Lead the way.
The beginning of ENFORCE 2006 will take place in St. Louis, from 1-3 May 2006, and the conclusion will be at Fort Leonard Wood, from 4-5 May 2006. The theme for the activities will be One Engineer Regiment--Transforming and Assuring Mobility While at War. I am looking forward to seeing many of you at this year's events. We have a great week planned, starting with the Council of Colonels/Command Sergeants Major. We need your input and experience as we discuss the issues our Regiment is currently facing while we transform and assure mobility in the Global War on Terrorism.
A great lineup of guest speakers is scheduled this year, to include representatives from the Assistant Chief of Staff, Personnel (G1); the Human Resources Command (HRC); the Gulf Region Division (GRD); the National Training Center (NTC); and the United States Army Engineer School. One of the subjects we'll discuss is the issues facing embedded engineers in the Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCTs). Our sister services will also speak and provide updates that will bridge the gap between engineer capabilities in all services as our armed forces move into a new era of joint operations. Keeping with tradition, we'll have the Army Engineer Association Presidential Dinner, the Regimental Ball, the Engineer Memorial Dedication Service, and the Regimental Review. The second annual Best Sapper Competition will take place, coinciding with ENFORCE for the first time. So select and train your best teams for this extraordinary competition! Finally, the Regiment's leaders will host a dedication ceremony in honor of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, an engineer who was posthumously awarded the first Medal of Honor for actions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. To sum it up, ENFORCE 2006 will undoubtedly instill in each of us an immense pride in our Regiment.
I also felt a tremendous sense of pride at two recent activation ceremonies for the 19th Engineer Battalion at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the 20th Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas. These ceremonies are a testament that the modular engineer force is taking shape. In March 2006, the 1st Engineer Battalion from Fort Riley, Kansas, converted to a modular engineer battalion headquarters. The 70th Engineer Battalion, at Fort Carson, Colorado; the 864th and the 14th Engineer Battalions at Fort Lewis, Washington; and the 5th Engineer Battalion, at Fort Leonard Wood, will convert in the near future.
Many units will relocate in the upcoming months as well. As you may already know, the 50th Multirole Bridge Company (MRBC) moved to Fort Leonard Wood in 2005. On the horizon, the 94th Engineer Battalion will relocate to Fort Leonard Wood; and as part of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision, the 36th Engineer Group, now at Fort Benning, Georgia, will relocate to Fort Hood this summer and transform to a modular engineer brigade.
One of the major concerns of transformation is training the embedded engineers in the HBCT. We must provide them with the necessary skills and tools to enable the combatant commander to ensure mobility in concert with maneuver. To assist us in this process, the Engineer School has implemented several functional courses, including the Military Search Operations Course, the Route Reconnaissance/Clearance Operations Course (R2C2), the Route Reconnaissance/Clearance Operations Course--Sapper (R2C2-S), the Route Clearance Equipment (RCE) Maintainer Course, the Area Clearance Course, the Improvised Explosive Device Defeat--Train the Trainer (IEDD-T3) Course, and the Improvised Explosive Device Defeat--Train the Trainer (IEDD-T3) Mobile Training Team (MTT) Course. Currently, these courses are all non-Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS), contingency-based training. For more information on these courses, visit the Counter Explosive Hazards Center (CEHC) Web site at <http://www.wood.army.mil/cehc>.
Two other courses that remain significantly important are the joint Urban Mobility Breaching Course (UMBC) at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, which has greatly improved the sapper's ability to fight and win in an urban environment; and the Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent (EOCA) Course, at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, which provides the basic skills and knowledge required to perform as explosive ordnance clearance agents.
All of these courses are relevant to the current and future fight; however, I ask that the leadership continue to support the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC) and the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC). Both courses are extremely important to the career progression of noncommissioned officers and greatly enhance their ability to perform their wartime mission.
In closing, I'd like to welcome back those Soldiers who have recently returned from a deployment. And to those who have recently departed, I wish a safe and speedy return home. God bless the fallen comrades and their families. We will never forget you.
By Command Sergeant Major Clinton J. Pearson
United States Army Engineer School