Task Force Essayons Activates in Iraq

Task Force Essayons
Published May 22, 2017
Col. Corey Spencer (right), commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Transatlantic Division, Task Force Essayons, unfurls the unit guidon with Mr. Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management (center), and Master Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, Kuwait support cell non-commissioned officer-in-charge (left), during the Task Force Essayons activation ceremony, Friday, May 19, 2017 at Camp Taji, Iraq. (Submitted Photo)

Col. Corey Spencer (right), commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Transatlantic Division, Task Force Essayons, unfurls the unit guidon with Mr. Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management (center), and Master Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, Kuwait support cell non-commissioned officer-in-charge (left), during the Task Force Essayons activation ceremony, Friday, May 19, 2017 at Camp Taji, Iraq. (Submitted Photo)

Col. Corey Spencer (right), commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Transatlantic Division, Task Force Essayons, uncases the unit guidon with Mr. Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management (left), and Master Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, Kuwait support cell non-commissioned officer-in-charge (center), during the Task Force Essayons activation ceremony, Friday, May 19, 2017 at Camp Taji, Iraq. (COMCAM Photo)

Col. Corey Spencer (right), commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Transatlantic Division, Task Force Essayons, uncases the unit guidon with Mr. Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management (left), and Master Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, Kuwait support cell non-commissioned officer-in-charge (center), during the Task Force Essayons activation ceremony, Friday, May 19, 2017 at Camp Taji, Iraq. (COMCAM Photo)

Col. Corey Spencer (right), commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Transatlantic Division, Task Force Essayons, pauses after unfurling the unit guidon with Mr. Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management (left), and Master Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, Kuwait support cell non-commissioned officer-in-charge (center), during the Task Force Essayons activation ceremony, Friday, May 19, 2017 at Camp Taji, Iraq. (COMCAM Photo)

Col. Corey Spencer (right), commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Transatlantic Division, Task Force Essayons, pauses after unfurling the unit guidon with Mr. Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management (left), and Master Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez, Kuwait support cell non-commissioned officer-in-charge (center), during the Task Force Essayons activation ceremony, Friday, May 19, 2017 at Camp Taji, Iraq. (COMCAM Photo)

CAMP TAJI, IRAQ — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) stood up a new Task Force in Iraq, Friday, May 19, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). The unit will be known as Task Force Essayons and will provide planning, design, construction, environmental and contracting support to units involved in OIR. The Task Force marked the standup by unfurling its flag during an activation ceremony.

In recent history, USACE has activated units in support of operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This activation is a continuation of USACE’s efforts to provide a robust response to the warfighter.  

The Task Force is comprised of 130 soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians. Most are volunteers, some from smaller USACE elements spread throughout the battle space, and many deployed from various USACE stateside districts, all eager to answer the call.

Task Force Essayons brings a unity of effort to all USACE forces supporting OIR. Brian Phillips, the liaison officer for the Transatlantic Division (TAD) to U.S. Army Central Command (USARCENT), said USARCENT made the Task Force its "one door to the Corps." Under this concept, USARCENT employs the Task Force as its sole point of contact to coordinate requests for USACE enterprise support.

“We have worked hard to unify the USACE resources in theater under one command, Task Force Essayons,” said Donny Davidson, the Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management. “I view the initial groundwork as a key component that enables this organization to maximize efficiencies and provide scalable, responsive and reliable forward engineering support to the warfighter.”

Some of the units the Task Force supports include the Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF), Special Operations Joint Task Force and the Coalition Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC) for OIR. One of the most valuable competencies Task Force Essayons provides to these units is their capability to utilize reachback support accessing the hundreds of experts in a wide variety of construction, engineering and contracting disciplines throughout the whole of the USACE enterprise.

"The engineering expertise the Task Force brings to the coalition joint operations area will help guide our construction efforts and posture our base camps for the remainder of our mission here in Iraq and Syria,” said Col. Aaron Magan, an engineer with CJTF for OIR. “The reachback capability that allows us to access the might of the entire USACE enterprise is now available to the Coalition Joint Task Force in an even more responsive form as Task Force Essayons is here with us in theater, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

“Task Force Essayons represents how the OIR mission is evolving. As Iraqi security forces and the Coalition Joint Forces Land Component Command for OIR prepare to take the fight against ISIS further west the operational environment and basing requirements become more complex,” said Maj. Otty Medina, the CJFLCC deputy engineer. “The Task Force will provide additional depth of engineering expertise to design and construct infrastructure that will directly enable coalition support to the Iraqi government.”

In addition to supporting other commands, Task Force Essayons will coordinate and synchronize their efforts with adjacent engineer units to complement other combat engineering assets in theater.

 

"[Task Force Essayons] provides significant technical engineer capability that will allow us to provide advanced engineering expertise above and beyond the contingency designs the 420th can provide,” said Lt. Col. Todd Starin, the 420th Engineer Brigade deputy brigade commander and executive officer. “This will improve the quality of support to our stakeholders across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility."

During the ceremony, Col. Corey Spencer, the Task Force Essayons commander, noted the importance of this mission and the effort it took to prepare for it.

“Simply, this team is a great asset for any unit it provides support to, but the meaning of the Task Force can best be expressed by the people it supports,” Spencer said. “This special occasion marks a new beginning for this team as it officially activates Task Force Essayons in Iraq. It’s been a lot of hard work to get where we’re at today, but this is only the beginning, and it is time to roll up our sleeves and get busy supporting the warfighter.”

Task Force Essayons is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Transatlantic Division, the major subordinate command responsible for all USACE operations in the 20 countries in the U.S. Central Command.

Those interested in deployment opportunities with USACE can find more information here:  http://www.tad.usace.army.mil/Careers/Deployments.aspx


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division serves as USACE’s tip of the spear in one of the most dynamic construction environments in the world, STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS, BUILDING CAPACITY, and ENHANCING SECURITY for our nation, allies, and partners. 

We deliver agile, responsive, and innovative, design, construction, engineering and contingency solutions in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and other global partners to advance national security interests.

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