40th Engineer Battalion
The 40th Engineer Battalion was activated on 29 July 1921 in the Organized Ready Reserve Corps as the 1st Battalion, 348th Engineer Regiment. The unit was organized in September 1922 at Telluride, Colorado. It changed locations on 21 May 1925 to Denver, Colorado.
The 348th Engineer Regiment as a whole was inactivated and withdrawn from the Organized Ready Reserve Corps on 1 January 1938. On 15 July 1942, the Battalion was activated as part of the Regular Army at Camp Crowder, Missouri. The unit was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 348th General Service Regiment on 24 October 1942.
During World War II, the Battalion moved frequently while training for their entry into the European Theater. On 15 April 1943, the Battalion was redesignated and reorganized as the 348th Combat Engineer Battalion and then moved to Great Britain in November 1943 in preparation for Operation Overlord. On 6 June 1944, the 348th Combat Engineer Battalion landed on Omaha Beach in support of the 18th Infantry Regiment. For their actions during the D-Day Invasion, the 348th Combat Engineer Battalion was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. The soldiers of the Battalion continued to distinguish themselves throughout the war in Europe and received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their actions.
Following WWII, the 348th Combat Engineer Battalion was stationed at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and inactivated on 27 February 1946. While inactive, on 17 February 1947, the unit was redesignated as the 40th Engineer Combat Battalion.
The unit was redesignated on 16 October 1991 as the 40th Engineer Battalion and concurrently activated in Germany assigned to the 1st Armored Division. It became part of the Engineer Restructuring Initiative on 1 November 1993. From 1993 until 1995, the Battalion provided combat engineer support to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (not to be confused with the subsequent modular Brigade Combat Team) and supported numerous high-intensity conflict training exercises and deployments to the Combat Maneuver Training Center and the Grafenwoehr Training Area.
In 1995, under Lieutenant Colonel William Seymour, the 40th Engineer Battalion received a warning order to begin intensive training for deployment to the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Training consisted of Individual Readiness Training (IRT) and Mission Rehearsal Exercises at CMTC. In support of Operation Joint Endeavor, the 40th Engineer Battalion crossed the Sava River in December 1995. As part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, the Battalion conducted a wide-range of engineer missions in the southern half of the US sector, including: minefield clearance, UXO disposal, route clearance, route and bridge reconnaissance, Bailey Bridge construction, road improvement projects, peace enforcement, and various Joint Military Commission construction projects. Upon redeployment from Bosnia in December 1996, the Battalion continued to support the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and relocated to Strassburg Kaserne in Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
From January 1997 to April 1998, the 40th Engineer Battalion transitioned to a high intensity conflict focus. The Battalion trained and honed its warfighting skills at Grafenwoehr Training Area and CMTC. Then from May to October, 1998, the Battalion deployed, under Lieutenant Colonel Michael E. Hoffpauir, to Bosnia in support of Operations Joint Guard and Joint Forge. The Battalion once again provided world-class support to 2nd Brigade Combat Team by conducting humanitarian demining and proofing missions, constructing timber trestle bridges, and conducting route recons.
In October 1998, the Battalion focused again on high-intensity conflict. From November 1998 to March 1999, the Battalion headquarters participated in 3 Warfighter prep Command Post Exercises and the 1st Armored Division BCTP exercise, while the line companies conducted Engineer Qualification Training at Baumholder Training Area.
In April 1999, the Battalion was alerted to provide engineer support to contingency operations in the Balkans. The Battalion TAC and A Company deployed via strategic airlift to Albania in support of Task Force Hawk and Operation Nobile Anvil in May 1999. A Company provided combat engineer support to Task Force 1-6th Infantry. As the first engineer company in Albania and Kosovo, they constructed survivability positions and conducted route and bridge reconnaissance for Task Force Hawk. Upon entering Kosovo, the company provided minestrike CASEVAC and minefield breach capabilities to Task Force Falcon.
The Battalion then participated in a joint NATO/"Partnership for Peace" exercise in southern France, provided demining training to the Slovakian Army in Bratislava, conducted bridge training and Engineer demolition training in Germany and began preparations for the deployment to Kosovo in November 2000 with a Gunnery, Individual Readiness Training, and a Mission Rehearsal Exercise at the Combat maneuver Training Center (CMTC), Hohenfels, Germany. Alerted again in July 2000 to deploy to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian, the Battalion operated in the Balkans, once again ready to face the missions and challenges of peace support operations. The 40th Engineer Battalion maintained a strong partnership and training program with the 320th Pionier Battalion (German Engineer Battalion) from Deines-Bruchmueller Kaserne in Lahnstein, Germany. The program was intended to build understanding between the units and to promote inter-operability.
The Battalion gunnery ran until early November 2001 and finished just in time for the Veteran's Day holiday. The Battalion then conducted recovery operations. Recovery operations and unit level training at Baumholder continued until the half-day schedule, which included Christmas and New Year's holiday. Immediately after the new year, the battalion conducts a Combined Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) rotation in Hohenfels lasting almost to the end of February. The Battalion conducted recovery operations and small unit training at Baumholder until the end of March. A War Fighter Exercise began in the last week of March 2002.
The KFOR 2B mission filled two thirds of the third quarter, ending in May 2002. The Battalion returned early June and conducts a Welcome Home Ceremony. In June 2002, the Battalion conducted recovery operations and block leave. The Battalion will use the first 2 weeks to conduct rail down load and move into barracks, receive stored household goods and vehicles, and generally recover from the KFOR 2B rotation. 2nd Brigade conducted a change of command on 12 June. On 14 June 2002, the Battalion celebrated the Army's birthday with an awards ceremony, a Caldera Commons dedication ceremony and donned the new berets. The next day the unit kicked off block leave, which ended the quarter.
Block leave started the first 2 weeks of the fourth quarter, ending on 15 July 2002. The Battalion filled the rest of July 2002 with recovery operations and inventories. The DIVENG change of command was 13 July 2001. Two weeks later was the Battalion change of command, on 25 July and soon thereafter the A/40th change of command. On 2 August 2002, the Battalion celebrated Battalion Organization Day. Home Station Gunnery started the next week and filled August and most of September 2002. During the last 2 weeks of September and stretching into November 2002, the Battalion conducted a Battalion gunnery rotation at Grafenwoehr, Germany.
In July 2009, the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division was reflagged as the 170th Infantry Brigade and a number of its habitually attached units were reassigned to the new unit from the 1st Armored Division. The 40th Engineer Battalion was relieved on 16 October 2009 from assignment to the 1st Armored Division and assigned to the 170th Infantry Brigade.
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