ENFORCE 2012 concludes at Fort Leonard Wood
April 25, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Thousands of Engineers were on Fort Leonard Wood last week for ENFORCE 2012 "Engineering for the Wars We Fight." ENFORCE wrapped up April 21 after five days of events.
"Here at Fort Leonard Wood, the home of the Regiment, we have Engineers from the past, present and future, coupled with our partners from other services, agencies, industry, and even countries -- all at the same location and venue," said Col. Allan Webster, 1st Engineer Brigade commander. "What a fantastic opportunity to share our collective knowledge, discuss and debate how our Regiment undertakes the missions and challenges that we have been charged with by our Army and nation."
This year, ENFORCE included panel discussions, a spouses' program, vendor displays and the Regimental Run.
Webster said for him personally, the Fallen Sapper Memorial service is one of
the most significant events of ENFORCE.
"We have all felt the loss of those who have fallen, their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their Families. For many of us, there is also a personal aspect for those who we knew and fought beside while deployed. The memorial service and time spent at the wall reading and reflecting on the names of our Sappers always had special significance for me," Webster said. "If there was only one event that the regiment could do for ENFORCE, it would have to be this one. Gathering members from across the Regiment for the memorial service and unveiling of the newly etched names in the wall are a few small things that we can do for our fallen Sappers and their Families."
Twenty-two names were added to wall this year.
"We do many important things during the ENFORCE gathering each year -- we work to improve our regiment, to be better in our training material and understanding of how to fight, so that we may be more successful in bringing more of our members home. We compete and we recognize our best performers. But the very most important thing that we do is recognize and honor our fallen Soldiers, our fallen engineers. It's right for us to remember them, it's right for us to praise their performance and their sacrifice, trying to understand the immensity of that. We certainly owe them the honor of remembrance that they are going to have here for forever at the home of the engineers. Your fallen engineers are remembered here at Fort Leonard Wood," said Brig. Gen. Duke DeLuca, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant.
On the last day of ENFORCE, the Best Sapper competition came to
an end, followed by an awards luncheon and the Regimental Ball that evening.
DeLuca is proud to be an Engineer and describes Sappers as a versatile tool for the U.S. Army.
"If I had to simplify it and keep it short -- the Engineer is the Swiss Army Knife or Gerber multi-tool of the Army," DeLuca said. "The Engineer Regiment provides freedom of tactical, operational and strategic maneuver to our own forces and denies the same freedom of maneuver to enemy forces, it protects our forces against the effects of the enemy and the effects of harsh environments, it builds the capacities of our partners and our own homeland to address security threats and deliver essential services, and it enables the global logistic effort required to project our military power and fight our wars far from our homes."
"It is just awesome to get up each day and dive in to the world of essential and important work engineers do for the Army, the joint forces, the nation and the world," DeLuca said.
(Editor's note: Amy Newcomb contributed to this story.)