News: 8th Engineer Support Battalion cases colors in Afghanistan, heads home to prepare for next mission
Story by Sgt. Michele Hunt
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) stood proudly during a casing of the colors ceremony, marking the end of a successful tour in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Ferdinand Llantero, 8th ESB Commanding Officer and Sgt. Maj. John Bankus, Battalion Sergeant Major, cased the battalion’s colors at Camp Leatherneck, Aug. 15. During their deployment, the battalion made a significant impact on operations in southern Helmand Province.
Brig. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, Commanding General, 1st MLG (Fwd), spoke to the Marines and sailors at the ceremony about their accomplishments at multiple forward operating bases, patrol bases and combat outposts throughout Regional Command Southwest.
“As you built village stability platforms throughout the battle space, as you realigned our bases out there and expanded places like [COP] Ertoba, and helped to [demilitarize] places like FOB Edinburgh, those are the missions that characterized this battalion,” said Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow.
To emphasize the magnitude of three 8th ESB tours to Afghanistan, Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow highlighted the changes and expansions of U.S. efforts over time.
“This is the last rotation of an engineer support battalion and it’s with a great legacy, particularly for this battalion with three deployments out here,” said Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow. “They have seen the growth from when this was a small effort primarily centered in the Marjeh area, throughout, now, all of RC Southwest.”
Marines and sailors conducted multiple engineer projects and provided utilities support at dozens of locations.
“This battalion has found themselves operating with Marines spread throughout,” said Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow. “[There is] probably no other battalion more spread out around this battle space and doing great things at FOBs as small as COP Rankel or as large as our base here on Camp Leatherneck. This battalion has really made an impact.”
During their time here, 8th ESB provided general engineering support including mobility, counter-mobility, survivability, engineer reconnaissance, tactical utilities, bulk water production and storage, and bulk fuel storage to many units in the area of operations.
“We have executed missions that are broad in scope and a few that are different from past ESB missions,” said Llantero. “This is definitely a combination for a memorable ESB contribution and shaping up the battle field in the engineer community as a whole.”
Llantero offered his appreciation of the hard work of the members within 8th ESB.
“These Marines and sailors take on many missions and accomplish them with the mindset to always do the right things and do them right the first time,” said Llantero. “Marines and sailors, you have shown enormous capability, great pride and quality work in the execution of your missions. I admire your hard work, as you were able to overcome challenges and uncertainties to accomplish our missions, especially during tough times.”
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