HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – The Georgia Army National Guard’s 48th Brigade out of Fort Benning is at Fort Stewart this month to take part in their first large scale training exercise under 3rd Infantry Division.
It’s part of a new program that the army launched in 2016 called the Total Force Concept and Associate Unit Pilot Program. It brings units of the National Guard under larger divisions in order to streamline training validation, and overall get the troops ready for deployment.
Typically, when the National Guard is called to deploy, it takes about three months to get ready, but trainings like this are making that time much shorter.
“The National Guard, as a whole, we have less training time with our soldiers,” said Major Aaron Holt with the 48th Brigade, “This training is the first major training exercise for the 48th Infantry Combat Team since we became aligned under 3rd ID.”
“We have conducted two of these types of exercise, both in 2012 and 2013, and this one is far superior to those previous iterations because of all of the resources that the 3rd ID brings to bear in support of the brigade,” said Col. Matthew Smith, Commander of the 48th Infantry Brigade.
Resources such as the training grounds, aviation support, live fire training, and mentorship.
“We’ll come out of this a completely different formation than when we started,” said Smith, “I would say at the end of three weeks, you would see a tremendous decrease in… the time when we tell our reserve soldiers, ‘Hey show up at this location, you’re going overseas.”
In fact, Smith says this training could prepare them to leave in half the amount time.
“It’s our job to make sure our soldiers are always ready to deploy,” said Holt, “If a sister brigade in 3rd Infantry Division does deploy and they need additional resources, then we can offer up those resources from within our formation, to augment theirs, to send them overseas.”
The 48th Brigade is not scheduled to deploy any time soon, but they will continue training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana this spring.