565th Engineer Battalion
The 565th Engineer Battalion provides bridging and topographic engineering support to the 130th Engineer Brigade throughout EUCOM and CENTCOM Areas of Responsibility.
The Battalion was constituted on Feb 25, 1943, in the Army of the United States as the 183rd Engineer Combat Battalion and was activated Oct 15, 1943, at Camp McCain, Mississippi. The 183rd Engineer Combat Battalion was redesignated Nov 21, 1943, as the 565 Engineer Battalion and was allotted to the regular Army.
The battalion arrived in Europe late in 1944. During World War II, the battalion received credits for campaign in the Rheinland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. On Jun 19, 1945, battalion was deactivated.
The Battalion was activated again on 27 March 1954 in Korea, serving there until deactivation on 24 June 1960.
The 565 Engineer Battalion was reactivated on Jun 24, 1960, in Karlsruhe, Germany, as part of the 7th Engineer Brigade supporting the training of NATO defense forces. The battalion units consisted of the 502nd Engineer Company (Float Bridge), the 809th Engineer Company (Panel Bridge) and the 8594th Civilian Labor Group (Float Bridge).In July 1975, the 535th Engineer Company (Light Equipment) was assigned to the battalion with its permanent station in Grafenwoehr, Germany. On Jun 30, 1976, the battalion was altered by deactivation of the 809th Engineer Company and the transfer of the 535th Engineer Company to the 563rd Engineer Battalion.
The assignment of the 93rd Engineer Company (Mobile Assault Bridge) to the 565th Engineer Battalion changed the mission support to the VII Corps to focus only on bridging. On Feb 21, 1977, the 502nd Engineer Company received the Ribbon Bridge, and was redesignated as the 502nd Engineer Company (Assault Float Bridge) effective Dec 16, 1978. These two redesignations made the battalion the first pure engineer battalion (Assault Float Bridge) in the United States Army.
On Jun 17, 1985, the 563rd Engineer Battalion was inactivated and the 38th Engineer Company (Medium Girder Bridge) and the 503rd Engineer Company (Combat Support Equipment) were assigned to the 565th Engineer Battalion. This made the 565th the largest battalion in the 7th Engineer Brigade.
On May 15, 1986, the 565th Engineer Battalion was deactivated and Task Force 565 was formed. On Aug 16, 1986, by authority of a VII Corps general order, the 565th Engineer Battalion (Provisional) was formed.
On Dec 1, 1987 the 38th Engineer Company (MGB) and the 503rd Engineer Company (CSE) were transferred to the 237th Engineer Battalion, thus leaving the 565th a pure engineer assault float bridge battalion again.
In Jan 1988, the 93rd Engineer Company received the ribbon bridge and was redesignated as the 93rd Engineer Company (Assault Float Bridge). On Oct 16, 1990, the 565th Engineer Battalion (Provisional) was activated and became the 565th Engineer Battalion supporting 7th Engineer Brigade and VII Corps.
With the deactivation of the 7th Engineer Brigade on Jun 22, 1991, the 565th Engineer Battalion was assigned to the 130th Engineer Brigade and V Corps. On Jul 1, 1991, the 38th Engineer Company again joined the 565th Engineer Battalion (Assault Float Bridge), making it the 565th Engineer Battalion (Corps) (Bridge). On Sep 30, 1991, the 8594 Civilian Support Group was deactivated after 31 years of service.
In May 1992, the 516th Engineer Company (Medium Girder Bridge) joined the battalion.
The 565th Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment was inactivated on 15 December 1993.
V Corps reactivated the 565th Engineer Battalion on April 14, 1998 with the current organization consisting of the 502nd Engineer Company (Assault Float Bridge), the 38th Engineer Company (Assault Float Bridge), the 320th Engineer Company (Topographic) and the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 565th Engineer Battalion. All units are stationed in Hanau, Germany.
The unit participated in nine bridging missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom including construction of the longest floating river bridge assembled in a combat theater since World War II. The troops spent the majority of the deployment in Tikrit, Iraq, but moved to Camp Virginia, Kuwait, in August to deactivate the 38th Engineer Company and begin reorganization of the 502nd to become a multi-role bridge company. About 180 soldiers returned home to complete the reorganization and train on the Army's new bridge equipment.
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