14th Combat Engineer Battalion History


The 14th Engineer Battalion originated as the 2nd Battalion, 36th Engineer Combat Regiment and was activated on 1 June 1941 at Plattsburg Barracks, New York. The Battalion fought with distinction in ten campaigns during World War II, including five amphibious beach assaults: Algeria/French, Morocco, Sicily, Naples, Anzio, and Southern France. The regimental shoulder patch included a sea horse reflecting the unit's amphibious operations, and is also on the 14th Engineer insignia. In addition to numerous combat engineer missions, the Battalion frequently fought as Infantry, including 47 continuous days at Anzio Beachhead.

On 15 February 1945, while in Poxonne, Germany, the Regiment was reorganized as the 36th Engineer Combat Group, and the 2nd Battalion was redesignated the 2827th Engineer Combat Battalion. The Battalion was inactivated 25 February 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

The 2827th Engineer Combat Battalion was redesignated on 29 April 1947 as the 14th Engineer Combat Battalion, and activated 15 March 1950 in Kisarazu, Honshu, Japan, as part of the post-war occupation forces.\

Korea

The 14th Engineer Combat Battalion landed at Pohong Dong, Korea on 18 July 1950, and participated in every major campaign of the Korean War. The Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation (less Company A) for fighting as Infantry with the 25th Infantry Division and Task Force Allen, and for its role in the breakout of the Pusan Perimeter. Alpha Company earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation for combat infantry missions in support of the 1st Cavalry Division, and a Korean Presidential Unit Citation for clearing minefields on Line Golden. The Battalion was inactivated 25 June 1958 in Korea.

The 14th Engineer Battalion was reactivated 17 June 1962 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where it served until alerted it would be deployed to the Republic of Vietnam.

Vietnam

The 14th Engineer Battalion deployed to Vietnam on 19 October 1966, and participated in twelve campaigns throughout a five-year period. The Battalion earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its role in Operations Gatling and Summerall, and was awarded the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation. 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation while supporting 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry during operations in Binh Thuan Province. The Battalion served with such units as the 1st Cavalry Division and the 101st Airborne Division. Volunteers from the Battalion also hauled ammunition to the surrounded Marines in the Khe Sahn Operation Pegasus.

Post Vietnam

The 14th Engineer Battalion returned to the United States in late August of 1971, to a new home at Fort Ord, California, where they assumed the mission and personnel of the 613th Engineer Battalion. On 3 February 1989, the 761st Chemical Company was attached to the Battalion.

Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm

As a result of Iraq’s aggression against and occupation of Kuwait in 1990, the 14th Combat Engineer Battalion supported Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm by remaining in the CONUS and participated in the training of deploying forces at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

In April of 1999, B Company of the battalion was redesignated as a National Guard Unit and continued to serve with the battalion. On 16 July 1999, the 11th Chemical Company was attached to the battalion. The 14th Combat Engineer Battalion, the only remaining Corps of Engineers wheeled engineer battalion on active duty, and one of the most decorated active duty engineer battalions in the U.S. Army, continued to serve the nation under the 555th Combat Engineer Group and the U.S. Forces Command at Ft. Lewis, Washington.

Operation Iraqi Freedom I

The 14th Engineer Battalion was called to assist 4th ID during the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF1).  During this time the 14th supported many missions and was most noted for starting Operation Trailblazer.  Using unarmored vehicles the 14th began the mission to search for and destroy improvised explosive devices (IED's) designed to kill both coalition forces as well as innocent civilians. The 14th returned to Iraq a second time to continue this mission for a second year using new and state of the art equipment during OIF3.   The 14th Engineer Battalion transformed into a maneuver enhancement unit, a new type of unit for the army.

The Battalion redeployed to Fort Lewis from OIF I with the 555th Engineer Group in March 2004 and started training for a return deployment to Iraq. The 11th Chemical Company was inactivated and the soldiers from the 11th Chemical Company were reassigned to the 23rd Chemical Battalion, Ft. Lewis, WA. B Company reverted to control of the Washington Army National Guard.

In November 2005 the 14th Combat Engineer Battalion again deployed to Iraq for OIF IV (later renamed OIF 05-07) along with the 555th Combat Support Brigade (Maneuver Enhancement).  The Battalion was attached to the the 101st Airborne Division providing Engineer Support to the Multinational Division- North Area of Operations.

The Battalion consisted of Headquarters & Headquarters Company (HHC), A Company, and C Company. B Company, being assigned to the WA National Guard, was not eligible for redeployment, so, the 122nd Engineer Company (CSE) from the South Carolina Army National Guard was attached to the Battalion. HHC and 122 CSE were located at Combat Operating Base (COB) Speicher near Tikrit, A Company was located at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Marez near Mosul, and C Company was located at FOB Warhorse near Baqubah. The Battalion also kept platoon-sized elements at FOB Warrior near Kirkuk and at Logistics Support Area (LSA) Anaconda near Balad.

The 14th Combat Engineer Battalion returned to Ft Lewis in November 2006.

During February 2007 the RUGGED Battalion was reorganized into a modular, more deployable force. A Company converted to the 570th Engineer Company (Sapper), C Company converted to the 571st Engineer Company (Sapper), and a new company, the 610th Engineer Support Company, was formed. The HHQ Company was also split to form two new companies, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and Forward Support Company.

The RUGGED Battalion is in the process of training newly assigned members for another deployment to Iraq.

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