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Engineer Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)

The Engineer Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was inactivated in late 2004. This inactivation was part of the transformation of the 4th Infantry Division to the US Army's modular force structure. As part of the modular transformation, assets previously held at division level, but habitually attached to a division's brigades during operations were made organic to those brigades. Elements of the inactivated subordinate Battalions were integrated into the the Special Troops Battalions of the new modular Brigade Combat Teams in the 4th Infantry Division.

The Engineer Restructure Initiative (ERI) in the late 1980s created an engineer brigade headquarters with 3 mechanized combat engineer battalions in each heavy division, including the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). This was a return to a concept that had been battle tested many times. Engineers fought in engineer brigades during World War II, Korea and the Persian Gulf War, where the ERI was validated. Mobility was the key word, and the maneuver commander recieved mobility 2 ways: from the engineer battalion habitually associated with the brigade combat team (BCT; not to be confused with the modular brigade combat team) and by augmentation from engineers at division, corps and echelons above corps. The latter were normally under the control of the division engineer brigade headquarters.

As the Army moved toward the Force XXI force structure, the division redesign proposed to eliminate the engineer brigade headquarters from the heavy division. This concept was tested November 1997 in a 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE). The proposed "F" table of organization and equipment (TOE) for engineers in heavy divisions drastically changed the command and control arrangements by removing the 57-soldier engineer brigade headquarters and replacing it with a 29-soldier element, that was essentially an augmented cell at division level.

In June 1998 senior Army officials unveiled the new division design for the Army's combat divisions. The first division to convert under this new system was the Fort Hood-based units of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). The 4th Infantry Division was also knows as the Army's Experimental Force (EXFOR). The new division design was a major step in the Army's Force XXI initiative. The Engineer Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company was replaced by a planning section at the division level. An Engineer battalion was to be habitually associated with each of the 3 maneuver brigades.




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