The Bayonet

Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2014

11th Engineers vital to combined arms support

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From building roads and bridges to conducting rescue missions, the 11th Engineer Battalion is responsible for a variety of operations vital to the Army's overall mission, the unit's commander said.

Lt. Col. Bryan Sizemore, commander of 11th Engineer Battalion, said the unit deploys, receives and integrates attached units, provides assured mobility, force protection and general engineering in support of defense support to civil authorities.

The battalion consists of Soldiers who are builders, surveyors, sappers, logisticians, mechanics and medics from across the U.S. and around the world. Sizemore said its diversity of Soldiers, who come from Guam, Puerto Rico, Africa, Europe, the Balkans and every U.S. state, attributes to the battalion's strength and longevity.

"The (battalion) is a vital member of the combined arms team," Sizemore said.

"In a traditional sense, engineers ensure the maneuver capability and mobility of Infantry and Armor formations, as well as survivability and force protection. Construction engineers, such as those in the Jungle Cat Battalion, build roads, improve infrastructure, improve base camps, and provide obstacle-crossing capability with the multi-role bridge company."

Recently the unit's defense chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear response force mission has required the unit to execute some non-traditional tasks such as urban search and rescue, route opening, and mass casualty decontamination.

"There is nothing more important than supporting and assisting our fellow Americans should the need exist, and we stand ready and able to support our civilian partners anywhere, anytime," Sizemore said.

On Fort Benning, the 11th Eng. Bn., has saved the installation more than $2 million in construction costs over the past two years by constructing sidewalks and presentation areas for Officer Candidate School.

They also restored the Downing Mile obstacle course for 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, and executed numerous missions in training areas with their engineer earth-moving equipment.

The bridge company has completed multiple river crossing operations including a demonstration for the executive leadership program.

Sizemore said the battalion is essential to the Maneuver Center of Excellence to provide subject matter expertise on all engineer-related tasks.

Part of the mission is to receive and integrate forces from other active-duty units, the National Guard and Reserve components to provide the commanding general with experts in mobility, survivability and general engineering missions.

"The concept of combined arms operations implies that branches compensate for the weakness of other arms and when combined together they are much more resilient, lethal and strong," Sizemore said.

"Without this type of force, our combined arms partners such as Infantry, Armor, artillery and aviation will not be as effective."

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