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Engineers case colors for Afghanistan

Published: 10:49AM January 10th, 2013
Engineers case colors for Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Miriam Espinoza-Torre

The 555th “Triple Nickel” Engr. Bde. and the 864th Engr. Bn. leaders case their colors during a deployment ceremony Dec. 19.

The 555th Engineer Brigade and the 864th Engineer Battalion cased their colors in a joint ceremony Dec. 19 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Lewis North. Both units are deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The ceremony is a military tradition officially marking a unit’s deployment or relocation. Once the units arrive at their final destination, the colors will be uncased marking the completion of the unit’s relocation.

“We temporarily case these colors today in this garrison environment, when these colors open again we will be in the fight,” said Col. Nicholas W. Katers, commander of the “Triple Nickel” Brigade.

The brigade headquarters will deploy with more than 120 Soldiers to Afghanistan and will support the International Security Assistance Force as the theater joint engineer headquarters, assuming command and control of military engineer units and operations across theater.

“We are honored today to be chosen as Soldiers in the fight against terrorism and are ready to help secure the final victory in Afghanistan that America has earned,” Katers said.

The 864th Engr. Bn. is scheduled to deploy with more than 500 Soldiers to Afghanistan and serve under the Central Command Materiel Recovery Element. They will focus on the drawdown effort closing bases and moving military equipment and supplies out of the country.

“Joint Task Force Triple Nickel is more than ready for this historic mission, and we’re honored to answer the Nation’s call and once again live out our motto, ‘Willing and Able,’” Katers said.

The battalion is the second engineer unit to be sent to Afghanistan for the express purpose of deconstruction of bases and preparation for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. This will be their fourth deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“This engineer brigade is a powerful, disciplined tool. We are designed to clear the way for others to follow. God bless the “Triple Nickel” and the 864th Eng. Bn.; may we all return with dignity and honor,” Katers said.