Headquarters Battalion, U.S Army Garrison Fort Belvoir was established on 1 November 1991, when Permanent Order 292-201 re-designated the U.S. Army Law Enforcement Battalion, first established in 1979, as Headquarters Command, Military District of Washington (MDW). Headquarters Command consolidated various military police, engineer, and administrative units under a single, battalion-level headquarters. At the time of its activation, Headquarters Battalion provided command and control for the Headquarters Company Fort Belvoir, the Military Police Activity, 473rd Military Police Company, and the MDW Engineer Company.
Headquarters Company. The current Headquarters and Headquarters Company draws its history from Headquarters Company, Fort Belvoir and Headquarters Company Special Activities. Headquarters Company Special Activities was established at Fort Myer in July 1957 as the Officer and Enlisted Student Detachment, MDW.
The company changed names several times before being designated as Headquarters Company Special Activities in 1977. In 1988, Headquarters Company, Fort Belvoir was activated to provide a company-level headquarters for the Garrison Headquarters and the U.S. Army Engineer Center and School, which resided at Fort Belvoir for 68 years before moving to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1988. At that time, Headquarters Company remained to provide administrative command support to the Garrison until its inactivation in September 1997. In 1997, the Headquarters Company Special Activities moved from Fort Myer to Fort Belvoir and added to its responsibilities those of Headquarters Company, Fort Belvoir and accepted its current designation of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir.
212th Military Police Detachment. The Military Police Activity, one of Headquarters Battalion’s original elements, was established in August 1944 in England as the 141st Military Police Company. The company was re-designated the 521st Military Police Company in 1947, inactivated in 1949, and re-activated at Fort Belvoir in 1951. In 1983, the company became the Military Police Activity. The unit supported law enforcement efforts and provided personnel to support the overseas operations of deployable MP units.
Among the units supported by the Military Police Activity was the 437th Military Police Company. Constituted in 1942, the company participated in the campaigns in Normandy, Ardennes-Alsace, and the Rhineland during World War II. The company came to Fort Belvoir in 1974. The 437th MP Company deployed to Panama in support of Operation Promote Liberty in 1989 and to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1991.
MDW Engineer Company. Until its transfer to the 12th Aviation Battalion in 2002, the 911th Technical Rescue Engineer Company also fell under Headquarters Battalion. Originally designated the MDW Engineer Company, the unit specializes in disaster assistance and confined space rescue. When al-Qaida terrorists flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the west face of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the company commander and first sergeant, without waiting for orders, moved the company to the disaster site. The company joined forces with civilian responders from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, the Montgomery Country Fire Department, and Virginia Task Force 1 – International Search and Rescue. Former members of the MDW Engineer Company, who worked in the Pentagon and survived the attack, joined their former company-mates to rescue survivors. The company spent 10 days engaged in continuous search and rescue operations. In recognition of their contribution, the MDW Engineer Company received the Superior Unit Award and was re-designated as the 911th Technical Rescue Engineer Company on 18 September 2006.
Today’s Headquarters Battalion. “The Eagle Team” provides administrative, logistical and training support to more than 2,200 Soldiers and civilians stationed on Fort Belvoir and throughout the National Capitol Region (NCR). The Battalion’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company supports the Garrison’s Headquarters, Fort Belvoir partner agencies, the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and a variety of educational and fellowship programs throughout the NCR. The attached 212th Military Police Detachment supports Garrison, MDW and Presidential mission requirements and receives command oversight, training, administrative, and logistical support from the Battalion. The Battalion also exercises company-grade and field-grade UCMJ authority and supports more than 19 different units and partner agencies at Fort Belvoir; directs the Fort Belvoir Resilience Program; synchronizes Garrison Community Health Promotion Council efforts and manages the MDW Combatives Program.