7th Engineer Battalion (Combat)
"Fight to Win"
The 7th Engineer Battalion commands, controls and supports mission tailored Combat Engineer modules in order to provide full spectrum engineering in support of contingencies worldwide. It consists of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, a Forward Support Company, the 95th Engineer Detachment (Firefighting), the 520th Engineer Detachment (Firefighting), the 630th Route Clearance Company, the 642nd Engineer Support Company, the 693rd Sapper Company, and the 513th Sapper Company. Prior to the 7th Engineer Battalion's reactivation in October 2006, the 95th and 520th Engineer Detachments were assigned to the 41st Engineer Battalion.
The 7th Engineer Battalion was first organized on 31 December 1861 in the Regular Army at Washington, District of Colombia, from new and existing companies of engineers as a provisional engineer battalion. It was officially constituted on 28 July 1866 as the Battalion of Engineers. During the Civil War, the Battalion participated in 10 campaigns: Peninsula, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Appomattox, and Virginia 1863.
During the War with Spain, the Battalion participated in the Santiago campaign. It was expanded between 14 March 1901 and 7 June 1901 to form the 1st and 2d Battalions of Engineers, with the 2nd Battalion of Engineers thereafter having a separate lineage.
The 1st Battalion of Engineers was expanded, reorganized, and redesignated on 1 July 1916 as the 1st Regiment of Engineers. The 1st Regiment of Engineers expanded on 15 May 1917 to form the 1st, 6th, and 7th Regiments of Engineers, with the 1st and 6th Regiments of Engineers thereafter having separate lineages. The 7th Regiment of Engineers was redesignated on 29 August 1917 as the 7th Engineers. It was assigned 17 November 1917 to the 5th Division (later redesignated as the 5th Infantry Division). Sent to Europe during World War I, the 7th Engineers participated in 4 campaigns: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Alsace 1918, and Lorraine 1918. Most notably, the Battalion established the bridgehead under heavy artillery fire on the eastern bank of the Meuse River, with 7 separate crossings, a critical action that enable victory in Europe.
The 7th Engineers were inactivated (less Company A) on 10 October 1921 at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. Company A was inactivated on 1 October 1933 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The unit was redesignated on 16 October 1939 as the 7th Engineer Battalion and activated at Fort Logan, Colorado. It was redesignated again on 28 May 1943 as the 7th Engineer Combat Battalion. After 2 years of intensive training, the unit joined other US units in Ireland and in August of 1943, the Battalion moved to England for final training before combat. The unit made 25 major river crossings during World War II, averaging 3 bridges per crossing. At the Moselle bridgehead over the Rhine River, the Battalion built 3 bridges, with one holding long enough for an entire division to cross. At the Sauer River crossing, the engineers deactivated 1,500 mines in less than 2 hours, enabling an infantry regiment to advance. Of the 5th Infantry Division and the 7th Combat Engineer Battalion, General George S. Patton said, "Nothing I can say can add to the glory which you have achieved. Throughout the whole advance across France, you spearheaded the advance of the Corps. You crossed so many rivers that I am persuaded many of you have web feet and I know all of you have dauntless spirits. To my mind, history does not record incidents of greater valor than your assault crossings of the Sauer and the Rhine." During the Second World War, the Battalion participated in 5 campaigns: Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. After returning from Europe, the Battalion was inactivated on 20 September 1946 at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and Ladd Field, Alaska.
The Battalion was reactivated on 6 July 1948 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and inactivated there on 30 April 1950. It was again activated on 1 March 1951 at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania, with this unit being inactivated there on 1 September 1953.
The unit was redesignated on 7 April 1954 as the 7th Engineer Battalion and activated on 25 May 1954 in Germany. This unit was inactivated 1 June 1957 at Fort Ord, California. The unit was again activated on 19 February 1962 at Fort Carson, Colorado and inactivated (less Company A) on 15 December 1970 at Fort Carson, Colorado. Company A was inactivated on 6 August 1971 in Vietnam.
The 7th Engineer Battalion was activated on 21 July 1975 at Fort Polk, Louisiana. During the 1980s, the Battalion rotated platoons through deployments to Panama and elements were present in that country during Operation Just Cause in 1989-90. The Battalion was inactivated at Fort Polk on 15 December 1992 and was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 5th Infantry Division.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company activated on 19 October 2006 at Fort Drum, New York with its support company concurrently constituted and activated. Placed under the operational control of the the 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, the Battalion was technically subordinate to the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which was had administrative control and training and readiness oversight for the Battalion. Soon after its activation elements of the 7th Engineers joined elements of the 10th Mountain Division deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Elements of the 7th Engineer Battalion deployed to Iraq in support of the 10th Mountain Division as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.
The 7th Engineer Battalion and its assigned companies deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009, in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In Afghanistan, soldiers from the 7th Engineer Battalion conducted route clearance operations and provided firefighting support in the southern and eastern provinces, in support of NATO security operations. In Iraq, the Battalion provided tactical construction in support of United States Division - South, partnered with the Iraqi Army's 10th and 14th Field Engineer Regiments, and enhanced the civil capacity of Iraq via technical support for reconstruction projects.
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