Special Troops Battalion
"Trained in the Arctic. Serving Worldwide"
The Special Troops Battalion is a unique organization consisting of a battalion headquarters, two Combat Heavy engineer companies, a Direct Support maintenance company and a Chemical company. The battalion also has oversight over an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, and a Public Affairs Detachment. The battalion is split-stationed over 350 miles between Fort Richardson, Alaska and Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
The battalion is faced with many unique challenges, from training in the harsh arctic climate, to command and control of units 350 miles apart. Soldiers must be especially tough to serve here, as they may train in -40 degree Alaskan weather and deploy to 90 degree South Pacific Islands to fulfill real-world support missions.
Originally, with the organization of United States Army - Alaska, the Fort Richardson Post Headquarters and Special Troops were a combined organization, located in Building 1. In 1982, the Commander, 172nd Light Infantry Brigade, ordered Special Troops to become a separate organization. Permanent Order No. 210-1, dated 21 Dec 82, constituted the organization as a provisional unit.
LTC Raymond G. Meyers assumed command of the organization on 16 Dec 82 and became the first Battalion Commander. Under his command, Special Troops organized a staff, which received TDA approval on 16 Mar 83, and created a combined Administration Center for subordinate units. On 21 Mar 83, the Battalion Headquarters was ordered operational, thus marking the official activation of the Special Troops Battalion.
With the activation of the 6th Infantry Division on 23 March 1986, the Battalion was further designated a Headquarters Command and consisted of Headquarters and A Company USAG, the 203rdPSC, 267th FSU, 176th EOD and the 23rd Engineer Company. The Light Fighter Academy was activated and attached for administrative and logistical support. After activation of the 6th Engineer Battalion, the 23rd Engineer Company was detached and assigned to that unit.
From 1986 until 1995, the organizational structure of the Special Troops Command remained fairly stabilized. However, a variety of units, from all installations within Alaska, were attached and detached from the command, depending on organizational necessity and command decision. With the 6th Infantry Division's inactivation in 1995, the re-attachment of the 23 Engineer Company, and attachment of the 47th Engineer Company and 98th Maintenance Company was accomplished.
Upon formal activation of the Arctic Support Brigade as a higher headquarters in 1996, the Special Troops Command was re-designated the Special Troops Battalion, with command of the 98th Maintenance Company, the 23rd & 47th Engineer Companies, and the 176th Explosive Ordnance & 20th Public Affairs detachments.
In October 1997, the engineer companies were re-designated C Company, 84th Engineer Battalion and C Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, respectively. The 176th EOD was also re-designated as the 716th Ordnance Company.
As of November 1997 more than 65 soldiers from the Special Troops Battalion, U.S. Army Alaska, were deployed to Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. They were constructing a radar facility control center and building extension. The mission was in support of U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll and the Kwajalein Missile Range facility, which provides a test area and range control for U.S. military missile tests and live fires. Eleven soldiers from the Special Troops Battalion (STB), U.S. Army Alaska, one soldier from Headquarters, USARPAC, and one soldier from the 412th Engineer Command (U.S. Army Reserve), were deployed to the island of Ebeye in the Republic of the Marshall Islands to complete a pier repair mission. The mission originally began in August, but severe weather hampered the project and destroyed much of the pier construction underway.
The current organization of the Special Troops Battalion is authorized by Permanent Order No. APRM 9-21, dated 21 Sep 98, which attached the 20th PAD to USAG-AK, with STB retaining administrative and logistical support. On 16 October 1998, the TDA authorized a military personnel increase from 19 to 32 and a Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment.
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