The final members of the 307th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) have returned to Fort Bragg following their nine-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XIII.
Just before boarding the plane that would bring him home, the battalion commander for the 307th Engineer Battalion, Lt. Col. Brett Sylvia delivered a speech at the transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan where he handed the reins over to Lt. Col. David Acker and the 65th Engineer Battalion (Combat Effects). Sylvia addressed the magnitude of the progress that the Soldiers in the battalion had made over the course of the deployment. Charged with the mission of keeping the roads safe from improvised explosive devices, and conducting partnership operations training the Afghan engineers, the 307th Bn. had a monumental deployment.
They integrated new technology to increase their combat effectiveness and executed a complex and challenging mission. The task force operated in three regional commands and spanned multiple battle spaces. They flew almost 1,000 hours of unmanned aerial vehicles, detonated, or removed almost 250 improvised explosive devices from the battlefield and cleared enough routes to circumnavigate the globe three times, averaging 50 patrols per week.
The battalion was also responsible for the theater bridge asset. Throughout the deployment, they emplaced eight bridges and repaired 80. Most notably, they trained and conducted combat operations with the Afghan engineers 1st and 2nd brigades of the 207th Corps through the most contested enemy strongholds in Regional Commands West and Southwest. This allowed them to certify the Afghan army for independent operations in preparation for U.S. and Coalition Forces withdrawal from Afghanistan. They had a lasting impact in their area of operations and the future of the country of Afghanistan through their training and devotion to the success of the Afghan engineers and safety of Afghan civilians.