SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division activated the 65th Brigade Engineer Battalion during a ceremony on Weyand Field, Oct. 21.
For the first time with all seven companies under the 65th BEB assembled in one place, Lt. Col. David W. Acker and Command Sgt. Maj. Giovanni P. Fuentes, the battalion command team, uncased the colors of the 65th BEB.
Marked with streamers from campaigns ranging from Luzon during World War II to the battalion's recent mission in Afghanistan, the colors and incredible legacy of the 65th Engineer Battalion will continue under its updated moniker.
During the ceremony, Col. David B. Womack, commander of 2nd SBCT, quickly reemphasized how the importance of quality leadership, teamwork among commanders and the Soldiers on the field, all contributes and leads to the brigade's mission success.
Acker reminded the battalion that the 65th Engineer Battalion began its long history as a valued member 25th Inf. Div. and expressed his enthusiasm to return and contribute to the distinguished history.
"Our history began with the 25th Inf. Div. on this very installation a little over 73 years ago, on the first of Oct. 1941. And thus began a relationship that would bond our organizations together for all time," stated Acker.
The 65th Bde. Eng. Bn. joins the 2nd SBCT as they say goodbye to the 130th Engineer Brigade, also co-located on Schofield Barracks.
Both Acker and Womack thanked the 130th Engineer Brigade commander, Col. Blace C. Albert, and his team for their efforts in the transition. Both commanders then thanked the Soldiers on the field, acknowledging the importance of what they accomplish each day.
"They accomplished an incredibly daunting mission and I could not be more proud of the men and women of this battalion," Acker expressed to the crowd.
The 65th Bde. Eng. Bn. recently returned from Afghanistan where they assumed command and control of all combat engineer operations in Regional Command-South, Southwest, and West for Operation Enduring Freedom. Although the battalion returned to Hawaii less than four months earlier, they, along with the 130th Eng. Bde. Headquarters (who also returned during the same period), have been working very hard to ensure they accomplish all tasks associated with moving a battalion headquarters prior to the Army's mandated BEB transition date.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Fuentes led the colors off the field with equipment from each of the companies silhouetted to the rear of the formation.
With numerous training exercises ahead and the depth of assets within the newly formed 65th Bde. Eng. Bn., the team stands ready and exceptionally capable of handling versatile missions across the pacific theater.
While many may think of bulldozers and dump trucks when they look at engineers, the 65th has a much greater mission than simply hauling dirt and will prove to be an immense combat multiplier for the 2nd SBCT.