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    305th Engineer Company redeploys from Afghanistan

    305th Engineer Company redeploys from Afghanistan

    Photo By Amabilia Payen | Lt. Col. Jerry Hallman, left, operations officer for the 301st Maneuver Enhancement...... read more read more



    Story by Amabilia Payen 

    Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

    FORT BLISS, Texas - The 305th Engineer Company, U.S. Army Reserve, redeployed Oct. 25 at the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Air Control Group Airfield after completing a route clearance mission in Afghanistan.

    While in Afghanistan, the 305th Engineer Company was assigned under the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Two months before the 305th Engineer Company arrived to the battalion in theater, weekly detonations of improvised explosive devices were being set off in the area of operations. The 305th Engineer Company’s efforts reduced the IED risk to the Soldiers of 2-5 Inf. Bn. by 51 percent with 106 missions of route clearance that spanned 4,641 kilometers of roads throughout the western part of the country. Of the 27 IEDs the unit dealt with, 14 were finds and 13 were strikes, resulting in many lives saved.

    “We are proud of our Soldiers,” said 1st Lt. David Wallace, acting commander of the 305th Engineer Company. “We trained with 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, and when we went to Afghanistan, we ended up under 2-5 Inf. Bn. We didn’t know that was going to happen, but it did. I would attribute our success to the training we conducted together at Fort Irwin, California. It was fantastic working with them.”

    Spc. Ernesto Colocho, a combat engineer with 305th Engineer Company, is relieved to be back and is ready to complete the demobilization process with the Mobilization and Deployment branch of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security so that he can reunite with his family in Santana, California.

    “Being out there, the last few days, were the longest, but it went by fast,” said Colocho. “This was my first deployment and it feels good being able to help the people out there. Just knowing that the threat was actually real, not just what we read and saw on television, it made me feel like we were actually doing something by helping people that wanted help.”

    Wallace continued to express his gratitude for the support his unit received while at Fort Bliss, saying that the training at McGregor Range, New Mexico is so much better than any other stations he has trained at, which include central California, Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

    “McGregor Range is almost identical to where we were in Afghanistan,” said 1st Sgt. Larry Deide, senior noncommissioned officer of the 305th Engineer Company. “You could take pictures of both places and put them side by side and it would be identical. It’s a good training area.”

    Lt. Col. Jerry Hallman, operations officer for the 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve, was present at the tarmac when the Soldiers assigned to the 305th Engineer Company deplaned the aircraft that brought them from Afghanistan. He greeted every Soldier and welcomed them home.

    “On behalf of the command, we are incredibly proud of the actions they conducted while in Afghanistan, performing route clearance. They did a Class-A job,” said Hallman.

    Upon completing their demobilization process with MAD branch of DPTMS, the 305th Engineer Company will travel back to their home station in Camp Pendleton, California. One platoon of the 305th Engineer Company was required to support a change of mission and will return from Afghanistan at a later date.

    “When the Soldiers are here, they can go to the (post exchange), restaurants and the movie theater, where in other places, they don’t have access to that,” said Wallace. “So, it’s very easy for them to come back here, they can de-stress by finding something to do like going to see a movie, to grab lunch at the food court or go to Starbucks. It is all within walking distance.”



    Date Taken: 10.25.2014
    Date Posted: 11.10.2014 11:28
    Story ID: 147489
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 
    Hometown: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
    Hometown: FORT BLISS, TX, US
    Hometown: SANTA MONICA, CA, US

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