FORT BENNING — The 98th Training Division officially moves from Rochester, N.Y., to Fort Benning during a Saturday ceremony, adding a brigadier general as commander and about 300 soldiers.
“It is with some sadness and great pride that we close decades of service to New York and look forward to a new opportunity of decades of service to Fort Benning and the fine state of Georgia,” Brig. Gen. Dwayne R. Edwards said in a statement. “We are proud of our Iroquois alumni and welcome having both northern and southern chapters of their support organizations.”
After serving in Rochester for 53 years, the unit responsible for initial entry training for new soldiers will find a new home at the Maneuver Center of Excellence. As part of the 81st Regional Support Command, the unit will be located at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, Building 4400, on the Old Cusseta Highway.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, the building will be named in honor of Lt. Col. Elmer W. Heindl, a Catholic chaplain who served during World War II in Guadalcanal, the Solomons and the Philippines from 1942-1945.
Heindl was ordained a priest in 1936 and served as the assistant pastor of St. Andrew’s in Rochester before volunteering to join the Army in 1942.
The $21 million facility was constructed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process. In addition to the new training unit, the 139,755 square-foot building will be home for 12 other Reserve units. With 161 personnel, the 718 Engineer Company is among the second largest, along with the 1207th U.S. Army Hospital with 56 staffers.
Edwards was nominated for his first star by President Barack Obama in 2009 and assumed command of the 98th Training Division in June 2010.
The commander has been in uniform since September 1978, when he joined the Arkansas Army National Guard. He completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in 1979 and advanced training a year later at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
After attending the Arkansas Military Academy in 1981, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1982.