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682nd Engineer Battalion

The federal mission of the 682nd Engineer BAttalion is to maintain combat-ready units available to mobilize and deploy in support of national military strategy. Its stae mission is to provide organized, trained and equipped units to protect life and property, preserve peace, order and public safety under order of the Governor.

The 682nd Engineer Battalion was organized in 1946 and received Federal Recognition on 14 April 1947. The Battalion was organized from existing elements of the 151st, 174th and 995th Field Artillery Battalions, the 135th Infantry Regiment and one company from the 194th Tank Battalion. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Company A, and the original Company C were organized from Artillery units. Company B was organized from Company G, 135th Infantry Regiment and Company D. was originally a light Tank Company in the 194th Tank Battalion.

In 1948, elements of the Battalion were called to State Active Duty during the South Saint Paul Packing House Strike. Their mission was to assist in maintaining law and order in the strike-torn community.

On January 15, 1951, the 47th Infantry Division (47th ID) was Federalized for service in support of the Korean War. The Battalion motor convoy departed Minneapolis on 17 January 1951. The major portion of the Battalion departed by train for Camp Rucker, AL, on 24 January, 1951. By 4 March, 1951, the Battalion had received 667 draftees.

The new draftees underwent basic training and completed it in early June 1951. By the end of the summer, the Battalion was a well trained Combat Engineer Battalion. On March 13, 1952, the Battalion left Camp Rucker to participate with the 47th ID in Exercise Lognhorn at Fort Hood, TX. These were the largest maneuvers conducted since the early part of World War II. After these exercises, the Battalion returned to Camp Rucker in Alabama.

By the summer of 1952, the Battalion was down to almost cadre strength because, like the rest of the 47th ID, they supplied personnel for duty in Korea. This decrease in personnel made the Battalion a Training Unit.

In January, 1953, plans were implemented for a reorganization of the Battalion. For a year, there were two 682nd Engineer Battalions, one with the Army of the United States, and one with the 47th Infantry Division. The entire battalion reactivated for duty with the Minnesota National Guard in January, 1953. The first summer training camp only involved about 115 Officers and soldiers. After extensive recruiting activities in the mid 1950's, the Battalion had over 500 Officers and soldiers.

In 1954, the colors returned to the 682nd Engineer Battalion of the 47th Infantry Division, and there was only one 682nd Engineer Battalion. Field Training in 1954 involved a river road and pile-bent bridge at Camp Ripley, MN. These projects were constructed over a two year period.

In 1955, the Battalion assisted in locating a young boy who became lost in the woods 100 miles north of Camp Ripley, MN. The Battalion was training in various parts of Camp Ripley, but reacted quickly to the Division Commander's request. The first unit departed Camp Ripley in under 30 minutes.

In 1957, the Battalion constructed a Class 60 Floating Bridge. This was the largest project undertaken by a National Guard Battalion.

In February, 1959, the Battalion underwent its most drastic change since its inception. The 47th ID converted to a Pentomic Division and the 682nd Engineer Battalion added a sixth company. This was Company E, in Northfield, MN. The Northfield unit was a former company of the 135th Infantry Regiment.

In the spring of 1960, because of a flash flood in Jordan, MN, Governor Freeman called Companies B and E of the Battalion to State Active Duty. These units performed security duty and traffic control in the town. During summer camp, engineer platoons integrated with infantry companies for the first time. This training and testing was a complete success.

During the next 35 years, the Battalion was called to State Active Duty numerous times to help with flooding, environmental contamination control, community service projects, and to assist law enforcement agencies. The Battalion also underwent numerous reorganizations during this time.

Recently parts of the battalion were called to State Active Duty for Operation Flood Fight 97. Overall, 238 soldiers performed 1632 man days of work in or near the communities of Granite Falls, Redwood Falls, Moorhead, East Grand Forks and various small towns along the North Dakota border, up to the Canadian Border. Also 28 soldiers aided the city of Monticello for Tornado cleanup during June 1997. Currently, the 682nd Engineer Battalion is the Direct Support Engineer Battalion for the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. The Engineer Restructuring Initiative (ERI) caused the Battalion to undergo additional reorganization.

In late Fall 2003 the 682nd deployed in support of SFOR peacekeeping operations. During the deployment the battalion worked to improve and construct roads, bridges, and conducted a variety of water projects.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:30:59 ZULU