Corps’ 565th Engineers activate, unfurl unit colors

| July 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

 

Dino W. Buchanan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs

Maj. Evan Ting, right, commander of the 565th Engineer Detachment, unfurls the unit guidon with Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Jon Chytka, center, and Sgt. 1st. Class Colleen Hatfield, during the 565th activation ceremony, held Monday at the Palm Circle Gazebo on Fort Shafter. FORT SHAFTER — Colors of 565th Engineer Detachment, Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance, were unfurled, Monday, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District-based unit during an activation and assumption of command ceremony at Palm Circle, here. 

The occasion marked a new beginning for the team, as it became a deployable Army field unit with the mission of providing responsive, technical-engineer planning and limited design capabilities in support of combatant commands and civil agencies for full-spectrum operations.

Activation of a military unit is a rare event for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and this activation was no different, as the unit has been compiling the necessary unit engineers and equipment since Oct. 2007. 

“This special occasion marks a new beginning for this team as it recently officially went into its first deployable cycle since being reactivated,” said Lt. Col. Jon Chytka, commander, COE-Honolulu District.

The FEST-A staff consists of a detachment commander, a noncommissioned officer in charge and six Department of Defense civilians who serve in the jobs of a geographic information system specialist/cartographer, a contract specialist, and civil, environmental, mechanical and electrical engineers, with additional engineering disciplines available for augmentation.

The detachment provides technical engineering support, including engineer reconnaissance, engineering design and planning of construction projects; construction management; limited contingency contracting support; and other general engineering tasks. One of the most valuable capabilities is the unit’s ability to conduct reach-back support with experts in the COE, and other sources of expertise.

Chytka said FEST-A delivers COE support to combat, stability and disaster operations through forward deployed and reach-back capabilities.

“The organization you see represented before you today is (the COE’s) commitment to this goal,” Chytka said. “Simply, this team is a great asset for any unit it is attached to, but the meaning of the FEST can best be expressed by the people it supports.” 

At the ceremony, Maj. Evan Ting, FEST-A commander, recalled the numerous personnel changes and short-notice travel for training in the past 17 months, since he assumed command of the unit in March 2009. 

“It’s been a whirlwind of activity since that day,” Ting said. “The 565th has traveled to the Philippines, Palau, Marshall Islands, Germany and to the Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand. Our training schedule continues to build, as does our experience and knowledge for our future missions.”

 

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