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Permanent engineer battalion sets up shop at Camp Humphreys

By MARCUS FICHTL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 18, 2017

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — A new engineer battalion planted its flag at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, Wednesday — this time for good.

The 11th Engineer Battalion will replace the stateside rotational engineer battalions U.S. forces in Korea had been relying on since 2015.

Three companies and more than 600 soldiers will soon move from bases in the United States, joining the battalion’s headquarters and the 643rd Engineer Support Company already stationed in South Korea, 2nd Infantry Division spokesman Master Sgt. Kevin Doheny told Stars and Stripes in an email.

The battalion will fall under the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, but will act as a corps-level asset, said battalion personalist Capt. Victoria McDonald.

“Our purpose is to provide theater-level engineer capabilities to every unit on the peninsula,” she added.

Along with its traditional route-clearance, building and fortification-construction duties, the new battalion boasts bridge-building capabilities, McDonald said. Bridges would serve as a key tool for fighting across South Korea’s vast rivers, including the Han 40 miles north in Seoul and the Imjin, which dominates the western part of the Demilitarized Zone.

Battalion Command Sgt. Major Gregory Workman said his new unit is undaunted by North Korean aggression.

If diplomacy fails, “we’ll be the first one’s spearheading the fight,” he said.

fichtl.marcus@stripes.com
Twitter: @MarcusFichtl

 

The 11th Engineer Battalion unveils its colors for the first time during an activation ceremony at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.
KIMBERLY JENKINS/U.S. ARMY

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