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19th Engineer Battalion

The mission of the 19th Engineer Battalion is to increase the combat effectiveness of the support brigades or engineer brigades at Corps and Division level by accomplishing mobility, countermobility, surviveability, and general engineering tasks. Additionally, the Battalion would perform combat missions in the role of Infantry, when required and to participate in Joint Military operations.

The 19th Engineer Battalion was first constituted on 1 October 1933 in the Regular Army as the 36th Engineers and activated on 1 June 1941 at Plattsburg Barracks, New York. It was redesignated on 1 August 1942 as the 36th Engineer Combat Regiment. The Regiment conducted 5 amphibious landings while accompanying allied armies through Africa, Italy, and France.

After moving into Germany in late 1944, the Regiment was broken up 15 February 1945. The 3rd Battalion, 36th Engineer Combat Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 2828th Engineer Combat Battalion. The Regiment's Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Company was reorganized as Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Combat Group and 1st and 2nd Battalions, 36th Engineer Combat Regiment were reorganized and redesignated as the 2826th and 2827th Engineer Combat Battalion respectively. These units all had separate lineages. The 2828th Engineer Combat Battalion was inactivated on 16 June 1946 in Germany. The Battalion had suffered 902 combat casualties including 144 killed in action. The Battalion was awarded 10 campaign streamers from World War II, including 5 with arrowheads indiciating pariticipation in amphibious assaults. Soldiers from the Battalion were awarded 7 Silver Stars and 13 bronze Stars.

The Battalion was redesignated on 29 April 1947 as the 19th Engineer Combat Battalion and activated on 9 July 1952 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. It was redesignated on 19 June 1953 as the 19th Engineer Battalion.

In 1965, the 19th Engineer Battalion deployed to Vietnam in an amphibious landing on the beaches of Qui Nhon. The Battalion's primary mission was to upgrade highway QL-1 from virtually a dirt trail to an all weather road from Qui Nhon to Bong Son. From March 1965 through June 1970, the 19th Engineer Battalion served with distinction and was awarded 13 campaign streamers for action in Vietnam and received the valorous unit award for its actions. 108 Soldiers gave their lives in Vietnam and over 1,000 were wounded in action. After returning from Vietnam, the Battalion was inactivated on 15 December 1970 at Fort Lewis, Washington.

The 19th Engineer Battalion was reactivated on 21 December 1975 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The 19th Engineer Battalion participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-1991, where it was awarded 3 campaign streamers. Five Soldiers gave their lives in support of these missions. The Battalion was inactivated on 15 September 1997 at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The 19th Engineer Battalion was again activated 16 October 2005 at Fort Knox, Kentucky as the first modular Engineer Battalion, capable of commanding any type of Engineer organization from sappers to construction to topographic units. Along with the organic Headquarters Support Company and Forward Support Company, the 15th Engineer Company (Horizontal), the 60th and 76th Engineer Companies (Vertical), and the 72nd Engineer Detachment (Survey and Design) were activated and assigned to the 19th Engineer Battalion. With the inactivation of the 307th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) in 2006, the 618th Engineer Company (Light Equipment) (Airborne) was also assigned to the Battalion, but was subsequently inactivated. The unit was placed under the administrative control of the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which also provided training and readiness oversight for the Battalion.

The 19th Engineer Battalion then mobilized to Iraq and served from August 2006 through November 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion provided assured mobility and general engineering support for the 25th Infantry Division and Multi-National Division-North (MND-N). The 19th Engineer Battalion accomplished 4 key tasks in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom: Road repairing, route sanitation, training Iraqi Army Engineers, and constructing protective structures. One Soldier gave his life in Iraq. The Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

The modularity of the 19th Engineer Battalion enabled the 76th Engineer Company to deploy to Afghanistan to support the winterization and forward operating base (FOB) expansions of Bagram Airfield and FOB Salerno from December 2006 to March 2008. As of January 2009, the Battalion consisted of its Headquarters Support and Forward Support Companies and the 15th Engineer Company (Horizontal), the 76th Engineer Company (Vertical), the 502nd Engineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge), and the 72nd Engineer Detachment (Survey and Design).

In April 2009, the 19th Engineer Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, operating in Regional Command-South (RC-S). The Battalion's mission was to provide general Engineering, along with construction management to expand RC-S. The Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.




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