Paratroopers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division’s Special Troops Battalion marked the deactivation of the BSTB and the reactivation as the 37th Brigade Engineer Battalion during a ceremony at Stang Field, Nov. 15.
The activation of the BEB is one of the first steps for the division’s conversion to the Army’s new BCT 2020 organization.
This initiative reorganizes the Army’s infantry and armor brigades, adding a third maneuver battalion as well as adding additional engineer and artillery capabilities.
These additions are intended to expand the war fighting unit’s lethality and flexibility while helping to meet the Army’s drawdown requirement of personnel. Specifically for the BEB, this means the addition of an engineer company, two more platoons of equipment and an increased route clearance capability.
“This is absolutely a great time for the brigade to get this additional capability to meet new threats emerging throughout the world,” said Lt. Col. Andrew N. Liffring, commander of the 37th BEB.
“It’s the only organization of this BCT whose work is solely characterized by war-time service,” said Col. Patrick Hynes, commander of the 2nd BCT. “This organization was entirely organized, trained and deployed while our Army has been at war.”
Many paratroopers of the BSTB will be placed among other battalions within the brigade. The brigade is scheduled to grow in size of personnel as it adds several other organizations to meet the BCT 2020 concept.
“We recognize that far from saying farewell to the units of the BSTB we’re simply welcoming the arrival of new ones and the added capabilities that they bring,” said Hynes.
Veterans of the 37th Engineer Battalion attended the ceremony and witnessed the uncasing of the traditional scarlet colors that represent the engineer branch of the Army. After the ceremony, they socialized with present-day 37th BEB Paratroopers and studied artifacts on display from the battalion’s history.
Liffring thanked the veterans of both the BSTB and the 37th Eng. Bn. and promised that he and his Paratroopers would always remember and honor their service. As commander of the brigade’s newest organization, he closed the ceremony by promising to uphold the battalion’s historic legacy.
“Its an exciting day for the Army,” he said. “We look forward to the challenges to come and to supporting the 2nd BCT.”