DONALSONVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia Department of Defense has returned responsibility for many of its relief missions back to civilian agencies in the days following Hurricane Michael, but relief operations continue in Seminole County where Georgia Guard Soldiers of the Washington, Ga. based 1214th Forward Support Company and Augusta-based 878th Engineer Battalion continue to distribute relief supplies.
“It feels good giving back,” said Sgt. Jerrick McIntosh of the 1214th. Jerrick, a full-time student with Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, has supported relief operations at points of distribution in Seminole County and has also delivered relief supplies with the Augusta-based 877th Engineer Company to residents who could not leave their house.
“Just to see the look on people’s faces when we say we have food and water for them, it is heartwarming,” said Jerrick.
The 1214th left its home-station in Washington on the afternoon of October 11 in support of a the 877th Engineer Company which departed their Augusta Armory bound for Donalsonville the same day. “I pushed out three fuel trucks and five maintenance vehicles to ensure the engineers would have fuel and could focus on route clearance,” said Capt. Sha-Raya Bates, commander of the 1214th.
The unit arrived in Thomasville just after midnight, October 12, with the 877th Engineer Company arriving shortly thereafter. Stopping in Bainbridge, half the personnel remained to support POD operations and route clearance missions while the other half proceeded to Seminole County.
The two units have worked together for more than a week, first supporting route clearance missions then transitioning to distribution of relief supplies. They have been joined by Soldiers of the 348th Brigade Support Battalion who are operating a mobile kitchen at the Seminole County Emergency Operations Center.
“It has been seamless,” said Bates. “From the point we linked up in Thomasville, we have been one unit, one entity from the National Guard.”
More than 900 Georgia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from nearly 40 units across Georgia have participated in Hurricane Michael response missions. In addition to the operations in Seminole, Mitchell and Early County, Georgia Department of Defense personnel continue to monitor recovery progress from the joint operations center at the Joint Force Headquarters at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga.