Fort A.P. Hill to host VA National Guard unit transformation ceremony

By Mr. Cotton PuryearOctober 14, 2016

The Virginia National Gurad 229th Brigade Engineer Battalion.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SANDSTON, Virginia -- The Virginia National Guard's Fredericksburg-based 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion will return to its engineer roots with a ceremony to mark its transformation to the 229th Brigade Engineer Battalion at 11 a.m., Oct. 15, at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. The transformation is part of the U. S. Army's reorganization of brigade combat teams to provide more engineer capabilities.

"We're excited to gain the 229th Brigade Engineer Battalion designation," said Lt. Col. Charles B. Martin, Jr., battalion commander. "The 229th Engineer Battalion has such a proud engineer heritage within the Virginia Army National Guard, and it is where I began my officer career as a platoon leader. I know that our Soldiers today will carry on the proud tradition of the 229th Engineer Battalion as we transform."

The Fredericksburg unit traces its lineage and honors to 1858 and its service as a militia unit in the Army of Northern Virginia, explained Capt. W. Chandler Pearson, battalion operations officer. In 1985, the 229th Engineer Battalion was formed, and units in the battalion saw multiple overseas deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The 229th was reorganized in 2005 to the 116th BSTB in an Army-wide reorganization of brigade combat teams.

The battalion's current structure has Company A, a combat engineer company; Company B, a military intelligence company; and Company C, a signal company. With the transformation, the military intelligence company will be redesigned as Company D, and an additional engineer company will be added as Company B. The transformation also brings a forward support company that provides sustainment support like transportation, maintenance and food service.

The 189th Engineer Company, which will be inactivated, was reassigned from the 276th Engineer Battalion to the 116th last year, and those Soldiers will form the core of Company B.

"Both companies are similar, but ultimately provide different specialized capabilities," Pearson said. "Company A will have a larger section of combat engineers and Company B will have a route clearance platoon. These additions enable the BEB to more adequately support the brigade commander's intent and provide mobility, counter-mobility and survivability to units on the battlefield."

Most of the battalion is headquartered in Fredericksburg with the military intelligence company stationed in Manassas and the new engineer company based in Bowling Green.

For more information contact Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard state public affairs officer, at or 804-539-1451.

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