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    505th Engineer Combat Battalion Completes Historic Deployment

    505th Engineer Combat Battalion Completes Historic Deployment

    Photo By Lt. Col. Matthew Devivo | After a nine-month deployment, the Soldiers and families of the 505th Engineer Combat...... read more read more

    Story by NC Army National Guard Capt. Thomas Murry

    After a nine-month deployment, the Soldiers and families of the 505th Engineer Combat Battalion (ECB) are finally reunited. Operating in the CENTCOM area of operations and organized as Task Force Havoc, the 505th ECB completed its mission and continued its reputation as a premier engineer battalion.

    Task Force Havoc, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Frank W. Poovey and Command Sgt. Major Jason A. Zike, conducted both vertical and horizontal engineering operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Egypt.

    In addition to the organic HHC and FSC companies, Task Force Havoc was comprised of units from the Alabama, Louisiana, and Minnesota Army National Guards, respectively, as well as Army Reserve companies from Washington and Texas. The 505th ECB was subordinate to the 35th Engineer Brigade, from the Missouri Army National Guard, and supported Operations Freedom Sentinel, Inherent Resolve, and Spartan Shield, respectively.

    The 505th operations for Task Force Spartan fell under the 28th Infantry Division, of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, which is the oldest continuously operating division in the US Army. Task Force Spartan conducts Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) throughout the AOR and builds and sustains unit readiness, in order to deter, disrupt, and prevent regional aggression.

    "The 505th has done a great job providing theater engineer support in multiple nations," said MG Andrew Schafer, 28th Infantry Division/Task Force Spartan commander. "An excellent accomplishment for a battalion size element.

    “The 505th ECB maintained a high operational tempo across the numerous countries and regions. As a result, the unit’s Soldiers completed 115 projects, totaling $53 million in overall construction.

    “Absolutely spectacular performance from the 505th Engineer Battalion,” said Col. Anthony Adrian, 35th Engineer Brigade -Task Force Muleskinner commander. “Their ability to manage multiple, simultaneous construction projects spread across seven countries throughout the theater, along with all the logistical and personnel challenges involved, had a direct and significant impact on the ability of the U.S. Military to achieve national strategic objectives.”

    The 505th ECB’s leadership was instrumental in the success of the Engineer Task Force Afghanistan (ETF-A) that was based out of Bagram Airfield. ETF-A had Soldiers from the 1020th Engineer Company, Louisiana Army National Guard, based out of Marksville, LA., the 659th Engineer Company, U.S. Army Reserve, based out of Spokane, WA., the 186th Engineer Company (Horizontal), Alabama Army National Guard Unit, based out of Dothan, AL, and Soldiers from the 306th Engineer Company (Vertical), U.S. Army Reserve Unit, based out of Farmingdale, NY.

    Engineers of the 186th and 306th were assigned the daunting task of increasing the force protection of Bagram Airfield, the primary Allied base on the outskirts of Kabul. Soldiers from these companies worked in partnership with engineers from U.S. Forces Afghanistan to complete a soak yard, national Afghanistan truck yard, and a major entry control point. These projects are extremely important for providing security measures and precautions to Bagram Airfield. Their hard work, provided Bagram with the capability to increase the delivery capacity both in and out of Bagram, to support forward operating bases throughout the theater.

    ETF-A conducted engineering operations at over eight locations in Afghanistan. In partnership with Task Force Southeast and the Command team of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), the primary mission for TF Havoc was to help the first SFAB get up and running. The SFAB concept is a key priority of Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, with an SFAB mission to institutionalize the concept of the advise and assist within dedicated force structure.

    “The engineers and Soldiers of the 505th Engineer Battalion helped Task Force Southeast expand to support additional advisors from the 1st SFAB at Advisory Platform Lightning and Camp Dahlke," said Brig. Gen. Richard Johnson, Task Force Southeast commander. “No matter what we asked of them, the engineers responded with great work time and time again.”

    At Camp Dahlke, TF Havoc engineers from the 659th expanded basic life support capacity to house and feed Soldiers from the 1st SFAB, including expanding the base footprint and facilities by over 50 percent.

    In March 2018, 1st SFAB Soldiers moved into force provider facilities at Camp Dahlke, built by TF Havoc engineers and Soldiers.

    “As the 1st SFAB deployed to Afghanistan to bring combat advising to a lower tactical level, our Soldiers spread out to a number of bases that had become smaller over the last several years,” said Col. Scott Jackson, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade commander. “The 505th did an outstanding job constructing living and working facilities for our Advisors at forward operating bases like Tarin Kowt, Gamberi, Dahlke and more."

    The 505th ECB also maintained a presence at Kandahar Airfield for engineer operations in southern Afghanistan.

    The 505th has engineers in Jordan. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is one of the key partners of the U.S. in the Middle East. Soldiers from the 186th and the 306th operated missions on the Syrian border at several locations, and assisted with the move into a New Joint Training Center (NJTC) outside Amman, Jordan.

    The 505th engineer combat Battalion returned home to North Carolina on August 31, 2018



    Date Taken: 11.06.2018
    Date Posted: 11.06.2018 16:08
    Story ID: 298933
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 813
    Downloads: 0