Engineers uncase colors in Hawaii
October 24, 2008
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Soldiers stood in formation here Thursday, Oct. 23 as family members and distinguished guests witnessed yet another transformational change in the U.S. Army, during a ceremony on Sills Field.
The 130th Engineer Brigade uncased its colors, after leaving Germany and relocating to Hawaii as part of the U.S. Army Pacific's 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
"Its historic to me," said Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal Buxbaum, Corps of Engineers Command Sgt. Maj., who served as the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 130th Eng. Bde. from 2003 to 2007, leading the unit during two tours in Iraq. "40 years of history in Deutschland [Germany] and then we move to the tropical environment of Hawaii. I was just glad to see those colors flown back on the field; it's a good day for me."
The 130th Engineer Brigade bears its roots from the 1303rd Engineer General Service Regiment which was activated on July 15, 1943 at Camp Ellis, Ill and inactivated in July of 1955. It was then re-designated as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 130th Engineer Aviation Bde. and subsequently inactivated on June 25, 1956.
Almost thirteen years later, HHC, 130th Engineer Aviation Bde. was re-designated as HHC, 130th Engineer Bde. and activated at Pioneer Kaserne, Hanau, Germany, where it would remain for the next 40 years.
After many deployments to Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq, the 130th said goodbye to Hanau on May 4, 2007, with the casing of its colors and was relocated to Hawaii where it stood up provisionally on June 27, 2008. The ceremony on Schofield Barracks' Sills Field officially uncased the unit's colors.
"It [the ceremony] has a tremendous significance for the engineer regiment," said Col. Fabian Mendoza, commander of the 130th Eng. Bde. "The big picture is the history of this brigade and what it brought to Europe and now its role in the Pacific."
Mendoza said the brigade headquarters was a much needed resource for the engineer battalions here in Hawaii who, before the uncasing of the colors, fell under a military police brigade.
"Now our engineer battalions here in the Pacific actually have a headquarters that they can come to for assistance to help us make the preparations for the commanders' requirements," said Mendoza.
The 130th Eng. Bde. is currently preparing for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom next summer where they will be tasked with a variety of missions, such as route clearance, construction missions, and training Iraqi engineers, to name a few.
"The construction platoon in the 84th [Eng. Bn.] is going to be doing a lot of on and off-camp construction both for the Iraqi people and for the coalition Soldiers," said Buxbaum. "The brigade is actually going to own part of the battle space, which is a new role for an engineer brigade."
"It's going to be a new set of challenges, but as the modular engineer brigade format came online, it brought them [130th Eng. Bde.] the right skills and the right people and I think they are going to do extremely well," he added.