FORT LEWIS, Wash. – The 864th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) will return from a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan May 11. A welcome home ceremony is expected to take place around 6:15 pm. The battalion deployed in February 2007 as part of Task Force Pacemaker, the only troop construction unit deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.
The 864th Engineer Battalion’s headquarters commanded Task Force Pacemaker, which transformed the battle space in the Regional Command-East area of operations, while the battalion’s Alpha and Bravo companies conducted many of the task force’s construction efforts. During the battalion’s tour, the task force built 93 km of new roads and supervised the construction of an additional 217 km of roads by Afghan contractors- improving mobility of coalition forces while forging new paths for commerce and communication between the Afghan communities.
The task force constructed more than 200 buildings, including 12 brick and mortar facilities, creating warm and durable living conditions for more than 1,600 Soldiers, a total construction impact valued at more than $88 million. The task force also supervised or assisted in the construction of eight schools, 11 wells, four solar light projects, and other efforts totaling nearly $3.6 million in local civilian dev