CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The mission to keep roads safe in Afghanistan is getting an Airborne boost with the arrival of the 307th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne).
On the morning of Feb. 24, Lieutenant Colonel Brett Sylvia, commander of 307th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne), assumed command from Lt. Col. William M. Myer of the 507th Engineer Battalion during a ceremony on base here in southwest Afghanistan.
The 307th, along with several other companies in theater, will form Task Force S.A.W. (Sapper, Athlete, Warrior). The task force will fall under the leadership of the Theater Engineer Brigade, Joint Task Force Triple Nickel, and they will resume the ongoing mission in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Their primary focus will be on partnership operations with Afghan Army engineers. Engineer Training Teams (ETT) will be partnering with their Afghan National Army (ANA) engineer force and providing mentorship in engineer operations to ensure the ANA are capable of operating as an independent fighting force.
U.S. route clearance packages will also conduct partnered patrols with ANA forces. Their primary mission is to ensure safe passageway for coalition forces and Afghan civilians. They work to find and eliminate the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The Transfer of Authority Ceremony was held at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. During the ceremony the 307th unfurled their battalion colors for the first time since departing Fort Bragg, N.C., signifying their arrival in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
At the same time, the departing 507th Eng. Bn. cased their colors until their safe return home to Michigan. Over 250 soldiers attended the transfer-of-authority ceremony with the command teams and headquarters and headquarters companies as well as the forward support companies from each battalion.
Task Force SAW is ready for their mission, said Lt. Col. Sylvia in his address during the ceremony.
Turning to Col. Nicholas Katers, commander of JTF Triple Nickel, Sylvia added, “We will carry your torch, and we will do it the only way we know how – with discipline, initiative, and synchronized with our teammates and partners. All the Way!”
The 307th is the only engineer battalion to have a company in every major regional command in Afghanistan. They spent over a year training and preparing for partnership operations and their route clearance mission. This is also the fourth time that the “All American” Engineers have answered the call to duty since the Global War on Terror began over a decade ago.