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Fort Bragg engineers hold ceremony to officially reactivate battalion

Feb 18, 2011

By Sharilyn Wells/Paraglide

FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Seven company guidons stood covered in front of Soldiers standing in formation during a reactivation ceremony held on the sunny afternoon of Feb. 11 at Myitkyina Field.

The 27th Engineer Battalion officially unveiled the battalion colors during the ceremony and deactivated the rear detachment company as they transformed the battalion back to garrison operations.

The 27th Eng. Bn. deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December 2009 and returned the following year. During their 12-month deployment, the battalion suffered the loss of 13 Soldiers and more than 100 Soldiers were awarded the Purple Heart.

The Tiger Battalion's mission involved route clearance for safe travel; executing over 1,900 missions to clear paved and unpaved roads to make them safe for coalition forces. The Soldiers of 27th Eng. Bn. found about 300 improvised explosive devises, unexploded ordinances and weapons caches, neutralizing them to prevent others from being killed. The battalion endured 93 IED strikes and 154 direct firing engagements while deployed. They also helped build infrastructure, delivered supplies to other units, as well as trained Afghan soldiers on marksmanship and driving training.

Quoting a Tibetan proverb, Lt. Col. Alan Dodd, battalion commander, said that it is better to have lived one day as a tiger than 100 years as a sheep.

"These Soldiers have earned their tiger stripes every day during this deployment and have made a difference in Afghanistan. Because of their actions we're a little bit closer to achieving successes in this war and many fellow Soldiers and Afghan soldiers have gone home uninjured because of their success eliminating IEDs," said Dodd.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to be part of this deployment with you. There were many long, hard days but you always remained motivated with an aggressive can-do attitude and strong leadership that carried the day. Engineers have always led the way through the bridge and your efforts in Afghanistan have been a key part in the success for every other unit in this struggle."

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