full-time unit capable of rapid response, the 4th CST WMD regularly trains with federal and state response agencies and routinely supports large-scale public events, notably Super Bowl LIII, in Atlanta to ensure public safety.


FOB SHANK, Afghanistan, June 15, 2011 - The Georgia Army National Guard's 201st Regional Support Group Agribusiness Development Team 1
 assumed responsibility for the ADT mission in southeast Afghanistan from Nevada Army National Guard. Pictured is the command team of the 201st RSG
 ADT 1: Colonel Bill Williams III (center), and Command Sgt. Maj. Randall Parker (right). Georgia Army National Guard Archives.

The 201st RSG has deployed units and personnel multiple times since it was federally recognized as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 201st Quartermaster Battalion July 9, 2004 in Newnan, Ga.[1]. Fifty eight personnel of the 201st Headquarters Detachment were ordered into active federal service April 22, 2011 as Agribusiness Development Team 1[2]. With a command team of Col. Bill Williams III and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Parker, ADT 1 assumed responsibility for the agribusiness development mission at Forward Operating Base Shank in Southeastern Afghanistan from the Nevada National Guard June 15, 2011. Agribusiness Development Team I returned home to Fort Gordon April 21, 2012[3] and was released from active federal service May 25, 2012.[4] They were replaced by ADT 2 which was composed of Georgia Guard Soldiers of the 265th Regional Support Group.


The 201st RSG provided the third and last of Georgia’s agribusiness development teams. ADT 3 and its 48 personnel were ordered into active federal service with the command team of Col. Barry Beach and Command Sgt. Major Melvin Dover January 3, 2013 at Fort Gordon[5],[6]. While ADT 3 was in Afghanistan, the 201st changed station to the Marietta-based Clay National Guard Center.[7] The station changing was prompted by a reorganization of the Georgia Guard which assigned the 201st RSG to headquarters command of the Region IV Homeland Response Force mission on October 1, 2013[8].


Returning to CNGC November 23, 2013, ADT 3 was released from active federal service February 6, 2014 and reverted to state control.[9] ADT 3 was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for “Exceptionally meritorious service during the period 15 January 2013 to 23 November 2013… The unit displayed outstanding performance in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.” [10]


FORT GORDON, Ga. August 15, 2015 - Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers of the 278th MP Company, 201st Regional Support Group establish
security on a landing zone while a UH-60 Medevac Black Hawk prepares to land. Photo by Capt. William Carraway

Also mobilized to Afghanistan in 2013 were more than 140 Soldiers of the Fort Gordon-based 278th Military Police Company. The Soldiers returned from Afghanistan in February 2014. The 278th had previously deployed to Iraq in 2008 while assigned to the Georgia National Guard’s 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.


The 248th Medical Company deployed more than 40 Soldiers to Egypt in June 2015. In the course of nine months, the 248th provided health services in support of multinational forces and observers. The 248th MED was again called to serve overseas in 2019, mobilizing with life-saving medical support capability in response to Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.


MARIETTA, Ga. January 21, 2017 - Brigadier General Tom Carden, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard talks speaks with Soldiers of the
Marietta-based 248th Medical Company during a unit training assembly. Photo by Capt. William Carraway.

Mobilizing overseas in 2021, the 138th Chemical Company provided chemical response support in South Korea while the 202nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company provided life-saving explosives ordnance response and disposal capability in support of Operation Spartan Shield.


The 138th CM CO (Area Support), 265th Chemical BN cased its guidon May 20, 2022 at Camp Humphreys, signifying a successful finish to their
deployment to the Republic of Korea. Photo courtesy of the 138th Chemical Company.

On July 15, 2018, Soldiers of the 201st mobilized to Iraq where they served as the Base Operating Support Integrator in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. The Soldiers returned April 23, 2019.[11]


In addition to providing trained units to support overseas combat operations, the 201st has repeatedly answered the call at home in response to natural disasters. When Winter Storm Leon and Pax struck Georgia communities in January and February 2014, units of the 201st RSG were called to active state service to assist stranded motorists and provide emergency response capabilities. In October 2015, more than 100 Soldiers of the 810th Engineer Company and 278th MP Company responded following unprecedented rainfall in South Carolina. The Soldiers, assisted by YCA cadets and State Defense Force volunteers, filled more than 9,000 sand bags for flood control operations[12].


HEPHZIBAH, Ga. October 4, 2015 - A Georgia Army National Guard engineer delivers a load of sandbags while Guardsmen of the 810th Engineer
Company and 278th Military Police Company fill sand bags in preparation for possible flooding. The Soldiers, along with Georgia State Defense Force
volunteers and Youth Challenge Academy Cadets filled more than 8,000 sandbags for use in the Augusta area. Photo by Capt. William Carraway.

When not actively responding to hurricanes such as Irma, Matthew and Michael in recent years, the 201st conducted multiple training missions to hone its response capability. In 2017, units of the 201st participated in Vigilant Guard 2017, culminating with search and rescue operations at the Perry Center, [13] where they conducted search and rescue operations in simulated rubble honing the skills necessary to respond to major earthquakes such as the one that struck Turkey in February 2023.


The Georgia National Guard hosted a ceremony February 4, 2019 for the personnel supporting Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. Service members from the
Georgia National Guard's 4th Civil Support Team worked alongside Puerto Rico, Washington, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
Minnesota National Guard and other state and federal agencies to ensure public safety. Georgia National Guard Archives.

Soldiers of the 201st were the first Georgia National Guardsmen called to extended active duty service in support of Georgia’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 in March 2020. Units of the 201st staffed infection control teams, operated COVID-19 test and immunization stations and provided trained medical support teams to augment hospitals across the state. In May 2020, the 201st RSG was called to support civil authorities in response to civil unrest in Atlanta in 2020 and augmented security during the presidential inauguration in Atlanta and Washington DC in January 2021.

[1] National Guard Bureau, OA 142-04, July 30, 2004.


[2] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 1A-10-135-008, May 15, 2010.


[3] William Carraway, “ADT Returns from Afghanistan,” The Georgia Guardsman, May 2012, 5-6.


[4] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 1A-10-135-008D, June 1, 2012.


[5] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 1A-12-144-011 (A1).


[6] William Carraway, “ADT Returns from Afghanistan.” The Georgia Guardsman, January-February 2013, 18


[7] National Guard Bureau, OA 902-13, November 19, 2013.


[8] Ga. DoD Ga. DoD Annual Report, 2013, (Atlanta: 2014), 17.


[9] William Carraway, “ADT 3 returned to the Clay National Guard Center.” The Georgia Guardsman, November 23, 2013.


[10] Georgia Army National Guard, Permanent Order 216-03, August 4, 2014.


[11] William Carraway, “Key Date Tracker”, Georgia National Guard History Office, unpublished manuscript (typescript).


[12] Ga. DoD, Ga. DOD Annual Report, 2015, (Atlanta: 2016),19.


[13] Ga. DoD, Ga. DoD Annual Report, 2017, (Atlanta: 2018),20.

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