The 16th Engineer Brigade cased their colors, representing a transfer of authority to the 111th Engineer Brigade as the Central Command Theater Engineer Brigade, during a recent ceremony on Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
The TEB is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all engineering projects throughout the Army CENTCOM area of operations. Soldiers of the TEB play an integral role in Operation Spartan Shield, Operation Inherent Resolve, and Operation Freedom Sentinel.
The 16th Engineer Brigade, an Ohio Army National Guard unit, has served in this capacity since arriving in the CENTCOM area of operations in August 2020.
“It is astounding to think how quickly the time has passed,” said Col. Andrew Stone, commander of the 16th Engineer Brigade. “In this theater, the TEB is renowned. The 16th, along with the brigades before us, has made the acronym ‘TEB’ a common and indeed a heralded term.”
Throughout the last nine months, the 16th TEB had Soldiers operating in eight countries and serving alongside some of our nation’s most valuable partners.
As the 16th TEB turns over the engineering authority to the 111th Engineer Brigade the theater is still as complex and multifaceted as ever.
“We’re patrolling for IED’s and building runways and barriers in Syria, we’re clearing mines, building guard towers in Iraq, and we’re actively training alongside our Kuwaiti and Jordanian partners to increase interoperability and build capacity,” said Stone. “To Col. Kincaid, Command Sgt. Maj. Cogar, and the entire 111th, we now pass the torch to you.”
The 111th EN BDE, a West Virginia Army National Guard unit, is led by Col. Robert Kincaid and Command Sgt. Maj. Waymon Cogar, Brigade Commander and Brigade Command Sergeant Major, respectively.
Originally stationed in Eleanor, West Virginia, this is the 111th EN BDE’s third time deploying to the CENTCOM area since 2003 — but the first as the Theater Engineer Brigade.
According to Kincaid, one of the determining factors that their deployments have all been successful is because the units before them have been able to pass down their lessons learned.
“The pinnacle of a good Soldier or team is when they can maintain learning while also passing down what they have learned from one unit to the next,” said Kincaid.
And that is what the 16th TEB provided to the 111th TEB.
“Col. Stone and his staff have set the bar extremely high,” said Kincaid. “Despite being deployed during unprecedented times due to the COVID pandemic, they never missed a beat. They have proved themselves to be a flexible, yet dependable, engineering force — and for that — I commend them.”
With the COVID pandemic still impacting the lives of Soldiers daily, the looming withdraw from Afghanistan, and the ever-changing environment across Iraq, Iran, and Syria, the challenges the 111th TEB will face are set to be historical.
Challenging times allow Soldiers to grow and succeed, though. And Kincaid is confident that next year when the 111th TEB’s time in theater is completed, the Soldiers of his brigade will be stronger than ever.
“Warriors are not born, they are raised. I am a true believer in that,” said Kincaid. “We are going to raise warriors during this deployment.”