585th Engineer Company (DT)

History of the 585th

The unit was first constituted on October 15, 1921 as a Reserve Engineer Train Company. On January 1, 1938, it became an Active Duty Army unit. On March 18, 1943 it was reorganized as the 585th Engineer Dump Truck Company out of Fort Claiborne, then served in WWII for almost four years.

Two decades later, based out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, it deployed to South Vietnam. The 585th Engineer Co (DT), arrived in Vietnam 15 September 1966 and departed 29 January 1972.  During its 65 months in country the 585th was based in Qui Nhon, Pleiku, Kontum, An Khe, Dak To, Tuy Hoa, Don Duong, Phan Rang, Vinh Hao, Whiskey Mountain and Weigt-Davis.  The unit served with distinction in Military Regions II and III, losing six of its soldiers to the fight. During this time, they were engaged in a variety of missions. Initially, they helped to construct Route QI-1 between Tuy Phong and Keeper Seawall in support of the 589th, an Engineer Battalion based out of Vinh Hao. Later, 585th took over for the 589th, inheriting their base camp, personnel, equipment and mission: Task Force Asphalt. 585th remained at Vinh Hao until 1971, at which time they moved to Don Duong and assumed the mission of the 577th Engineer Battalion.

After 585th completed their stint in Vietnam, the unit was inactivated for eight years, then served in Germany for eight years before being inactivated again in August of 1988.

The 585th Engineer Company (Pipeline Construction) was activated at Fort Lewis, Washington on March 4, 2005. When Commander CPT Ady Velasco and 1SG David Meyer first stood up the company, the unit had only seven personnel and a “junkyard of miscellaneous equipment” from 23 CM BN. Just 13 months later, the unit has grown to encompass more than 122 personnel, more equipment, and is actively preparing to deploy to Afghanistan within the next 10 months.

Today, the 585th Engineer Company has the distinction of being the only active duty Pipeline Construction Company in the United States Army. In May, 2006, the unit conducted an FTX at Fort Pickett, Virginia, where they learned the intricacies of their unique mission. They constructed a 5.4 mile long Inland Petroleum Distribution System (IPDS). The IPDS is a pipeline unit developed by the government in order to provide bulk fuel support to military forces anywhere in the world. The IPDS is lightweight, rapidly deployable, and can interface with a host nation’s fuel source. Engineer units, like the 585th, are responsible for installing the pipeline and constructing the pump stations; quartermaster units operate the total system when it is completed.

In addition to their pipeline mission, the company has a secondary mission as a construction unit. They have been actively involved with construction missions on post, including a Renovation Project for 2CR which involved building a six room Aid Station and Pharmacy, two 30-foot Rope Climbs, a Chaplain’s Office, and a Conference Room. The company has also been working with Habitat for Humanity to build 16 houses in Tacoma, a task that benefits the local community and provides their soldiers with invaluable construction experience. Other construction projects are currently being planned. Another trademark of the unit is their avid interest in Combatvies, and on any given day it is customary to see Soldiers from the 585th grappling one another in the field behind their company. SSG Jimenez, coordinator of the program, recently completed a Level 3 Combative Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and has been schooling soldiers on effective forms of submission. Their dedication is paying off; at a recent Round Robin fighting session in the BN, 585th dominated hands down.

Thirteen months after it first stood up, one thing is for sure: 585th Engineer Company, though relatively small and young, is making its mark on the Engineer world in a big way.

If there are any problems, questions, or comments, please contact Breland and Gayle Clement by clicking email below