65th Engineer Battalion
65th Engineer Battalion
As part of the modular transformation of the US Army, various assets previously held at division level, but habitually assigned to its maneuver brigades were instead made organic to those brigades. As a result of the this transformation in the 25th Infantry Division (Light), the 65th Engineer Battalion, the Division's engineer battalion, was inactivated. It was subsequently reactivated assigned to the 130th Engineer Brigade, US Army Pacific (USARPAC).
As the 25th Infantry Division's engineer battalion the Battalion's mission had been to prepares for worldwide deployment and, when directed, execute mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability tasks. The Battalion had consisted of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and 2 line companies, B and C Companies. A Company, 65th Engineer Battalion, was located at Fort Lewis, Washington in support of the 25th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team (not to be confused with the modular brigade combat team). The unit was responsible for performing a wide variety of missions in support of the 25th Infantry Division (Light), including mine-countermine operations, obstacle emplacement, mobility missions, survivability operations, river crossings, and many more. Training for these tasks was conducted on the island of Oahu and on the island of Hawaii.
The 65th Engineer Battalion was first constituted on 18 October 1927 in the Regular Army as the 65th Engineer Battalion. The unit was assigned on 26 August 1941 to the 25th Infantry Division. It was activated on 1 October 1941 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the Battalion worked to improve the defenses of Oahu, then deployed to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. In the first US Offensive of World War II, the Battalion saw heavy combat in the Battle for the Island of New Georgia. The final Battalion action in the Pacific was the liberation of Luzon in the Philippines. The Battalion was reorganized and redesignated on 1 January 1944 as the 65th Engineer Combat Battalion. When World War II ended, the Battalion deployed to Japan for occupation duty. Duringt the Second World War, the unit recieved campaign streamers for participation in 4 campaigns: Central Pacific, Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons, and Luzon.
The Battalion was committed in 1950 to assist the Republic of Korea in its struggle for freedom. In 1954, the Battalion returned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and was home again after 800 days in battle and 12 years of overseas duty. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 1 March 1954 as the 65th Engineer Battalion. The Battalion was awarded campaign streamers for participation in 10 campaigns in Korea: UN Defensive, UN Offensive, CCF Intervention, First UN Counteroffensive, CCF Spring Offensive, UN Summer-Fall Offensive, Second Korean Winter, Korea Summer-Fall 1952, Third Korean Winter, and Korea Summer 1953.
In 1965, the Battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. For the next 6 years, the Battalion demonstrated its ability to successfully support the combat operations of the 25th Infantry Division. In 1971, the Battalion stood down and the colors returned to Oahu, Hawaii. The unit was awarded campaign streamers for participation in 12 campaigns in Vietnam: Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, and Counteroffensive Phase VII.
The Battalion was reorganized in 1972 to once again serve as the Division's Combat Engineer Battalion. On 16 May 1986, the Battalion reorganized into a light engineer battalion providing "Sapper" support to the 25th Infantry Division (Light).
The Battalion deployed in supports the 25th Infantry Division (Light)'s deployment to Bosnia in April 2002 as part of the NATO Stablization Force (SFOR), Rotation 11 (SFOR 11). The Battalion sents a portion of the Battalion Staff and formed a DCO of approximately 80 soldiers that deployed for a 6-month rotation.
With the transformation of the 25th Infantry Division to the US Army's modular force structure, which had initially began in 1999 with the designation of 1st Brigade as one of 2 brigades that would transform into what was at that time referred to as the Interim Brigade Combat Team, the 65th Engineer Battalion was inactivated. With the realignment of US forces in the Pacific region and the activation of the 130th Engineer Brigade in Hawaii in 2008, the 65th Engineer Battalion was reactivated assigned to this unit.
■Schofield Barracks, HI
Posted by Rodney Brewer
Nov 02 2010 07:18:31:000PM