2nd Infantry Division prepares for Special Troops Battalion


By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 12, 2005

CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Signals, support and personnel management capabilities are coming together to form the 2nd Infantry Division’s new Special Troops Battalion.

Battalion commander Lt. Col. Bridget Rourke, 41, of Chillicothe, Ohio, said the battalion already is carrying out many of its functions even though it isn’t to be designated officially until June 16.

“Every (U.S. Army) division will have a Special Troops Battalion,” explained Rourke, who formerly commanded 2nd ID’s Camp Essayons-based 102nd Military Intelligence Battalion.

Most battalion soldiers — coming from units that are deactivating — will be based at Camp Red Cloud or Camp Mobile. The headquarters, now on Camp Essayons, will relocate to Camp Red Cloud in the near future, Rourke said.

The most interesting aspect of the new battalion, she said, is the diversity of its missions.

“I used to be focused strictly on intelligence. Now the battalion has a large signal support mission, the replacement operations mission and a support mission to the command posts that runs the gamut from fitting, fueling, maintaining and supplying all sorts of life support,” Rourke said.

Transformation to the new battalion is a complicated process, she said. “Balancing transformation with training and readiness is a lot of hard work for every soldier in the formation.”

Battalion soldiers are helping set up and run 2nd ID Tactical Command Posts this week at Camp Red Cloud as part of an exercise.

A support platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Jessica Jaccard, 24, of West Chester, Pa., said her soldiers erected tents, installed generators and climate-control systems, moved and maintained vehicles, provided food to the officers and helped guard the facility.

Pvt. Ryan Mages, 19, of Apple Valley, Calif., said he maintained Humvees and Light Medium Tactical Vehicles during the exercise. Mages is one of five wheeled-vehicle mechanics servicing the battalion’s fleet of 50 to 60 vehicles, he said.

Rourke said exercises help the battalion build teamwork.

“We are all joining new teams. Helping the command post personnel to set up their command post and life support goes a long way toward building the team, so when we transition to war and form up with each other, it is a seamless operation,” she said.

Special Troops Battalion

The 2nd Infantry Division’s Special Troops Battalion commander Lt. Col. Bridget Rourke said when fully formed, her battalion will comprise about 1,000 soldiers.

The primary components include:

  • A support company, formed largely from components of the 102nd Military Intelligence Battalion, to provide support to the 2nd ID Headquarters command posts.
  • Two signal companies, comprising soldiers formerly part of 2nd ID’s 122nd Signal Company, which will help establish the division’s signal network.
  • A headquarters company — formerly designated Headquarters Headquarters Company, 2X — charged with manning 2nd ID’s command posts.
  • The Warrior Replacement Company to manage the Warrior Readiness Center at Camp Mobile. The center welcomes new members of 2nd ID to South Korea and provides training on South Korean culture.

— Seth Robson

U.S. soldiers recently assigned to the new Special Troops Battalion set up a tactical command post on Monday during an exercise at Camp Red Cloud, South Korea.