The 36th is coming home from Iraq

Just received this from Captain John Fallon of the 36th Engineer, WWII. He received a letter from Colonel Kent Savre, of the current 36th Engineers. Great news! Great job guys and gals!




I am sorry for the duplication of messages but I wanted to be sure that everyone got the story. I have always been very proud of the 36th Engineer Seahorses, one of the finest the Army every produced. They finished their second tour of Iraq and a tour of Afghanistan and have proved they can handle any problem our country faces. I note particulary that the honors to the Commanders include in each case the ranking Sergeant and those men are and always will be the backbone of our Army.......or any army. Let us al hail these great men.


36 Engineers are rugged......John Fallon II. Capt. USA Ret.


Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 22:30:53 +0300

Subject: RE: update




Hope all is well!


We just completed the mission in Iraq today ... handed off responsibilities to the 20th Engineer Brigade to hopefully close the deal and get the troops home.


Rest assured that we continued to honor the proud history of the 36th Engineers!


What follows are my remarks from the Transition of Authority ceremony:


Lieutenant General Helmick, CSM Rice, Major General Cardon, Brigadier General Neubauer, Chief Master Sergeant Hutchinson, General Donahue, CSM Haugland, Colonel Mohamad, Colonel Sabah fellow commanders, and distinguished guests. Salam-a-lay-kum ... welcome ... and thank you for joining us this morning ... to witness the Transition of Authority between the 36th Engineer Brigade (Joint Task Force Rugged) and the 20th Engineer Brigade (Joint Task Force Castle).


In line with yesterday's transition of authority between 3rd Corps and 18th Airborne Corps, I believe this is truly a historic moment in time that marks the end of a remarkable year and puts in place the exact right team to take our military's mission, here in Iraq, across the finish line.


Last March, the country's first democratic ... open list ... election was successfully completed. The participation of the Iraqi people was extraordinary and the nation is now well on track to forming an inclusive and representative government.


The successful drawdown of US Forces to less than 50,000 took place on schedule. This was made possible by the increased capacity and capability of the Iraqi Security Forces ... and at the same time ... overall violence is at the lowest level since this war began.


On the first of September we commenced Operation New Dawn ... shifting from full spectrum operations to stability operations ... with Iraqi Security Forces in the lead. And now ... we are well on the way to transitioning from a military-led ... to a civilian-led mission ... and have put the plan in place to withdraw U.S. operational forces by December of 2011.


During this historic period the 36th Engineer Brigade expanded our engineer footprint across the entire Iraqi Joint Operational Area .... while simultaneously drawing down the engineer force structure.


Still ... our subordinate formations executed the spectrum of engineer operations sustaining assured mobility for US and Iraqi Forces through route clearance, MSR maintenance and bridging operations .... and we continued the execution of critical construction missions across Iraq.


We redoubled our efforts in Advising, Training, Assisting, and Equipping the Iraqi Army to provide them with a strategic bridging capability as well as the supporting construction and logistics. So to Colonel Mohammad and Colonel Sabah from the Iraqi Headquarters Field Engineering Regiment ... I believe our partnership has been mutually beneficial and feel confident that your Soldiers can provide the Iraqi Army with superb bridging and construction support. We have enjoyed our time together working with your professional and committed teams and I thank you for your attendance here today.


I am extremely proud of Joint Task Force Rugged and our contributions over the past year ... I couldn't have asked for a more capable team to serve with ... composed of multi component Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers deployed from stations across the world.

- the 7th Engineer Battalion ... from Fort Drum

- the 37th Engineers, from Bragg

- the 367th from Minnesota

- the 1st Engineer Battalion from Fort Riley

- the 328th from NJ

- two detachments from the 249th Prime Power

- the 70th Topo from Hawaii

- and the 511th Dive Team all served under the brigade and made a monumental contribution to the overall engineer effort.

And of course the two primary units that have gone the distance with us are the 467th Expeditionary Prime Beef Squadron comprised of JET airmen who came from bases around the world to form one of the most impressive technical engineering team I have ever served with ... and 724th Engineer Battalion, Wisconsin Army National Guard ... the Rugged Men of the North ... who's eight company modular formation was the sole Army engineer battalion serving in all of Iraq with responsibilities for construction, bridging and route clearance ... an unheard of task that was at one time accomplished by over 10 battalions.


Through it all our Soldiers continued to demonstrate unparalleled courage, skill, and a commitment to succeed and our families continue to provide selfless support from the homefront.


Moments ago ... you witnessed the casing of our colors ... signifying the end of our mission here in Iraq. I have to say ... I'm very proud of my staff... I believe we've made our mark ... building upon the Rugged Brigade's proud history of service to our Nation. And as we prepare to head back to Fort Hood ... congratulations on a job well done ... its time to reintegrate with friends and family and enjoy the good life back in America.


I feel fortunate to pass the baton to COL Rick Kaiser and an extremely capable Joint Task Force Castle and look forward watching them continue to build upon the Engineer Regiments proud service in Iraq.


I sincerely believe we are on course to set the conditions for an enduring strategic partnership with a sovereign, stable, self-reliant, and unified Iraq ... providing peace and democracy for their children ... allowing them to grow up in a place of liberty and equality ... and in turn ... bolstering the future security of America.




Regards to all of our Rugged Seahorse Veterans!


Very Respectfully,


COL Savre

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Welcome home gentlemen!!

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien

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