THE 20TH ENGINEERS 2005-2014

2005 - Transformation | 2006 - Iraq | 2007 - Fort Hood | 2010 - Afghanistan
2011 - Fort Hood | 2012 - Afghanistan | 2013 - Fort Hood

The 20th Engineers are normally based at Fort Hood, Texas, as part of the 36th Engineer Brigade. The Global War on Terror resulted in four combat tours for the 20th Engineers, twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.

The 20th Engineers continue to train to provide command and control for multiple types of engineer units, as part of a joint or combined task force, anywhere in the world.





2005 - TRANSFORMATION & REORGANIZATION

Almost immediately upon its return from combat in Iraq in 2005, the 20th Engineers went through a major re-organization as part of Army Transformation. The soldiers and equipment of the line companies of the 20th Engineers were transferred directly to maneuver battalions and the battalion headquarters was converted into a new type unit. Company A, 20th Engineers became Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry; Company B became Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry; and Company C deactivated. The battalion headquarters was transformed into the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, commanding a diverse array of units such as a Military Intelligence Company, a Signal Company, a Chemical platoon, and a maintenance platoon.


The Activation Ceremony of the Transformed 20th Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood


Officially, the 20th Engineer Battalion was reorganized and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 28 February 2006 the Army re-activated the 20th Engineers under the command of LTC James Raymer.

The 20th Engineers are assigned to the newly-formed
36th Engineer Brigade, part of III Corps at Fort Hood. The brigade was built upon the old 36th Engineer Group that was formerly stationed at Fort Benning.


Colors of the new 36th Engineer Brigade were uncased at Fort Benning on 16 June 2006


Under Transformation's concept of modularity, the 20th Engineers and its companies operate in a "modular" manner. The only units organic to the battalion are its Headquarters Company and a Forward Support Company with combat service support capabilities (maintenance, supply, transportation, medical, etc.). The battalion is then assigned any number of engineer (or other type of) companies.

As the transformed battalion was first organized, it was assigned three separate, numbered engineer companies:
Since then, the mix of assigned companies has changed from time to time.

The modular 20th Engineers is able to be "customized" to perform any number of missions, such as combat or construction, and to be assigned to any type of higher headquarters, such as a maneuver brigade, an engineer brigade, a division, a corps, a joint task force, or even an allied headquarters.

Significantly, the 20th Engineers was equipped with the Army's only M104 Wolverine heavy assault bridges mounted on M1 Abrams tank chassis. Click on the photo below for a video of the Wolverine launching its bridge.




Training at Fort Hood - 2006

               




DEPLOYMENT TO BAGHDAD - 2006

In late 2006, having barely finished re-organizing the battalion, the 20th Engineers were again
deployed to Iraq. In a strange twist of fate, the 20th found itself again conducting operations as part of the 1st Cavalry Division. The two Mobility Augmentation Companies stayed at Fort Hood, while the HHC, FSC, and 510th Engineer Company (Sapper) deployed. Once in Iraq the 642nd Engineer Company (Support) from Fort Drum and the 887th Engineer Company (Support) from Fort Campbell were added to the task organization of the 20th Engineers.


Country music star Gretchen Wilson laughs as soldiers from the 20th Engineer Battalion surround her for pictures by fellow soldiers during a visit with the unit before their deployment to Iraq on Monday, Oct. 30, 2006, at Fort Hood. The singer was on post for a signing session for her new book, "Redneck Woman: Stories From My Life", when she decided to pay the visit with the unit.


Click the image below to see the 20th Engineers in Iraq






RETURN TO FORT HOOD - 2007

The 20th Engineers returned to Fort Hood in November 2007. Almost immediately, its two stay-behind companies, the 59th Engineers and 572nd Engineers, deployed to Iraq to serve under the 326th Engineer Battalion from Fort Campbell.


Battalion Commander Lt. Col. James Raymer and color guard at uncasing ceremony in November, 2007, after the battalion's return from Iraq




20th Engineers Dedicate Iraq Memorial
Click on the picture to see the story.


2009 Best Sapper Competition

       
Preparation at Fort Hood             Test at Fort Leonard Wood
PFC Austin Lumpkin                 SSG William C Stanley
Click on the pictures to see the stories


Entering a new deployment cycle, during 2009 the 20th Engineers trained to conduct route clearance and counter-explosive operations in a forthcoming deployment to Iraq.

As the battalion neared the end of its preparation, the Army announced that the 20th Engineers would be deployed to Afghanistan instead of Iraq. Then, on 5 November 2009, a terrorist attacked soldiers going through a deployment processing center. Four soldiers from the 20th Engineers were killed in the attack.


A Lumberjack grieves for his fellow soldiers.
Click on the photo for details about the victims.


On 14 January 2010 the Commander of the 20th Engineers, LTC Peter Andrysiak, cased the colors of the battalion.



Click the photo below to view a movie about the 20th Engineers' deployment.


Clip courtesy News 8 Austin



The following week the 20th Engineers were enroute to Afghanistan.



DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN - 2010

The 20th Engineers deployed to Afghanistan during the week of 18 January 2010. Aircraft took the battalion to Kyrgyzstan after stopovers in Bangor, Maine, and Germany; the Lumberjacks then moved into Afghanistan by tactical air transport on xx January 2010. Click the streamer below for more information about the 20th Engineers in Afghanistan.


Along with the headquarters company and support company, two engineer companies trained and deployed as part of the 20th Engineers from Fort Hood: the 510th Engineer Company (Route Clearance) and the 584th Engineer Company (Mobility Augmentation). A number of company-sized elements were attached to Task Force Lumberjack in Afghanistan:

Battery C, 5-3 Field Artillery, normally stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, and specially trained to augment Engineers for route clearance; the 562nd Engineer Company (Sapper), also from Fort Lewis; the 630th Engineer Company (Route Clearance) from Fort Drum, New York; the 618th Engineer Company (Support) (Airborne) from Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 806th Engineer Company (US Army Reserve) from Conway, Arkansas; and Company B, 40th Engineer Battalion, from Germany.

The 20th Engineers returned to Fort Hood from Afghanistan during the first three weeks of January, 2011.



FORT HOOD - 2011

The 20th Engineers returned to Fort Hood in three waves, on January 15th, 17th, and 18th, 2011. Soldiers were first transported by tactical aircraft to Manas, Kyrgyzstan; then by commercial airliner to Robert Gray Army Airfield at Fort Hood, with a refueling stop in Bangor, Maine. The "welcome home" ceremonies were joyful, as the Lumberjacks completed one of the most stressful and demanding deployments of any U.S. Army unit. The 20th Engineers were recognized specifically by the Army Chief of Staff, General George Casey.







The community went to great efforts to prepare a proper reception for the returning Lumberjacks. The Rear Detachment and families spearheaded Operation Upgrade, an effort to improve the barracks and provide comfort items for newly arriving soldiers.

On 25 February 2011 the Lumberjacks uncased the colors of the 20th Engineers (see invitation), signifying their official return to Fort Hood and preparation for their next missions. A large number of soldiers were also presented with medals for heroism and service during deployment to Afghanistan.

   


There was one major task left to complete the Lumberjacks' Afghanistan campain: to honor those who did not return. On 13 April the 20th Engineers re-dedicated the battalion's memorial to those killed as part of the War on Terror.

   

 




DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN - 2012

The 20th Engineers deployed to Afghanistan during October 2012. Aircraft took the battalion to Kyrgyzstan after stopovers in Bangor, Maine, and Germany; the Lumberjacks then moved into Afghanistan by tactical air transport on xx January 2010. Click the streamer below for more information about the 20th Engineers in Afghanistan.


The battalion headquarters, headquarters company, and forward support company deployed by themselves, without any of the attached engineer companies from Fort Hood.

Upon arrival in Afghanistan, an array of different types of units were attached to the 20th Engineers. Diverse missions included construction projects and clearance missions.

The 20th Engineers returned to Fort Hood from Afghanistan during July 2013.



FORT HOOD - 2013

The 20th Engineers returned to Fort Hood in July 2013.