15th Engineer Battalion cases colors, heads to Grafenwoehr
April 29, 2013
SCHWEINFURT, Germany -- Turning another page in their history books, the 15th Engineer Battalion "cased" its colors April 26, at Gold Field on Conn Barracks in final preparation for its re-stationing from Schweinfurt to Grafenwoehr.
"As I have told the Soldiers many times, we are embarking on a new chapter of the battalion's storied history," said Lt. Col. James Schultze, 15th Engineer Battalion Commander.
A casing ceremony is a time-honored tradition symbolizing the movement of a unit. The 15th Eng. Bn. uncased its colors July 16, 2008, here in Schweinfurt. Since then the battalion deployed to both Kuwait and Afghanistan.
This was the first casing ceremony of the calendar year at USAG Schweinfurt and the second battalion that has re-stationed to Grafenwoehr from Schweinfurt in the last year.
"There's an old saying that a chicken is involved in breakfast (it lays the eggs), but a pig… a pig is committed to breakfast," said Schultze. "Team Schweinfurt jumped into the trenches with us. They helped us with their considerable experience and expertise in unit transformation actions."
Plans to deploy were in the works in the spring of 2012, which meant the battalion was not originally slotted to move to Grafenwoehr until the summer of 2014. But a warning order to deploy later turned into a movement directive by mid-October, said Schultze.
"Our Soldiers and families have hung in there through all the fog and friction of conducting personal administration in the middle of a confusing fiscal environment," he said of the uncertainties imposed on troops and families.
"We could not have done this fast moving, complex operation without our installation support agencies and garrison staffs," said Schultze. "We've also worked together with the Grafenwoehr garrison team to stand up the battalion's forward detachment that is now over 150 Soldiers strong."
The battalion's mission will remain the same at its new location, which is to provide engineering operations at the garrison and in deployed environments.
"We will miss the wonderful community of Schweinfurt with its little-big city feel," said Schultze. "We will also embrace the small town feel of Grafenwoehr and make ourselves the good neighbors and friends just as we did while here in Schweinfurt."