1st Air Cavalry Brigade
1st Cavalry Division
Organizational Legacy

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AH-64D Apache Helicopter Fires Flares During Mission

Command Distinctive Unit Insignia


The 1st Cavalry Division, a major subordinate command of the US Third Mobile Armored Corps, is a 19,000 soldier, heavy armored division stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. As one of the two "on-call" heavy contingency force divisions of the Army, the First Team has an on-order mission to deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on a short notice. The following narratives, divided in timeline eras of major operational missions, describes the threat environment, tactical conditions, evolution of equipment technology and the strategic methodology employed by one of its command units, the 4th Brigade Combat Team and its Subordinate Units, to contribute to the successful missions enhancement of the warring organization of the 1st Cavalry Division and the honors they achieved are summarized in the chapters that follow.


ACB Mission. On order, the First Air Cavalry Brigade deploys to any theater, executes operations, and redeploys.

Operational Summary

On 16 October 1984, the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade was activated. The speed, mobility and flexibility of the Brigade provide the Division Commander with the organic capability to shape the entire battlefield and respond with the necessary temp and lethality of modern warfare. The brigade is composed of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company; an attack battalion, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation; a general support aviation support battalion, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation; and an aviation maintenance battalion, the 615th Aviation Support Battalion.

The Warrior Brigade's mission is to find, fix and destroy the enemy forces using the fire and maneuver to concentrate and sustain combat power at the critical time and place. As a member of the First Team, the Aviation Brigade enhances the overall effectiveness of the Division. The Warrior Brigade gives the division commander a highly flexible, responsive, and lethal combat multiplier.

The Brigade traces its history back to early 1963, where the Army began to gather helicopters into the 11th Air Assault Division to test the airmobile concept. Shortly thereafter, they were reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 01 August 1965, the 1st Cavalry Division deployed to Vietnam. Aviators participated in 14 Campaigns and received seven decorations (to include the Presidential Unit Citation (2 awards), the Valorous Unit Award (3 awards), the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm (3 awards) and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class during its 7 years of duty in Vietnam. The first Army aviator to win the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War was a member of the 227th Aviation Battalion.

In late 1990, the Brigade deployed overseas to Saudi Arabia, where the unit postured for combat in Operation Desert Shield. On 25 February 1991, with the onset of Operation DESERT STORM, the Brigade conducted a raid as a part of the 1st Cavalry Division's deception plan to throw Iraqi forces off guard. The units of the Brigade would serve as the vanguard of the movement of the Division to the north cutting off a retreating Iraqi Republican Guard Division at Basra. In late Spring of 1991, the units of the Brigade redeployed to Ft. Hood, and their home stations.

The Brigade again proved it's timely responsiveness in January 1993, deploying command and control aircraft to Kuwait. With 48 hours notice, the brigade deployed to Somalia, where it flew over 500 hours of combat missions. The changing threat was next met in Bosnia, when in 1999, the Brigade deployed to Operation JOINT FORGE. Units flew in the Balkans in support of Stabilization Force 4. Missions performed ranged from multi-national general support and airborne command and control, to air movement operations. In recognition of their performance in the Balkans, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment was designated as America's Aviation Unit of the Year by the Army Aviation Association.

With the onset of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in March 2003, the Brigade deployed the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation to Iraq to exercise their Longbow Apaches in combat operations for the first time. There, they assisted in setting the conditions for the defeat of Saddam's Army and the liberation of Baghdad from a cruel dictator. In the early hours of 24 March 2003, Apache Longbows of the 1st Cavalry Division, fought a fierce battle with units of Iraq's Republican Guard Medina Division between the cities of Karbala and Al Hilah, south of Baghdad.

During March 2004 the Brigade deployed to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II as part of Task Force Baghdad. The Brigade developed and implemented new techniques for air/ground integration using lethal and agile teams and was instrumental in enabling the first elections in Iraq in fifty years. The Brigade fought throughout the Baghdad Area of Operations and in Fallujah, An Najaf, Al Kut, Karbala, and Balad. The brigade flew over 70,000 hours and was recognized with 84 awards for valor including a Silver Star and seven Distinguished Flying Crosses. During this deployment, the Brigade was also recognized as the 2004 AAAA Aviation unit of the year and 1-227 ATK was recognized as the best aviation and attack battalion and 2-227 AVN was recognized as the best combat support battalion in the Army.

After the devasatation caused by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, the Brigade deployed 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation and the Brigade command team to Lousiana to support disaster relief operations in New Orleans. Immediately upon redeployment, 2-227 AVN and the brigade command team redeployed to East Texas to assist relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Rita. The agile and lethal Air Cavalry Brigade continues to "Live the Legend" of the true cavalry spirit in all of it's missions on a daily basis.

Warriors. First Team!

1st Air Cavalry Combat Brigade Organization

1st Air Cavalry Combat Bde

615th Avn Spt Bn (ASB)
"HHC", 615th Spt Bn
"A", "B" & "C" Cos

1st Bn, 227th Avn (ATK)
"HHC", 1st Bn, 227th Avn
"A", "B", "C" & "D" Cos
"E" Flt Spt Company

2nd Bn, 227th Avn (GS)
"HHC", 2nd Bn, 227th Avn
"A", "B", "C" & "D" Cos
"E" Flt Spt Company
"F" Company (ATGC)

3rd Bn, 227th Avn (ASLT)
"HHC", 3rd Bn, 227th Avn
"A", "B", "C" & "D" Cos
"E" Flt Spt Company
"F" Company (Blues Pltns)

4th Bn, 227th Avn (ATK)
"HHC", 4th Bn, 227th Avn
"A", "B", "C" & "D" Cos
"E" Flt Spt Company

"F" Co, 1st Bn, 58th AR
Date Of Issue - 15 August, 2011

Today, the soldiers of the 1st Air Cavalry Combat Brigade stand ready to answer an on-order mission to deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on short notice and once engaged with the threat; to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy.

The following folio of material highlights the many subsequent historical and critical missions performed by members of the 1st Air Cavalry Combat Brigade, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 27+ year history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:

Table of Contents

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Copyright © 1996, Cavalry Outpost Publications ® and Trooper Wm. H. Boudreau, "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment (1946 - 1947). All rights to this body of work are reserved and are not in the public domain, or as noted in the bibliography. Reproduction, or transfer by electronic means, of the History of the 1st Cavalry Division, the subordinate units or any internal element, is not permitted without prior authorization. Readers are encouraged to link to any of the pages of this Web site, provided that proper acknowledgment attributing to the source of the data is made. The information or content of the material contained herein is subject to change without notice.

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