Military


878th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy)

The federal mission of the 878th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy), is to provide qualified individuals for active service in time of war or national emergencies in support of the U.S. Army's war plans and at such times as the national security may require augmentation of the active forces.

Its state mission is to provide an equipped and trained unit to function efficiently at existing strength in protection of life and property; and the preservation of peace, order and public safety, under the competent orders of the state authorities.

The earliest mention of troops in Augusta, GA, was in 1738; a Captain Kent commanded a detachment of Rangers that consisted of 10-15 men, that were garrisoned at a Fort in Augusta. The Richmond Hussars was organized as a volunteer company as part of the Independent Volunteer Battalion of Augusta on 3 March 1856. The Richmond Hussars mustered into confederate service as Company A, Cavalry Battalion, Cobb's Legion, in August 1861 (subsequently furnished Company I, same battalion). Cavalry of Cobb's Legion reorganized as 9th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry, 11 July 1864. Surrendered 26 April 1865 and disbanded and prevented from reorganization by federal law until 1872.

It reorganized on 17 February 1873 as the Richmond Hussars, and on 9 April 1873 as the Independent Volunteer Battalion of Augusta. It was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, Georgia Volunteers, on 8 November 1889. It was redesignated as the 6th Infantry Regiment, Georgia Volunteers, on 29 January 1894. Its Elements consolidated with elements of the 3rd and 5th Regiments and were mustered into federal service for the Spanish-American war as the 2nd Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment between 11-14 May 1898, at Griffin, GA, and mustered out between 22 November - 9 December 1898 at various locations. It disbanded on 21 September 1899 and its elements were assigned to other units.

It was redesignated as Troop K, 1st Cavalry Regiment, on 3 October 1899, and as Troop K, 2nd Squadron of Cavalry, on 2 December 1907. It was mustered into federal service for the Mexican Border, on 16 July 1916; it returned to state but was not mustered out; and was drafted into federal service as Troop K, 1st Squadron of Cavalry, on 5 August 1917. It converted and was redisignated as Company C, 106th Field Signal Battalion, 31st Division, on 20 October 1917, at Camp Wheeler, GA. It demobilized in April 1919 at Fort Oglethorpe, GA.

The unit reorganized and was federally recognized as Battery A (Searchlight), Coast Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft), on 1 October 1939. It was called into active federal service on 25 November 1940 at Augusta, GA. It was assigned to provisional seachlight battalion, authorized to be organized at Camp Stewart, GA, on 30 July 1941. It was reassigned as the 214th Coast Artillery Regiment at Camp Stewart, GA, without personnel and equipment, on 1 May 1942. It was constituted as the 3rd Battalion, 214th Coast Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft), on 27 May 1942 and activated as a gun battery 27 June 1942 at Benicia, CA.

Redesignated as Battery A, 528th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, on 10 November 1943. It inactivated on 26 December 1945 at Camp Anza, CA.

It consolidated with Battery A, 528th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion; and the consolidated unit was designated as the 250th Antiaircraft Gun Battalion.

It consolidated with the 250th Antiaircraft Searchlight Battalion; and the consolidated unit was redesignated as the 250th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion and federally recognized on 28 May 1947 and authorized the traditional designation "Richmond Hussars". The unit was Ordered into active federal service on 14 August 1950 at Augusta, GA, and was released from active federal service on 13 May 1952 and returned to state control.

The unit was redesignated as the 250th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (Gun) on 1 October 1953; as the 1st Gun Battalion (90mm), 214th Artillery Battalion, 108th Artillery Brigade in 1959; as the 5th Medium Tank Battalion (Patton), 108th Armor in 1962; and as the 878th Engineer Battalion (Construction) in 1968.

In 1999, the 878th Engineer Combat Heavy Battalion participated in "Operation Caribbean Castle-99" in the Dominican Republic. Involving more than 500 Georgia engineers, the overseas deployment was made up of three, separate 15-day rotations that spanned May and June. National Guard units participating included engineer companies from Augusta, Lyons, Swainsboro and Sandersville, along with the battalion headquarters from Augusta. The battalion constructed three schools desperately needed in the wake of Hurricane Georges that swept the island nation in 1998.

Task Force Baghdad Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard's 878th Engineer Battalion are scheduled to return home to Augusta, Georgia by the middle of June 2004. Soldiers from the unit have been serving in Iraq for nearly a year having been a part of both Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II and are now stationed with the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad.



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