USACE Honolulu District welcomes home 565th Eng. Det. from OEF

| February 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

 

Maj. William Hannan (left), commander, FEST-A, hugs daughter Caroline for the first time in nine months as William Hollingsworth, Department of the Army structural engineer and FEST-A team member, gets a hug and a kiss from his wife, Col. Kimberly Rapacz,  following a redeployment ceremony, Jan. 24.

Maj. William Hannan (left), commander, FEST-A, hugs daughter Caroline for the first time in nine months as William Hollingsworth, Department of the Army structural engineer and FEST-A team member, gets a hug and a kiss from his wife, Col. Kimberly Rapacz, following a redeployment ceremony, Jan. 24.

Story and photo by
Joseph Bonfiglio
Honolulu District Public Affairs
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Honolulu District family members and coworkers welcomed home the 565th Engineer Detachment, Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance (FEST-A), with lei and plenty of hugs at a redeployment ceremony, Jan. 24, marking the official end of the detachment’s successful support to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Col. Gregory Gunter, commander, Pacific Ocean Division, presided over the ceremony and commended the spirit of volunteerism that the team members exemplify.

“In the nine months deployed in support of overseas contingency operations, the 565th FEST-A provided essential engineering support to the combatant commander,” Gunter said. “This unit’s unique skills and capabilities have made a significant engineering impact here at home in the Pacific, as well as downrange.”

The eight-man detachment deployed to Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, in March, and provided technical engineering support to Regional Command-South.

While in Afghanistan, they provided vital support to coalition forces, were instrumental in improving electricity distribution in key areas of Kandahar and worked on Afghan capital improvement projects.

“These capital improvement projects will be the enduring legacy of coalition and U.S. efforts from the last decade. The Afghan government will be the recipient of a great opportunity to provide multiple levels of services to its citizens that would most probably not have been available for another 30 years,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bensburg, officer in charge of infrastructure, Regional Command-South Stability Division.

“The detachment worked extremely hard during the deployment and made an outstanding contribution to the Afghanistan mission. They provided excellent technical engineer support during our nine-month rotation,” said Maj. William Hannan Jr., commander, 565th Eng. Det. “I couldn’t be prouder of this team.”

The FEST-A 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 and in civil, structural, environmental, mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines. Other engineers are available for augmentation depending on the mission.

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