5BDE Mission Statement:

The mission of 5BDE, GSDF is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies (man-made disasters, natural disasters, pandemic), to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities, and to augment the Georgia Air National Guard and Georgia Army National Guard, as required.

More than a decade ago, the Georgia State Defense Force 5th Brigade (5BDE) was first to have a fully embedded unit within the Georgia Army National Guard (GAARNG). The 5BDE has been leading the way ever since.

Designated “Vikings” in late 2020, the 5BDE prides itself on attacking challenges and finding innovative ways to solve problems (just like the Northmen of old). The 5BDE has earned a solid reputation across the state. GAARNG units request assistance from the 5BDE when looking for an exceptional training partner that gets the job done whatever may come.

The Vikings also lead the way in response to natural disasters.The 5BDE maintains high training standards for all elements of the Mission Essential Task List (METL) and works hard to ensure that the right gear is in the right place at the right time. The troops have responded in times of need after hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, and floods. The 5BDE strives to be the first boots on the ground, setting up the most effective response possible.

The 5BDE is made up of volunteers from various backgrounds, including law enforcement, information technology, engineering, trucking, science, and education. No matter what your background, there’s a place to use your professional knowledge, blended with new skills, to serve the citizens of Georgia.

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While all GSDF units can operate anywhere in Georgia, the Vikings Area of Responsibility (AOR) covers a very large portion of the state. A loop including Carrollton, LaGrange, Columbus, Cordele, Hinesville, and Augusta would encompass nearly the entire area. With such a large geographic span to cover, the 5th Brigade has more than one drill station. Our primary drill stations are shown below.

Drill station City Activities
Georgia Garrison Training Center / Land Dominance Center (GGTC/LDC), Fort Stewart Hinesville, GA Support for a variety of GAARNG activities, including:
- Opposing Force (OPFOR) exercises
- Role playing for GAARNG training exercises
- Firing range operations (individual and crew served weapons)
METL training, including:
- Search and rescue (urban and wilderness)
- Debris clearing (chainsaw operations)
- Medevac operations (including helicopter landing zone setup)
- Communications (radio operations)
48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters Macon, GA GSDF METL training activities
LaGrange National Guard Armory LaGrange, GA Monthly drill support for 1177th Transportation Company
Driver training / Night driver training
Weapons qualifications (individual and crew served)
Fort Benning Columbus, GA Role player support for the quarterly training exercises of 1-54th Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB)
Fort Gordon Augusta, GA Support of GAARNG units as requested

The 5BDE supports Direct Support of Civilian Authorities (DSCA), Community Engagement (COMENG), and Military-to-Military Support (MTMS). The 5BDE leads the way in MTMS. The missions we undertake are highly varied and offer a challenging array of engagement. This provides opportunities for Soldiers at all levels to develop skills, build relationships, and contribute in a meaningful way to the citizens of Georgia when they need help most. Some examples of MTMS missions include:

  • Pre-mobilization Training and Assistance Element (PTAE) means helping troops identify areas of improvement as a starting point for advanced deployment training
  • Small Arms Leaders Course (SALC) allows Soldiers to support Georgia National Guard units as they advance their skills on live-fire ranges
  • Andrew Sullens Marksmanship Competition lets Soldiers engage in range support and includes a chance to compete, if selected for the GSDF Competitive Marksmanship Team (CMT)
  • 1-54th Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) missions provide in-depth training in traditional combat tactics and small unit tactics, enabling SFAB advisors to hone their skills before deployment to assist in training our allies in developing nations

GSDF Soldiers celebrate the end of a week-long training exercise supporting 177th Engineers at Fort Stewart.

DSCA and COMENG are also significant parts of the 5BDE ission set. In addition to cooperating with multiple emergency management agencies (EMAs), we work with numerous government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs). Some recent examples include:

  • Points of distribution (PODs) operation
  • Food bank relief box packing
  • Hurricane evacuation shelter support
  • Urban search and rescue and wilderness search and rescue (USAR/WSAR)
  • COVID-19-related missions embedded with Georgia National Guard units

Forklift training facilitates supply movement for points of distribution (PODs).
Faster re-supply means more poeple helped when they need it most.

Urban search and rescue (USAR) training hones the skills needed to respond to a natural disaster and work with other agencies for large-scale relief efforts.

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