Rusty Hutson-Army-169th Combat EngineersThis is a featured page

The 169th Engineer Battalion has a long and distinguished history of service to this nation. Shortly after the Battalion was formed in 1943 at Camp Beale, California, it first saw combat during the Allied Invasion of Italy in September 1944. The Battalion fought its way up the Italian Peninsula. After the capture of Rome, the 169th played a significant role in the seven-month campaign to push the Nazi Army through the Apennines and out of the Po Valley of Northern Italy. Throughout their campaign in Italy, the soldiers of the 169th cleared minefields and tank obstacles, destroyed enemy bunkers, cleared roadways, built many bridges to replace those destroyed by the retreating enemy, removed barbwire obstacles, built enemy prisoner of war compounds, and fought as Infantry when the need arouse. The Battalion received the Rome, North Apennines, and the Po Valley campaign streamers as a result of their courageous service in Italy during World War II. Beginning in 1954, the Battalion spent twelve years at Fort Stewart, Georgia before their next major period of active service in Vietnam. At Fort Stewart, the Battalion’s mission was to construct, rehabilitate and maintain military routes of communications and facilities, and perform related engineering work in the communications zone and rear areas of the combat zone. Starting in 1966, the 169th served seven years in a war that had no front lines and where the farmer working in the field by day became an enemy attacking by night. This Battalion built hundreds of miles of roads and constructed quarters for thousands of American soldiers throughout the Delta region of South Vietnam. They also built bridges, installed culverts, repaired Heavy Construction Equipment, cleared land, and accomplished all the missions associated with heavy engineer construction equipment operators, mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, structures specialists, and combat engineers. The Battalion was reactivated in 1986 and served as Advanced Individual Training unit responsible for the training of various vertical construction specialties. Later that year, the Battalion became the 169th Engineer Battalion (Support). In this role, the 169th supported all types of engineer training on Fort Leonard Wood by commanding the staff and faculty company, garrison company, and engineer companies whose mission involved pipelines, quarries, fire fighting, and bridging. In the spring of 1995, the 169th became a One Station Unit Training battalion responsible for training combat engineers, bridge builders, heavy construction equipment operators and mechanics, and engineer technicians for service in today’s Army. The 169th has a credit for 14 campaigns in Southeast Asia and three in World War II. It has also received three meritorious unit commendations and one Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal.

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