The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) mission (2013) is to provide advice and technical assistance in all aspects of electrical power and distribution systems and to generate and distribute prime electrical power in support of Army operations worldwide. But this was not always the case.
The 249th Engineer Combat Battalion was originally constituted in 25 February 1943 and activated 5 May 1943 at Camp Bowie, Texas. The Battalion was deployed to Europe where it engaged in four major World War II campaigns, and was cited in the Belgian Army Order of the Day for action in the Ardennes in Alsace, France. Following the war, the unit pulled a short tour of occupation duty and then returned to Camp Patrick Henry, Va., where it was inactivated on 27 November 1945.
On 23 March 1948, the Battalion was redesignated as the 442d Engineer Battalion and assigned to the Active Reserve Corps under Fifth Army. The Battalion was activated and affiliated with the Iowa State Highway Commission in 1948-49. It again was inactivated in May 1950 and returned to reserve status.
On 25 June 1952, the 442d Battalion was redesignated as the 249th Engineer Construction Battalion, and on 9 December 1954 was allocated to the Regular Army. The battalion was reactivated on 9 February 1955 and sent to Kaiserslautern, West Germany.
In March 1960, the Battalion deployed to France, fragmented and performed airfield missions. It returned to Karlsruhe, West Germany in 1965.
On 30 June 1975, the Battalion was redesignated as the 249th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy).
On 8 December 1990, the 249th deployed to Southwest Asia to participate in Desert Shield and later Desert Storm. For its actions there, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
On 29 April 1991, the unit returned to Germany and was inactivated on 15 October 1991.
The 249th is a four time Itschner Award winner with D Company in 1982, C Company in 1983, B Company in 1984, and B Company once again in 1986. Additionally, the 249th Engineer Battalion has produced three Sturgis Award winners.
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