Corps of Engineers Forward Engineer Team returns after a year in Iraq
ANCHORAGE - The first U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance (FEST-A) to support military operations at war is returning from a year in Iraq on Friday, Mar. 25. The Alaska District's 62nd Engineer Detachment (FEST-A) is the first Corps of Engineers team in the nation to stand up and deploy to support the Overseas Contingency Operations in Iraq.
The Alaskan team spent a year in Nineveh Province supporting the 3rd Brigade, 45th Infantry Division conducting initial critical infrastructure assessments on sewer, water, environmental, academics and trash systems, providing technical engineering and design assistance, as well as limited contracting support. They had reach-back capabilities for assistance from staff throughout the corps and associated corps laboratories.
The 8-member FEST-A team consists of a military officer team leader, a Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, a Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist and civil, mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineers. A FEST-A team from Seattle has already arrived in Iraq to take over the support that the Alaskans have been providing.
The Army has taken the unprecedented step of making these mostly civilian engineering teams a permanent official part of Army units.