353rd Engineer Group
In peacetime, the 353d Engineer Group, 420th Engineer Brigade provides Command & Control of assigned USAR Engineer Units. Provides mission planning guidance and METL approval for wartrace units. Improve and/or sustain assigned units readiness rating at the USARC standard.
In wartime, the the 353d Engineer Group, 420th Engineer Brigade provides Command & Control of Engineer battalions in support of Corps operations, command assigned and attached units. Plan and supervise assigned and attached units in support of mobility, countermobility, survivability, and sustainment operations. Coordinate engineer activities. Provide engineer design and engineer management support to the Corps Engineer Brigade.
Constituted 12 June 1944 in the Army of the United States as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1164th Engineer Combat Group. Activated 15 July 1944 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. Inactivated 31 May 1946 at Sendai, Japan. Allotted to Organized Reserves 18 March 1947 and assigned to Fourth Army. Activated 3 April 1947 at Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Organized Reserves redesignated 25 March 1948 as Organized Reserve Corps). Redesignated 3 June 1948 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 353d Engineer Combat Group. Inactivated 16 November 1950 at Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Organized Reserve Corps redesignated 9 July 1952 as Army Reserve). Redesignated 5 November 1962 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 353d Engineer Group. Activated 1 July 1963 at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
As of June 1999 the 353rd Engineer Group was in the middle of Annual Training for the units of the Group for the summer period. Half of the units had been to AT, and the other half were about to go.
The 285th Engineer Company (CSE) participated with 2 rotations of soldiers in Task Force Motagua, which is the Hurricane Mitch reconstruction effort in Guatemala, during April and May 1999. The unit provided support to the other units, and had some projects of their own, specifically dike repair projects. The unit developed several key new ways of doing the projects that enhanced the project schedule. The Task Force was impressed by the work ethic, motivation, and professionalism of the unit.
The 489th Engineer Battalion (Mechanized) returned from their Annual Training at Fort Hood, Texas in early 1999. They had a very successful AT. The Battalion worked with elements of the 1st Cavalry Division in a combined arms scenario, and trained on mobility, countermobility, and survivability tasks. The Battalion also trained on offensive and defensive maneuvers, and alternated their companies in attacking each other. The Battalion received great assistance from their Training Support Battalion (TSB) with training assistance and evaluation. Several individuals from the TSB indicated to me that they were very impressed with the Battalion with the leadership at the squad and platoon levels, their troop leading procedures, and how much they have progressed since the previous AT.
During the ENFORCE Conference in April 1999, which is the annual gathering of all senior Engineer leaders from units around the world, the Corps awards are made. C Company, 489th Engineer Battalion, was selected for the 1998 Itschner Award, which represents the best Engineer unit in the world for the U.S. Army Reserves. It is extremely hard to achieve and represented a whole year of exceptional performance for the unit.
The Annual Training for the 353rd Engineer Group was conducted in December 1998 at Fort Hood, when the unit participated in the III Corps Warfighter Exercise. The Group received much praise for its performance during the exercise, and HHC provided great support to the Group staff. Several junior officers and several junior enlisted personnel filled in higher-level positions, and performed in an outstanding manner.
The 387th Engineer Company (Pipeline) was at Fort Pickett, Virginia, in June 1999, working with a Quartermaster unit in providing pipeline support. One platoon of the 387th returned to Fort Pickett in September 1999 for pipeline recovery operations. The 959th Engineer Company (Dump Truck) was at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma, in June and July 1999, and supported post construction projects and conducting Lanes Training. C Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion, participated in Task Force Motagua in Guatemala in July and August.
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