News: Pacific’s premier Engineer Brigade deactivates units, begins reorganization
By Capt. Laura Beth Beebe
130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – The 130th Engineer Brigade deactivated five of its subordinate units during a ceremony June 25, on Hamilton Field here.
The 130th Engineer Battalion (Provisional), which formed in June of 2013 as the brigade’s headquarters prepared for its September 2013 deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, was the highest echelon element casing its colors.
As the premier engineer unit in the Pacific, the brigade has construction, dive, topographic, and combat engineering capabilities that are constantly assisting in Theater Security Operations Exercises across the region, while elements of the brigade simultaneously held critical positions in deployed engineer operations in Afghanistan during the past year.
The provisional battalion served as the command authority for engineer units that did not deploy with the brigade and facilitated redeployment and reintegration.
Lt. Col. Patricia Arcari, the 130th Engineer Battalion (Provisional) commander, used the Hawaiian word for family, Ohana, in the battalion’s motto, “One Ohana.”
“Ohana 6” as Arcari was known, took the idea of creating a family between the non-deployed units, the rear detachments of deployed units, and the family members of those deployed.
Arcari added, “I’m not sure there’s ever been a more diverse, complex, dynamic, non-standard unit with the extraordinary tasks and missions as the 130th Eng. Bn. [Prov.] and every day, no matter what was thrown at them, all of them stepped up to the challenge, met it head on and performed at a level that inspired those around them.”
The provisional element was joined in deactivation by the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company Rear Detachment, the 15th Explosive Hazards Team, the 26th Concrete Detachment, and the 70th Engineer Company (Geospatial) in order to better distribute engineer capacity and resources.
The three units trace their lineage to World War II with numerous deployments during both peacetime and combat operations. Their deactivation is part of the brigade’s larger re-organization as the 65th Engineer Battalion (Combat) elements are realigned to create the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB).
Col. Blace Albert, the 130th commander, officiated the ceremony and highlighted the accomplishments and history associated of each unit.
He said these moves and actions don’t come without many challenges, but how well the Soldiers within the formation handled themselves during the past year reflects their ability to adapt and accomplish the mission at hand.
“The companies did an incredible job of remaining focused on being Soldiers during this time of transition,” said Albert. He highlighted the 70th Eng. Company when he explained, “In addition to turning in 22 million dollars worth of equipment, they achieved a 97 percent proficiency rating in warrior tasks and battle drills and a 96 percent proficiency rating in specific individual skills.”