The 2nd Engineer Battalion bid farewell to the 595th Sapper Company during a relocation ceremony May 1. The Sapper Company is scheduled to be reassigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in the coming months.
The reassignment is part of an Army Core Structure Change that went into effect in October of last year. The Sapper Company is one of several companies scheduled to be reorganized into existing units at other installations. The battalion leadership and the Headquarters Company will be reassigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. Their unit will be a part of the 1st Armored Division. Beginning June 2014 the 2nd Engineer Battalion will change their name to 2nd Brigade Engineer Battalion.
“Like with many missions before, 595 will lead the charge for the battalion,” said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. James Koeppen.
“The combat engineer takes pride in doing anything he is told to do,” Koeppen said. “His (or her) work is often dirty and never predictable.”
The Sapper Company’s role in the reorganization is part of the major restructure phase that calls for an Engineer Battalion within each Army Division. The Army will be eliminating 10 active duty combat teams and will replace the teams with 18 new engineer battalions. The reorganization calls for 300 engineers to a brigade as opposed to the original 200 engineers that were required.
During their last two missions the Sapper Company, made up of about 100 Soldiers, has cleared over 31,000 miles and 15,000 pounds of Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. During the ceremony, Koeppen assisted the 595 Company Commander Capt. Robert Fullerton with the casing of the company colors.
“In terms of the day to day, things will shift as they learn the way the new battalion conducts business,” said 2nd Engineer Battalion Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Joshua Fosher. “Overall the standard reports and battle drills will remain the same.”
“The Sapper Company continues to set the standard for the battalion,” Koeppen said. “They have demonstrated their highest potential and their worth.”
“You all make us proud and I wish you the best of luck,” Koeppen added.