With the transfer of the unit colors, Lt. Col. Charles Bennett officially assumed command of the Regional Training Site — Maintenance, Georgia Facility from Lt. Col. Thomas C. Kimball during a December ceremony.
Bennett, of Valdosta, is a graduate of the Georgia Military College and Brenau University. He was commissioned in 1988 and has served in a variety of military leadership positions. He has deployed to Bosnia and Iraq and served Georgia during Hurricane Andrew emergency operations.
Bennett has been married to Joni Bennett for 29 years. They have two sons, BJ and John Thomas, who is a member of the Georgia Army National Guard and an Eagle Scout.
Lt. Col. Bennett is employed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division as the compliance and enforcement manager.
The Regional Training Site — Maintenance, Georgia Facility is one of 19 Reserve component full-time maintenance training locations mandated by Congress in 1985. These RTS-Ms provide training and certification programs to Reserve and Guard soldiers.
Established in July 1989, the facility opened in January 1990 and received full accreditation that same year. Reserve, Guard and active units immediately took advantage of the site’s capabilities. Due to the onset of Operation Desert Shield in 1990, more than 2,100 soldiers trained at RTS-M (GA) during its first months of operation.
In December 1996, RTS-M (GA) moved into a new 26,000-square-foot training facility, expanding the site to more than 60,000 square feet of enclosed maintenance training space and continues to occupy that same facility today.
During fiscal year 2009-10, RTS-M (GA) produced the highest number of ordnance school graduates in the Army National Guard. RTS-M (GA) currently teaches 12 courses.