News: 555th Engineer Brigade and 864th Engineer Battalion case their colors
Story by Staff Sgt. Miriam Espinoza
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – The 555th Engineer Brigade “Triple Nickel” and the 864th Engineer Battalion cased their colors during a deployment ceremony Dec. 19 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord-North. Both units are deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom next month.
The ceremony is a military tradition officially marking a unit’s deployment or relocation. Once the units arrive to their final destination the colors will be uncased marking the completion of the unit’s relocation.
“We temporarily case these colors today in this garrison environment, when these colors open again we will be in the fight,” said Col. Nicholas W. Katers, brigade commander, 555th Eng. Bde.
The brigade headquarters will deploy with more than 120 Soldiers to Afghanistan and will support the International Security Assistance Force as the theater joint engineer headquarters, assuming command and control of military engineer units and operations across theater.
“We are honored today to be chosen as Soldiers in the fight against terrorism and are ready to help secure the final victory in Afghanistan that America has earned,” Katers said.
The 864th Eng. Bn. is scheduled to deployed with more than 500 Soldiers to Afghanistan and serve under the Central Command Materiel Recovery Element. They will focus on the drawdown effort closing bases and moving military equipment and supplies out of the country.
“Joint Task Force Triple Nickel is more than ready for this historic mission, and we’re honored to answer the Nation’s call and once again live out our motto, ‘Willing and Able,’” Katers said.
The battalion is the second engineer unit to be sent to Afghanistan for the express purpose of deconstruction of bases and preparation for the withdrawal of U.S. Forces. This will be their fourth deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“This engineer brigade is a powerful disciplined tool, we are designed to clear the way for others to follow, God bless the “Triple Nickel” and the 864th Eng. Bn., may we all return with dignity and honor,” Katers said.