Story and photos by
2nd Lt. Cortney Heaps
65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Briagade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, celebrated yet another year of accomplishments.
The 65th Eng. Bn. (Combat Effects) was constituted in the regular Army Oct. 18, 1927, and decades later it continues to grow in its glory. From a garrison environment to combat, the 65th Eng. Bn. upholds superior efforts in all that is set before them.
According to the lineage of the 65th Eng. Bn, during “the Pacific campaigns of World War II and the Korean War, the 65th Engineers were called to clear mines and booby traps, to assist combat elements, and reducing enemy obstacles. In today’s war, engineers are still extremely versatile and a multi-functional organization of builders and fighters. To date, the 65th Eng. Bn. has the ability to conduct stability and combat operations; provide geospatial engineering, route clearance, horizontal construction, focused logistics, and dive support in any situation.”
In the battalion today, high standards are held that stem from years of experience and tradition. Former members of the battalion look back and have nothing but great memories to share, and newcomers are happy to be in this prestigious unit.
The best thing about being a part of this unit is the camaraderie between all members, notes 1st Lt. Alex Plotkin, assistant plans officer, 65th Eng. Bn.
“Everyone is dedicated to what they do,” said Plotkin. “It makes it fun to come to work every day and be a part of something so great.”
On their birthday, the engineers took a step back and paused to reflect upon the many outstanding accomplishments by the battalion during the past year, from community outreach projects, to assistance with survivor outreach services, to internal engineer tasks demonstrated by each of the battalion’s subordinate units.
The 82nd Engineer Support Company, 65th Eng. Bn., trained on common military skills and defensive operations, transitioning later in the year to counter mobility missions.
“Our 1st Platoon upgraded a road in Kahuku Training Area to improve traverse-ability for everyone that trains there,” said Capt. Raymond Mockus, commander, 82nd Eng. Support Co.
Clearing the way were the sappers of the 95th Engineer Company, 65th Eng. Bn., recently redeployed from Afghanistan, where they cleared hundreds of improvised explosive devises and conducted route clearance operations.
Along with the 95th Eng. Co., the engineers of the 34th Sapper Co., 65th Eng. Bn., continue to inspire their Soldiers by providing expert training in urban breaching, patrolling techniques, and marksmanship skills, as well as ensuring that all Soldiers are proficient and trained for deployment.
The battalion’s geospatial engineers allow oversight with “country over-view, lines of communication, route analysis, earthquake analysis, flood plain/tsunami analysis, elevation overviews and population analysis,” said Capt. Jennifer Brown, commander, 70th Geospatial Company, 65th Eng. Bn.
Finally, 7th Dive Detachment, 65th Eng. Bn., continues to do outstanding missions for the battalion, to include deployments to the Big Island to conduct their annual deep blue diving exercise. This is where they are trained to respond to emergency situations and execute correct protocols, as well as complete various other tasks such as welding underwater, operating hydraulic tools, and conducting jetting and dredging operations.
The battalion as a whole continues to expand their engineer tasks and missions, upholding traditions set by those who have come before them.
Happy birthday to the 65th Eng. Bn. “First in, last out!”