Military


416th Engineer Command

The 416th Engineer Command mission is to command and control engineer assets to provide the full spectrum of engineering services in the supported theater, for both war and operations other than war, to include but not limited to counter-mobility, mobility, survivability, and general engineering. The stated mission of the 416th is to deploy to the AOR and provide theater-level engineer support. This entails commanding, controlling and performing operational level engineering, topographic and construction missions and facilitates the operational maneuver of decisive forces to destroy the enemy.

Parkhurst Army Reserve Center is home to the 416th Engineer Command and the 863rd Engineer Battalion. The Army facility does not resemble a typical military facility. No barbed wire surrounds the facility, nor are there guardposts or guards to stop visitors as they enter the facility. Parkhurst was built to look more like a business than a military section, to blend in more with the surrounding community. Parkhurst was dedicated in 1996 with a ceremony attended by military officials and local civic leaders and civilians. The center is named for Gen. Don A. Parkhurst, who was the first commanding general of the 416th Engineer Brigade. The reserve center is manned 24 hours a day by a small military and civilian staff. However, the center is filled with army reservists from the Chicago and suburban area two weekends a month for training and planning activities.

On 15 June 1950, the 416th Engineer Brigade was allotted to the organized Reserve Corps, Fifth U.S. Army and affiliated with the U.S. Army Division Engineer, Great Lakes North Central Division. It was formally activated on 25 August 1950, in Chicago, Illinois. The 416th had the honor and distinction of being the only Reserve Engineer Brigade called to Active Duty under the provisions of Public Law 87-1217. The Brigade Headquarters served on Active Duty from October 1961 to August 1962 at Camp Polk, Louisiana during the "Berlin Crisis".

On 31 January 1968, the Brigade was redesignated an Engineer Command (Construction) although retaining the Brigade structure. On 1 November 1971, the 416th was reorganized as an Engineer Command. A unique addition was made to the command on 1 June 1978 when the 416th received an expanded Facilities Engineer Mission and a Facilities Engineer Table of Distribution and Allowances (FETDA) Augmentation. This expanded mission requires survey activities to identify the maintenance and repair for all Reserve Centers nationwide.

From 1 October 1980 to 1 December 1982, more objectives and missions were assigned to the 416th Engineer Command. The command was designated as the Engineering Planning Element of the Rapid Deployment Force and made responsible for Civil Engineer Support Planning (CESP) to implement Joint Task Force Base Development Planning for both the Third U.S. Army in Southwest Asia and the Eighth U.S. Army in Korea.

During the summer of 1982, the 416th provided support to the Cuban refugee settlement at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. On 1 January 1985 the command was relieved from assignment to the Fifth U.S. Army and was assigned to the Fourth U.S. Army.

Following the initial US response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, a second surge of reserve mobilization took place in September 1990 with the activation of 138 National Guard and Army Reserve units, containing 6,300 guardsmen and 6,700 reservists. This levy contained a much larger percentage of combat support and combat service support troops slated to deploy to Saudi Arabia than the earlier list. Combat support troops included an aviation company and three combat engineer companies. In addition to these companies, a derivative unit headquarters of the 416th Engineer Command was activated. The 416th Engineer Command Headquarters (minus), commanded by Maj. Gen. Terrence D. Mulcahy, became the command element of ARCENT's 416th Engineer Group. Those turned out to be the last units called up during the initial deterrent or defensive phase of Operation DESERT SHIELD.

The 416th was ordered to active duty on 15 October 1990 in support of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The 416th Engineer Command spent 11 months in Southwest Asia and conducted large-scale engineer battlefield operations. Upon the cessation of hostilities, the 416th focused on restoration and humanitarian efforts throughout Kuwait, support of refugees, and support to Operation Provide Comfort in northwest Iraq. The 416th served as the Engineer, Echelons above Corps command and control headquarters and was released from active duty on 15 May 1991. On 1 October 1991 the command was relieved from assignment to the Fourth U.S. Army and assigned to the First U.S. Army.

The 416th Engineer Command has participated in the following operations: Cuban Refugee Settlement, Yama Sakura, Foal Eagle, Ulchi Focus Lens, Korean Tunnel Search, Blazing Trails, Bright Star, Easter Castle, Sands Castle, Eagle Castle, Roving Sands, Internal Look, Logex, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Provide Comfort, Uphold Democracy, Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, Joint Force, Prairie Warrior, Phantom Sabre, Silver Scimitar.

Desert Blast 01 was an exercise designed to test Engineer units accomplishing engineer missions. During the second weekend in June 2001, the 416th ENCOM based in Darien, Ill. (USAR) deployed to the MANSCEN Battle Simulation Center at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri to test their skills with its downtrace units. Along with the 416th ENCOM headquarters two of the subordinate units' staffs traveled to Fort Leonard Wood to participate in the exercise, the 30th Engineer Brigade from Charlotte North Carolina (NCARNG) and the 111th Engineer Group (WVARNG) Saint Albans, WV. As in the real world the ENCOM is spread throughout the depth of the battlefield, so while the ENCOM was physically at FLW, a second brigade of engineers were at home station supporting the exercise. The 194th Engineer Brigade headquartered in Jackson, TN. and the 416th Engineer Group in Wallbridge, OH. This required a coordinated effort to establish both internal and external redundant methods of communication. Internal communications were accomplished through radio, telephone, fax, and e-mail. External communications were accomplished through telephone, fax and e-mail.



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