By Pfc. Garett Hernandez and Capt. Thomas Cieslak, Capt. Thomas CieslakJune 11, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The 37th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) held their deployment ceremony Wednesday as the Soldiers and Family members prepare for the battalion's year-long mission overseas.
The battalion returned from their most recent deployment to Afghanistan in April 2007 and expects to assume engineer operations in central Iraq.
The battalion will join engineer assets from the Air Force to become a joint task force which will build capacity among Iraq army engineers and the Iraqi army in general, said, Lt. Col. Paul Huszar, 37th Eng. Bn. commander.
"We are known and this patch is known for going places where nothing is and building and creating opportunities for people," said Huszar.
Their mission in Iraq will include training Iraqi army engineers, construction of essential services, improvised explosive device defeat operations, route clearance and deconstruction of existing military life support infrastructure.
"As I try to tell my guys, as you know what a Swiss army knife is, we are the U.S. Army airborne knife" said Huszar regarding his battalion's various missions.
The deployment ceremony was held at Rafferty Field and attended by Family and friends of Soldiers serving in the 37th Eng. Bn. Families looked on as the official proceedings took place to commemorate the battalion's departure for Iraq.
"Today provides closure not only for the Families but for Fort Bragg, for the 20th Engineer Brigade, to acknowledge that the 37th Eng. Bn. is going to deploy into harms' way " said Col. Richard Kaiser, 20th Engineer Brigade commander (Combat) (Abn.) during his speech to the Families and Soldiers. "I want the Families to know one thing; the Soldiers, the men and women that you see in front of you are very ready to go. There is no better trained battalion of Engineers in the United States Army than the Eagle Battalion that you see right in front of you."
Families of the Soldiers have been preparing for the deployment by participating in the Army Family Team Building program and conducting financial readiness training to educate military spouses on the nature of deployment leave and earnings statements.
"We have a fantastic Family readiness support assistant," said Huszar about his battalion's Family readiness support assistant, Niza Williams. "Her service to our battalion ... I cannot understate. It's absolutely phenomenal."