Engineer bridge mission returns to Kentucky

Story by Sgt. Sandra K. Fariss, 206th Engineer Battalion

Uncasing of colors

Maj. James B. Richmond, 206th Engineer Battalion Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Vince Matteini uncase the new 2061st Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC) guidon at the Elizabethtown Armory, Oct. 18, 2014.  Capt. Sean Higgs, middle, assumed command of the new unit.  (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jason B. Brown, 2061st Multi-Role Bridge Company)

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — On Oct. 18, 2014 Maj. James B. Richmond, 206th Engineer Battalion Commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Vince Matteini uncased the new 2061st Multi-Role Bridge Company guidon at the Elizabethtown Armory. The guidon was then passed to Capt. Sean Higgs, who assumed command of the unit. The 2061st will be headquartered in the new Burlington Readiness Center with a detachment in Elizabethtown, Ky. The unit is a rare one that can conduct both wet and dry gap crossings in support of mobility operations. Its capabilities are critical to both Federal and State missions.

When deployed, the 2061st is capable of bridging the gap over both dry and wet gaps using a myriad of equipment such as the Dry Support Bridge (DSB), Ribbon Bridge, and the Mabey-Johnson Bridge. The DSB is a rigid bridge used to span across dry gaps, whereas the Ribbon Bridge is a floating bridge held in place by bridge erection boats in order to span wet gaps. The MRBC can also support flood rescue operations using the lightweight Zodiac inflatable boats. These capabilities enable Kentucky to better adhere to disasters.

“The unit can be very helpful in a situation such as seismic events on the New Madrid fault line,” said Richmond.  “Many bridges may be damaged which would make relief efforts to the western portion of the state difficult. The MRBC could bridge damaged supply routes and allow relief efforts to better flow into the area.”

The 206th Engineer Battalion is no stranger to this kind of unit. The 206th has commanded this type of unit before: Echo Company 206th Engineer Battalion was a Ribbon Bridge Company that was stationed in Morehead, Kentucky. back in the 1990s and deployed to Falmouth, Kentucky in 1997. During that time it played a critical role in the flood relief.

“It is a distinct honor and privilege to be your first commander,” said Higgs. “I look forward to working with each of you to build this fine unit, but remember that this is your unit, so take pride in it!”

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