News: 130th Engineer Brigade conducts change of command
Story by Capt. Laura Beebe
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Col. Diana Holland relinquished command of the 130th Engineer Brigade to Col. Blace Albert in a change of command ceremony on Hamilton Field, July 21.
Holland handed off the brigade’s colors after serving as the commander for two years. Under her command, the brigade has served both the Pacific and Central Command theaters with construction, combat, geospatial, dive and general engineering support.
The brigade headquarters also recently returned from Afghanistan in early June where they served as the theater engineer brigade, responsible for the management and tracking of all engineer assets under the International Security Assistance Forces Command.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, 8th Theater Sustainment Command commanding general, officiated the ceremony and expressed his pride in the unit’s accomplishments under Holland’s leadership.
The 130th Engineer Brigade traces its lineage back to the 1303rd Engineer General Support Regiment, which was activated in July 1943 and was shortly thereafter deployed in support of both the European and Pacific Theaters in World War II. The unit also served in Operations Joint Endeavor, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
As the premier engineer unit in USARPAC, the 130th Engineer Brigade, which is comprised of two battalions, the 65th Engineer Battalion (Combat) and the 84th Engineer Battalion (Construction Effects), is consistently called upon for engineer support across the Pacific Theater.
“There is no way I can adequately describe the incredible achievements of this group of Soldiers, Families, and Civilians,” Holland said. “I’m confident that one would be hard-pressed to find another Brigade, of any branch or composition that engaged in such complex and diverse missions executed such a high number of unit transitions, at different locations around the globe and had such an impact at so many levels.”
Holland spoke of some of the accomplishments the unit had experienced, both while in Hawaii as well as during numerous deployments the brigade experienced to locations such as Afghanistan, Guam, Philippines and Thailand.
“To me, [the brigade is] simply a Dream Team comprised of superstars who always, always came together for the mission and for the people on their left and right,” Holland remarked. “And while it is hard to let go, it is good to know this team will be in such good hands.”
After a final “Sappers In,” Holland stepped down from the stage and took her place next to her husband, Jim, leaving Albert in command of the brigade before them. Albert kept his remarks brief as he expressed his excitement for where the brigade was headed.
“Nothing beats being in a tactical engineer unit,” Albert said. “And I’m humbled to have the opportunity to write the next chapter of this brigade’s impressive history with you.”