Afghan War Vet Takes Command of Binghamton Engineer Battalion on Sunday, Oct. 15

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Lt. Col. Wing Yu

BINGHAMTON, NY (10/14/2017) (readMedia)-- Lt. Col. Wing Yu, an Afghanistan War veteran, and a Watertown, N.Y., resident, will take command of the 204th Engineer Battalion, from Lt. Col. Christopher Guilmette on Sunday morning.

The battalion also has elements in Kingston in the Hudson Valley, Walton, Horseheads and Buffalo.

WHO: Lt. Col. Wing Yu, the incoming commander; Lt. Col. Christopher Guilmette, the outgoing commander, and the men and women of the 204th Engineer Battalion.

WHAT: Traditional change-of-command ceremony in which Lt. Col. Guilmette will hand the battalion flag, commonly called the colors, to Lt. Col. Yu to mark the transition from one commander to another.

WHEN: 1 p.m. Sunday, October 15, 2017

WHERE: Traditions at the Glen, 4101 Watson Blvd, Johnson City, NY, in the Glen View Tent

Coverage Opportunities:

Interviews with Lt. Col. Yu about the missions of the battalion and its role in supporting troops in combat. Visual opportunities will include the passing of the battalion colors and imagery of the troops in massed formation.

For information and access on the day of the event reporters can contact Staff Sgt. Kristen Walker, battalion personnel NCO at 607-763-3102.


The Change of Command:

The Change of Command Ceremony dates back to the days in which a military unit's flag marked its position in the line of battle. The colors were always near the commander, so troops knew where to rally on the battlefield. Today the transfer of the colors marks a change in the unit and givens the soldiers their first opportunity to see and hear their new leader.

The change of command ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of the outgoing commander and the Soldiers who served under him. In addition, the ceremony identifies the new commander to the Soldiers, so they can follow him on the field of battle.

Lt. Col. Wing Yu:

Lieutenant Colonel Wing Yu enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 1987 as a communications specialist assigned to the 42d Infantry Division in New York City.

In 1994, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from the Reserve Officers Training Corp and served on active duty as a combat engineer with assignments as Platoon Leader and Support Platoon Leader in Camp Howze, Republic of Korea.

In 1999, Yu rejoined the New York Army National Guard, and was assigned to Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill, NY as the facilities maintenance officer.

He became the AGR full time operations officer at Camp Smith in 2002 with follow on assignments as the environmental officer.

Yu deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 as the electrical and garrison engineer responsible for construction projects. In 2011, he was assigned as the Executive Officer of 642d Aviation Support Battalion in Rochester, NY where he deployed to Kuwait in late 2013.

Upon his return from deployment in early 2009, Yu was then assigned to the 42d Infantry

Division HQ in Troy, NY as the deputy strategic plans officer.

His most recent assignment prior to taking command of the 204th Engineer Battalion was as the Liaison and Administrative Officer responsible for the establishment and operations of the10th Mountain Division's Main Command Post Operational Detachment located in Syracuse, NY.

Yu holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Avionics from Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's of Science degree in Environmental Technology from the New York Institute of Technology.

His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course, the Ordinance Officer Branch Qualification Course, the Combined Arms Staff Services School and the Command and General Staff College.

His awards and decorations include two Meritorious Service Medal; the Army Commendation Medal; the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Korea Defense Service Medal and the Airborne Badge.

He currently resides in Watertown, NY with his wife Michelle.

Lt. Col. Guilmette:

Lt. Col. Christopher M. Guilmette, was commissioned at Siena College in 1997 through Army Reserve Officer's Training Corps.

His past positions include; Platoon Leader, Operations officer, and Company Commander in Maryland. He was also a Civil Engineer officer, Plans officer, and Operations officer in the 204th Engineer Battalion, Binghamton, N.Y and a Brigade Engineer Liaison Officer at the 42d Infantry Division, Troy, N.Y.

His two past deployments were in 2003 in Canada and also in 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Kuwait as the Brigade Engineer for the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Guilmette was called for NY State Active Duty Mobilizations on eight different occasions during his two tenures with the 204th.

He holds a Bachelors in Electrical Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), conferred in December 1996. He is also a Licensed Professional Engineer in New York State.

His military education includes Engineer Officer Basic Course; Engineer Officer Advanced Course; Combined Arms Services and Staff School ,Intermediate Level Education (ILE); and Advanced Operations Course.

He currently working on his Master's Degree at the Army War College.

He is currently employed as a Principal Engineer with KW Mission Critical Facilities located in Troy, NY and resides in Voorheesville, NY with Kelly, his wife, and three sons, Trevor, Eric and Andrew.

The 204th Engineer Battalion:

The 204th is the only Engineer Battalion in the New York Army National Guard and plays a key role in the New York National Guard's plans in responding to emergencies at the direction of the governor.

The battalion headquarters company and forward support companies, and the battalion's quarry detachment, are based at the Binghamton Armory. The battalion has subordinate companies in Kingston in the Hudson Valley, Walton, Horseheads and Buffalo.

The 827th Engineer Company, based in Horseheads and Walton just returned from a yearlong mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan. That company specializes in repairing roads.

he 152nd Engineer Company in Buffalo is specially trained in the skills needed to rescue victims from a destroyed building, along with basic combat engineer tasks.

The 1156th Engineer Company in the Hudson Valley specializes in vertical engineering; the construction of buildings and other basic facilities.