Lt. Col. Dave Acker and Command Sgt. Maj. Harold McVicker III, the command team for the 65th Engineer Battalion, uncase their unit's colors during a redeployment ceremony, June 20, at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii after completing a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)
Engineers complete nine-month Afghanistan mission, return to families in Hawaii
by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, DVIDSHUB.net, June 20, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – One hundred and eighty-eight Soldiers from the 65th Engineer Battalion met tears, hugs, and kisses from their friends and families, June 20, at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, after completing a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The unit formed and led Task Force Bayonet, a multifaceted fighting force consisting of multiple engineer and logistical companies and an Afghan National Army mentoring team.
The primary focus of TF Bayonet was to partner with ANA engineers and other ministries of the Afghan government, and provide mentorship in engineer operations. They were directly responsible for ensuring that the ANA were capable of operating as an independent fighting force.
The TF also conducted route clearance ops assuring mobility for coalition forces and Afghan civilians using various improvised explosive device defeat platforms.
“As I reflect back on this deployment, I am truly amazed by how much this battalion has accomplished,” said Lt. Col. Dave Acker, commander of TF Bayonet and the 65th Eng. Bn. “The Soldiers of Task Force Bayonet have demonstrated their dedication to the mission and ability to remain flexible in the most trying situations.”
The Army engineers tracked the battle across three regional commands comprising of more than 150,000 square kilometers of patrolled routes and operational areas. They managed, conducted, and ensured more than 1,200 non-rolling stock items were returned back into the military inventory, while simultaneously turning in 21 vehicles and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition from their company alone.
The 65th falls under the 8th Theater Sustainment Command's 130th Engineer Brigade. 8th TSC is the senior Army logistics command in the Pacific, responsible for logistics and supply for land operations throughout the theater, employing 167 different skill sets, with 35 unique capabilities, to include Military Police, Quartermaster, Transportation, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Army Watercraft, Dive and Engineers.