Georgia troops gear up for next mission - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia troops gear up for next mission

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May 19, 2008

Albany--  Georgia troops are training and gearing up for another important and dangerous mission. In a little more than a year, Georgia's 48th Brigade Combat team will be deployed to Afghanistan.  

It was an emotional scene in April 2006 as members of the 48th Brigade returned home from Iraq. They were deployed for 18 months. After some time home, another mission is now on the horizon.

"We've been alerted and we're in the process of getting ready to go," said Sergeant Don Whitmire with the 148th Forward Support Company.

172 Georgia National Guard troops from the 148th Forward Support Company in Albany are preparing for a mission to Afghanistan. "This will be our third deployment," said Whitmire.

Drills are being performed right now on things like weapons familiarization before extended training takes place in July in Minnesota and Wisconsin. "Which will be completing our soldier readiness for deployment," said Whitmire.

Sergeant Whitmire will most likely be deployed also. He says he and the troops are ready. "That's what we do and these guards become a vital part of the rotation to give the active duty a break and it takes all of us now to meet the mission requirements."

This mission will have them supporting the 2nd Battalion 121st Infantry as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. "The primary mission of the infantry forces will be to train the Afghan army and continue the ongoing mission going on now," said Whitmire.

And now after three deployments, experience will help these brave ones as they take their training in the states to the far away war zones. "The brigade is a lot of experience now," said Whitmire.  

Guard members will train up to nine months before deploying. The deployment will most likely be 12 months.  There's still no definite date but deployment should be sometime next Summer.

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