299th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Mechanized)
The 299th Engineer Battalion was inactivated on 15 December 2004, in support of the Army's transition to modular brigades. 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 Battalion were filtered into the the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
The 299th Engineer Battalion had been organized with an Headquarters and Headquarters Company and 3 multifunctional companies. The engineer force featured modularity and versatility. It was habitually attached to the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during operations. The 2 line companies had 3 multifunctional platoons. The maneuver support company had 2 engineer platoons and an assault platoon. Within the Headquarters and Headquarters Company were the staff and CPs, support platoon, maintenance platoon, and a HMMWV-equipped recon section that normally operated with the 1st Brigade's reconnaissance troop.
The 299th Engineer Battalion was constituted on 8 February, 1943 in the Army of the United States as the 299th Engineer Combat Battalion. The unit was activated on 1 March 1943, at Camp White, Oregon. The Battalion served in five campaigns in the Second World War: Normandy (streamer with arrowhead indicating participation in the initial assault), Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. After the Second World War, the Battalion was inactivated on 18 October 1945, at Camp Shanks, New York.
The unit was allotted on 28 March, 1947 to the Organized Reserves and activated on 27 May 1947, with Headquarters at Hempstead, New York. The Organized Reserves were redesignated on 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps and again on 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve. The unit was inactivated on 31 July 1950 at Hempstead, New York.
The unit was redesignated on 11 October, 1954, as the 299th Engineer Battalion and concurrently withdrawn from the Army Reserve and allotted to the Regular Army. The Battalion was activated on 3 December, 1954 in Germany. The unit served in 14 campaigns during the conflict in Vietnam: Defense, Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII, and Consolidation I. The Battalion was inactivated after returning from service in Vietnam on 17 November 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The Battalion was reactivated on 21 December 1975 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Company D (inactive), 299th Engineer Battalion was withdrawn on 16 April 1989 from the Regular Army and allotted to the Army Reserve. It was concurrently activated at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The rest of the Battalion deployed to Southwest Asia in 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield and was active in Operation Desert Storm, participating in the Defense of Saudi Arabia and Liberation and Defense of Kuwait campaigns. The Battalion was assigned on 16 October 1992 to the 4th Infantry Division. Company D was inactivated on 15 November, 1993, at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The rest of the Battalion was inactivated on 15 November 1995, at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The Battalion was reactivated on 16 January 1996, at Fort Hood, Texas. There the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was designated as the Force XXI Experimental Force. The Force XXI training focus was on receiving new equipment and conducting new equipment training (NET). The execution of NET set the stage for collective training beginnig 1 June 1996. The success of the National Training Center (NTC) rotation in March 1997 was dependent upon learning critical individual skills offered during NET training. Digital Recon System NET, which ran from 20 to 23 May 1996, involved a hand held data collection device that the recon section used to record terrain data, which was then transferred to the terrain data base at division. The plan fielded 4 of these systems to the 299th Engineer Battalion. The M9 Armored Combat Earthmover (ACE) was fielded to the 299th Engineer Battalion. The unit received 12 each of these assets. Robotic Countermeasure Vehicle (ROC-V) was a new equipment training program for selected soldiers of the 299th Engineer Battalion. The ROC-V was a robotics mine clearing system. It was an M1 Abrams chassis with mine plow and remote control subsystem. No classroom training component was required for NET. The Wide Area Munition (WAM) Trainer was a training device for the WAM, then under development. These devices were fielded to the 299th Engineer Battalion.
In 1996, the 299th Engineer Battalion, an element of the Engineer Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) moved to a new kind of mine clearing tool called a Mine Clearing Line Charge, or MICLIC. While the MICLIC was not a new concept to the Army, the way that it was carried was. The MICLIC was previously towed behind a vehicle and then launched through the minefield. Now it was mounted on the back of an Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge without the bridge. The MICLIC itself was a rocket attached to a 100-meter line with C-4 explosives attached though out the line.
In 2004, as part of the transformation of the 4th Infantry Division to the US Army's modular force structure, the Engineer Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and its subordinate battalions, including the 299th Engineer Battalion, were inactivated. 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 Battalion were filtered into the the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
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