By Luke WaackSeptember 18, 2008
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Army News Service, Sept. 18, 2008) - A new type of deployable brigade is activating at Fort Leonard Wood in October.
The concept for the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade - a support unit that can control a sector of the battlefield - was created at the Maneuver Support Center at Fort Leonard Wood.
The Army's first such unit, the 1st MEB, was activated Sept. 16, 2007, at Fort Polk, La.
"The Army is standing up (the) 4th MEB here at Fort Leonard Wood as part of the major growth and re-stationing operations underway across the force," said Col. Robert Risberg, 4th MEB commander. "It is a natural place to put a MEB, as we will be one of the leading units conducting the maneuver-support operations for which the Maneuver Support Center is the proponent."
The 4th MEB mission will have a complex mission, Risberg said.
"It is designed to provide assured mobility, protection, consequence management and support area operations to corps, divisions and joint task forces in a major contingency operation, and can perform many of the same missions as a brigade combat team in a counterinsurgency or other irregular warfare environment," Risberg said.
The 4th MEB will combine units already headquartered on post with newly created units, and one arriving from another installation, Risberg said.
"The Brigade will consist of three organic units: 4th MEB Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 193rd Brigade Support Battalion and the 94th Signal Company," Risberg said.
The brigade will also have training, readiness and oversight responsibility for three Forces Command battalions: the 5th Engineer Battalion, the 94th Engineer Battalion and the 92nd Military Police Battalion. The 5th and 94th Engineer Battalions have been at Fort Leonard Wood for a while. The 92nd MP Battalion is in the process of moving to Leonard Wood from Fort Benning, Ga.
The MEB differs from specialized brigades of the past, Risberg said.
"Unlike traditional functional brigades - engineer, military police, chemical, signal, etc. - the MEB is capable of "owning ground" like a brigade combat team," Risberg said.
The MEB will have everything it needs to complete battlefield missions, Risberg said.
"This brigade is capable of planning and controlling the diverse missions associated with assured mobility, protection, consequence management and support area operations, as well as many of the missions required in counter-insurgency operations. Specific functional units - engineer, military police, chemical, air defense, psychological operations, civil affairs, maneuver, and others - will be attached to the MEB for conducting the operations planned and controlled by the Brigade," Risberg said.
The 4th MEB commander is looking forward to the challenge of leading a new type of brigade, he said.
"I intend to make the 4th MEB a strong member of the (Maneuver Support Center) team, as we build the unit into a combat-ready organization for our Army. We are pioneers in this new maneuver-support concept, and we're all eager to make a positive contribution to the nation as we join our brothers and sisters in this long conflict," Risberg said.
(Luke Waack writes for the GUIDON newspaper at Fort Leonard Wood.)