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    Change of Command for Statesboro-based 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion

    Taking Command

    Photo By Maj. William Carraway | Lieutenant Colonel Dan Chicola, incoming commander of the 177th Brigade Engineer...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. William Carraway 

    Georgia National Guard

    Lieutenant Colonel Dan Chicola assumed command of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion from Lt. Col. Jean-Paul Laurenceau during a ceremony at the Macon Readiness Center Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. Responsibility for the Statesboro-based battalion also passed from Command Sgt. Major Timothy Sperry to 1st Sgt. Travis Rapp. Colonel Matthew Smith, commander of the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team presided over the ceremony.

    Chicola of Metter, Ga. has served in the Statesboro-based 648th Engineer Battalion 48th Brigade Special Troops Battalion and 177th BEB from the enlisted ranks and is an engineer by military and civilian training. He assumes command from Laurenceau who has led the 177th BEB since July 2017. Laurenceau’s military career continues with an assignment to the Georgia National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters in Marietta, Ga.

    In his 32-year military career, Sperry has deployed to Iraq with the Griffin-based Troop E, 108th Cavalry where he served in platoon leadership. He has deployed twice to Afghanistan most recently in 2019 as part of the 48th IBCT’s fourth overseas combat deployment since September 11, 2001.

    Rapp, the incoming command sergeant major, has completed combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan while serving as a combat engineer and returned from Afghanistan in July after serving as first sergeant of Task Force Saber. In his civilian capacity, Rapp works as a nuclear electrician at Nuclear Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Ga.

    In recognition for their service as the command team of the 177th BEB, Laurenceau and Sperry received the Meritorious Service Medal from Smith. Karen Laurenceau also received the Georgia Commendation Medal for her support of the 177th BEB through her husband’s command tenure.

    The 177th Engineer Battalion is based in Statesboro Georgia with Companies A through D based in Glennville, Douglas, Macon and Fort Gillem, respectively. The 177th BEB was originally constituted in the Georgia Army National Guard in Statesboro as Battery A, 264th Coast Artillery March 14, 1930. During World War II, the unit served in the Pacific Theater and received campaign honors for East Indies, Papua, New Guinea and Luzon. The Statesboro unit was activated for state-side service during the Korean War and underwent a series of conversions. In 1993, Statesboro became the home of the 648th Engineer Battalion which was mobilized to Iraq in 2005. In 2007, the 648th was reorganized as the 48th BSTB and deployed to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010. The 177th BEB received its current designation in 2015.



    Date Taken: 12.07.2019
    Date Posted: 12.07.2019 19:57
    Story ID: 354657
    Location: MACON, GEORGIA, US
    Hometown: GRAYSON, GEORGIA, US

    Web Views: 686
    Downloads: 0