Friday, September 1, 2023

The 265th Chemical Battalion

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia National Guard


Soldiers of the 265th Chemical Battalion at Fort Stewart, Ga. following annual training in April 2022.

The organization of Headquarters Company of the 265th Chemical Battalion began in August 2018 with the unit based on Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base.[1] The Army federally recognized the unit September 1, 2020.[2]


In addition to a headquarters element, the 265th has six attached units which provide the 265th with unique mission sets and capabilities for its state and federal mission. Among these units, many of whom served under Joint Task Force 781, are the Marietta-based 138th Chemical Company and 248th Medical Company. The remaining units are strategically located across the state with the 202nd Ordnance Company in Waynesboro, the Swainsboro-based 810th Engineer Company, and the 1177th and 1160th Transportation Companies based in LaGrange and Rome respectively.


Soldiers of the 265th Chemical Battalion participate in a chemical response exercise in the Country of Argentina as part of the Georgia National Guard’s
state partnership program December 9, 2021. Photo courtesy of Maj. Stephen Pritchard.

While relatively new as a battalion structure, the subordinate units of the 265th Chemical Battalion have a long and diverse history.


The 810th Engineer Company at home and overseas. Left: Soldiers encamped in the remote Vaziani Training Area of the Country of Georgia to conduct
combat engineer training with a Georgian engineer company during Exercise Noble Partner 2017. Right: Soldiers assess and clear debris from a simulated
collapsed building site in Georgetown, S.C., March 8, 2015, during Exercise Vigilant. Photos by Capt. William Carraway.

The 810th Engineer Company was organized and federally recognized December 18, 1947 in Swainsboro, Ga. as Battery C, 101st Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion.[3] Over the decades, the unit has served as an antiaircraft artillery, infantry and engineer company. Throughout its history, the 810th has mobilized overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan and provided crucial response capabilities for domestic emergencies such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016. In 2017, Engineers of the 810th mobilized to the country of Georgia for exercise Noble Partner.[4]

Specialist Airyana Khaiphanliane, a motor transport operator with the LaGrange-based 1177th Transportation Company receives a visitor at a mass
vaccination site in Savannah, Georgia April 13, 2021. Photo by Capt. Bryant Wine.

The 1177th Transportation Company was organized and federally recognized April 27, 1948 in LaGrange, Ga. as the 48th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, an element of the 48th Infantry Division.[5] In addition to its original reconnaissance mission, the unit served for a time as an engineer unit before receiving its current designation as the 1177th Transportation Company in 1996.[6] Troops and trucks of the 1177th TC participated in Exercise Golden Cargo in May and June 1999. The 1177th TC was ordered into active federal service January 30, 2003 in support of Operation Noble Eagle. In 2011, the 1177th TC was again ordered into federal service in support of Operation New Dawn. The unit deployed to Qatar in October 2010, and returned in November the following year.[7]


Left: Specialist Sally Farnham, a combat medic for the search and extraction team, 248th Medical Company, during a decontamination exercise September
12, 2012. Georgia National Guard Archives. Right: Private 1st Class Loran Jones, a combat medic with the Marietta-based 248th Medical Company updates
patient medical records at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, Ga. May 12, 2020. Photo by Pfc. Isaiah Matthews.

Federally recognized in 1977, the 248th Medical Company has deployed multiple times to Iraq and the Sinai, most recently in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2020. Personnel of the 248th Medical Company provided crucial support to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Left: REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., June 28, 2014 - A Soldier of the 202nd Ordnance Company, reels out detonation cord during an exercise scenario at
Ravens Challenge VIII. Photo by Staff Sgt. Mike Perry. Right: Soldiers of the 202nd Ordnance Company are recognized as the 2019 Top Overall Team at
the Annual Andrew Sullens Marksmanship Competition at Fort Stewart, Ga. March 15, 2019. Photo by Spc. Tori Miller.

With a 2012 Afghanistan deployment and 2021 mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield, The 202nd Ordnance Company is also well traveled. Federally recognized in 1987 and based in Waynesboro, the 202nd conducted an overseas training mission in Panama in 1999 and mobilized in 2002 as part of Operation Noble Eagle.[8] In addition to maintaining proficiency in their core mission tasks, Soldiers of the 202nd were recognized for marksmanship, capturing first place in the team category of the 2019 Andrew Sullens Marksmanship Competition.[9]


Left: The Sibert Award. Right: The 138th Chemical Company cases its guidon May 22, 2022 at Camp Humphreys signifying a successful finish to their
deployment to the Republic of Korea. Photo courtesy of the 138th Chemical Company.

The 138th Chemical Company provides chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear surveillance and decontamination for the 265th Chemical Battalion. Authorized September 1, 2006 in Decatur, Ga., the unit relocated to Kennesaw where it was federally recognized January 18, 2008. [10], [11] In 2014, the 138th was established in its present location on Dobbins ARB.[12] Later that year, the138th received the Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert Award which recognizes the best Chemical Company in the National Guard.[13] Members of the 138th played a prominent role during Georgia’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic with Soldiers staffing the first infection control team. From this initial team’s experience, ICTs composed of units from across the state disinfected nearly 2,500 facilities and exported the training protocols to other states. Soldiers of the 138th were also among the first Georgia Guardsmen mobilized to protect public safety in Atlanta following civil unrest in May 2020.[14] The unit deployed to Korea in July 2021 and returned from overseas duty in May 2022.


Left: Guidon of the 1160th Transportation Company. Right: Private 1st Class Elijah West and Spc. Keithan Jones provide a class on the Enhanced
Container Handling Unit to Soldiers of the 1160th TC during annual training at Fort Stewart, Ga. April 4, 2022. Photo courtesy of the 1160th TC.

Federally recognized in 2012 and based in Rome, Ga., the 1160th Transportation Company is perennially in high demand for its response capabilities following natural disasters. Additionally, the 1160th has supported military training missions, notably at the Joint Readiness Training Center in 2019. Soldiers of the 1160th also supported Georgia’s COVID-19 response with logistics support and staffing and healthcare facilities.


[1] Georgia National Guard, Permanent Order 242-001, Marietta, Georgia, August 30, 2018.

[2] National Guard Bureau, Organizational Authority 180-20, Washington DC, September 20, 2020.

[3] Department of the Army, AGAO-I 325, Washington DC January 23, 1951.

[4] William Carraway, “Operation Noble Partner,” Georgia Guardsman Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2017, 9.

[5] U.S. Army Center of Military History, Lineage and Honors, 1177th Transportation Company, Washington DC.

[6] National Guard Bureau, Organizational Authority 57-96, Washington DC, April 2, 1996.

[7] Alert Order 1A-10-244-001 (A1

[8] “EOD is an Explosive Business,” Georgia Guardsman, Summer 1999, 8.

[9] Tori Miller, “Andrew Sullens Marksmanship Competition 2019,” Georgia Guardsman, Q1 2019, 6-7.

[10] National Guard Bureau, OA 128-04, Washington DC, June 9, 2004.

[11] National Guard Bureau, OA 59-08, Washington DC, April 3, 2008.

[12] National Guard Bureau, OA 232-14, Washington DC, April 29, 2014.

[13] Will Cox. “138th Chemical Company Receives Sibert Award,” The Georgia Guardsman, July 2014, 10.

[14] William Carraway, “The Georgia National Guard’s 138th Chemical Company: A Brief History,” January 18, 2022,

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