1st Brigade Combat Team
1st Cavalry Division
Historical Missions

The Early Years, 1917 - 1941

The 1st (Ironhorse) Brigade was constituted 29 August 1917, in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Brigade. On the following February, the Brigade was organized as part of the 15th Cavalry Division at Fort Sam Houston. The Brigade's first service was largely a saga of rough riding, patrolling the Mexican border and constant training. Operating from horseback, the cavalry was the only force capable of piercing the harsh terrain of the desert to halt the band of smugglers that operated along the desolate Mexican border.

On 14 July 1919, the Brigade was demobilized at Fort Brownsville, Texas. The organization and activation of the 1st Cavalry Division brought about the reconstitution of the Brigade on 20 August 1921, as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Brigade, an element if the 1st Cavalry Division. On 01 September 1921, the unit was organized at Camp Harry J. Jones in Douglas, Arizona.

In 1923, the 1st Cavalry Division assembled to stage its first divisional maneuvers since WWI at Camp Marfa, Texas. The line of march was Fabens, Fort Hancock, Sierra Blanca, Hot Wells, Lobo Flats and Valentine. The wagon trains, all drawn by four mules (no motorized vehicles yet), were endless. Over the next four years, elements of the division were stationed at Camp Marfa, Fort Bliss and Fort Clark, which were all in Texas.

The entire Army was expanding and acquiring new equipment. Faster and lighter medium tanks were assigned to both, cavalry and infantry units. There was also a new urgency for readiness being expressed by Washington. Japan, which had invaded Manchuria in 1931, continued to expand conquests into China and Nazi Germany had annexed Austria and was threatening to seize Czechoslovakia.

In 1938, against the background of international tensions, the 1st Cavalry Division staged its second divisional maneuvers in the mountains near Balmorhea, Texas. The staging of the third divisional maneuvers was made even more memorable and intense by their timing. The starting of the maneuvers, 01 September 1939, coincided with the invasion of Poland by Germany, who used the most modern and deadly military force of its time. With the surprise of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 07 December 1941, troopers outfitted their horses and readied their weapons and vehicles in anticipation of the fight against the Axis.

World War II, Pacific Theater, 1941 - 1945

In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. An impatient 1st Cavalry Division was dismounted and they were processed for movement to the Southwest Pacific theater as foot solders. In mid June 1943, the last troops of the division departed Fort Bliss, Texas for Camp Stoneman, California and later on 03 July, boarded the "SS Monterey and the SS George Washington" for Australia and the Southwest Pacific.

On 26 July, three weeks later, the division arrived at Brisbane and began a fifteen mile trip to their new temporary home, Camp Strathpine, Queensland, Australia. The division received six months of intense combat jungle warfare training at Camp Strathpine in the wilds of scenic Queensland and amphibious training at nearby Moreton Bay. In January 1944 the division was ordered to leave Australia and sail to Oro Bay, New Guinea. After a period of staging in New Guinea, it was time for the 1st Cavalry Division to receive their first baptism of fire.

Island Combat
On 27 February, Task Force "Brewer", consisting of 1,026 troopers, embarked from Cape Sudest, Oro Bay, New Guinea under the command of Brigadier General William C. Chase. Their destination was a remote, Japanese occupied island of the Admiralties, Los Negros, where they were to make a reconnaissance of force and if feasible, capture Momote Airdrome and secure a beachhead for the reinforcements that would follow.

Just after 800 hours on 29 February, the 1st Cavalry troopers climbed down the nets of the APD's and into the LCM's and LCPR's, the flat bottomed landing craft of the Navy. The landing at Hayane Harbor took the Japanese by surprise. Following the assault on Los Negros, the Brigade left footprints on Bismarck Archipelago and the Philippines. On 13 August 1945, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted that they were selected to accompany General Douglas MacArthur to Tokyo and would be part of the 8th Army in the occupation of Japan.

Surrender of Japan
On 02 September the long convey of ships steered into Yokohama Harbor and past the battleship Missouri where General MacArthur would later receive the Japanese surrender party. The First Team was given the honor of leading the Allied Occupational Army into Tokyo. At noon on 05 September 1945, a reconnaissance team headed by Colonel Charles A. Sheldon, the Chief of Staff of the 1st Cavalry Division, entered Tokyo. This embarkment was the first official movement of American personnel into the capital of the mighty Japanese Empire.

At 8:00 on 08 September, a history making convey left Hara-Machida with Tokyo as their destination. Headed by Major General William C. Chase, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, the party included a veteran from each troop of the division. Passing through Hachioji, Fuchu and Chofu, the Cavalry halted briefly at the Tokyo City Limits. General Chase stepped across the line thereby putting the American Occupational Army officially in Tokyo and adding another "First" to its name;

"First in Tokyo".

The first mission of the division was to assume control of the city. On 16 September, the 1st Cavalry Division was given responsibility for occupying the entire city of Tokyo and the adjacent parts of Tokyo and Saitama Prefectures. 1946 was welcomed as a new dawning of peace for the 1st Cavalry Division. The days of privation, hardship, suffering and death were over for the first time since 07 December 1940. They year found the 1st Cavalry Division in control of Tokyo and vicinity, the capital of the war-built Japanese Empire. On 01 March, the 1st Cavalry Division was given the occupational responsibility of seven prefectures of Japan, in addition to the four occupied during the previous months.

The 1st Cavalry Division began 1947 with the continuation of its occupation of the heart and nerve center of the Japanese Empire. Although there was no change in occupational policy, there had been vast changes among the troopers themselves. The combat veterans of the division had been replaced by new arrivals from the states. Their time was spent in receiving advanced training, guard duty, patrolling and specialist assignments.

As the new year of 1948 opened, the influence of the occupation was everywhere. Japan had been converted into a peaceful nation with a framework of government under its new constitution that would make it a lasting democracy. Reduction of troops continued throughout the year.

On 25 March 1949, the 1st Brigade was inactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 20 May 1949; The 1st Brigade was converted and redesignated as Headquarters, 1st Constabulary Brigade, assigned to the United States Constabulary, and activated in Germany. On 24 November 1950; the Brigade was relieved from assignment to the United States Constabulary. On 15 August 1951 the Brigade was inactivated in Germany and on 05 December 1951, disbanded.

Return To Korea, 1957 - 1965

On 15 July 1963, the Brigade was reconstituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and on 01 September 1963, was activated in Korea. The 1st Brigade and its subnorate units was stationed at Camp Blue Lancer Valley (BLV), located only three miles northeast of Munsan. All soldiers fortunate enough to have received assignment at the BLV have little to wonder of this appealing military sector in addition to the recreation and leisure facilities. Organizationally, the 1st Brigade remained at BLV unitl it was reflagged 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in 1965. The colors of the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division moved to Fort Benning, GA in preparation to the movement of the Division to Vietnam.

Vietnam War, 1965 -1972

Air Cavalry Unit
The 1st Cavalry Division went home in 1965, but only long enough to be reorganized and be prepared for a new mission. On 03 July 1965, in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Georgia the colors of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) were cased and retired. As the band played the rousing strains of Garryowen, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were moved onto the field. Within 90 days of becoming the Army's first air mobile division, the First Team was back in combat as the first fully committed division of the Vietnam War. An advance party, on board C-124s and C-130s, arrived at Nha Trang between the 19th and 27th of August 1965. They joined with advance liaison forces and established a temporary base camp near An Khe, 36 miles inland from the costal city of Qui Nhon.

On 20 September, the 1st Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division debarked from the troop ship USNS Geiger and marched ashore at the city of Qui Nhon, Republic of Vietnam. The brigade consisted of three airborne infantry battalions, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 8th Cavalry and 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery as a direct support unit. The brigade loaded quickly into helicopters and moved inland to the main base camp of the division at An Khe. In the Oriental calendar year of the "Horse", the airborne soldiers had returned to war wearing the famous and feared patch of the First Cavalry Division. The "First Team" had entered its third war - and the longest tour of duty in combat history.

On 23 October 1965, the first real combat test came at the historic order of General Westmoreland to send the First Team into an air assault mission to pursue and fight the enemy across 2,500 square miles of jungle. Troopers of the 1st Brigade and 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry swooped down on the NVA 33rd regiment before it could get away from Plei Me. The enemy regiment was scattered in the confusion and was quickly smashed.

On 16 May, Operation Crazy Horse, another search and destroy mission began in the jungle hills between Suoi Ca and Vinh Thanah valleys. Initial contact was made by Company "B", 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. Soon the entire 1st Brigade was involved in bitter engagements in tall elephant grass and heavily canopied jungle. Once the enemy was surrounded, all available firepower was concentrated on the area. The Viet Cong regiment was hit with artillery, aerial rockets, tactical air strikes by F-4s and bombs from high flying B-52s. Many of the enemy soldiers, trying to flee the devastation, were cut down in Cavalry ambushes. Many important military documents, detailing the Viet Cong infrastructure in Binh Dinh, were discovered.

On October 25, Operation Thayer II continued the drive to pacify the Binh Dinh Province. On 01 November troopers of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry became engaged in a sharp fight with the 93rd Battalion and the 2nd Viet Cong Regiment. The action took place in the vicinity of National Route 1 and Dam Tra-O Lake south of the Gay Giep mountains. In Thayer II the enemy suffered a punishing loss of 1,757 killed.

Exploring VC Cave Networks
On 13 February 1967, Operation Pershing began in a territory which was familiar to many skytroopers, the Bong Son Plain in northern Binh Dinh Province. For the first time, the First Cavalry Division committed all three of its Brigades to the same battle area. ARVN soldiers familiar with the methods of the Viet Cong operations in the Bong Son Plain helped the skytroopers locate and eliminate the numerous caves and tunnels infiltrated by the enemy. For nearly a year the division scoured the Bong Son Plain, An Lao Valley and the hills of costal II Corps, seeking out enemy units and their sanctuaries. Pershing became a tedious, unglamorous mission that produced 18 major engagements and numerous minor skirmishes in the 11 month campaign.

The division began 1968 by terminating Operation Pershing, the longest of the 1st Cavalry's Vietnam actions. When the operation ended on 21 January, the enemy had lost 5,401 soldiers and 2,400 enemy soldiers had been captured. In addition, some 1,300 individual and 137 crew weapons had been captured or destroyed.

Tet Offensive Theater
Moving to I Corps, Vietnam's northern most tactical zone, the division set up Camp Evans for their base camp. On January 31 1968, amid the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, the enemy launched the Tet Offensive, a major effort to overrun South Vietnam. Some 7,000 enemy, well equipped, crack NVA regulars blasted their way into the imperial city of Hue, overpowering all but a few pockets of resistance held by ARVN troops and the US Marines. Within 24 hours, the invaders were joined by 7,000 NVA reinforcements. Almost simultaneously to the North of Hue, five battalions of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong attacked Quang Tri City, the capital of Vietnam's northern province. The Cavalry went on the move with four companies of skytroopers from the 1st Battalions of the 5th and 12th Cavalry who arrived at the village of Thorn An Thai, just east of Quang Tri. Under heavy aerial rocket attack, the enemy quickly broke off the Quang Tri attack, dispersed into small groups and attempted to escape. Quang Tri was liberated within 10 days.

Air Evacuation
After shattering the enemy's dreams of a Tet victory, the 1st Cavalry Division "Sky-Troopers" initiated Operation Pegasus to relieve the 3,500 US Marines and 2,100 ARVN soldiers besieged by nearly 20,000 enemy soldiers. On 01 April 1968, the 3rd Brigade, making a massive air assault within 5 miles of Khe Sanh, were soon followed by the 1st and 2nd Brigades and three ARVN Battalions. "A" Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry led the way, followed by "C" Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry. After four days of tough fighting, they marched into Khe Sanh to take over the defense of the battered base. Pursing the retreating North Vietnamese, the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry recaptured the Special Forces camp at Lang Vei uncovering large stockpiles of supplies and ammunition. The final statistics of Operation Pegasus were 1,259 enemy killed and more than 750 weapons captured.

On April 19 1968, Operation Delaware was launched into the cloud-shrouded A Shau Valley, near the Laotian border and 45 kilometers west of Hue. None of the Free World Forces had been in the valley since 1966, which was now being used as a way station on the supply route known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The first engagement was made by the 1st and 3rd Brigades. Under fire from mobile, 37 mm cannon and 0.50 caliber machine guns, they secured several landing zones. For the next month the brigades scoured the valley floor, clashing with enemy units and uncovering huge enemy caches of food, arms, ammunition, rockets, and Russian made tanks and bulldozers. By the time that Operation Delaware was ended on 17 May, the favorite Viet Cong sanctuary had been thoroughly disrupted.

Air Insertion Operation
In late 1968, the Division moved and set up operations in III Corps at the west end of South Vietnam. The First Team established Division Headquarters at Phouc Vinh, assuming control and mission responsibility in four provinces; Phouc Long, Binh Long, Tay Ninh and Binh Duong. The beginning of 1969 found the First Cavalry Division and the ARVN forces engaged in Operation Toan Thhang II. The first three weeks of operation netted the skytroopers one of the largest caches of munitions found in the Vietnam War.

On 01 May 1970, the First Team was "First into Cambodia" hitting what was previously a Communist sanctuary. President Nixon has given the go-ahead for the surprise mission. Pushing into the "Fish Hook" region of the border and occupying the towns of Mimot and Snoul, troopers scattered the enemy forces, depriving them of much needed supplies and ammunition. Ending on 30 June, the mission to Cambodia far exceeded all expectations and proved to be one of the most successful operations of the First Team. All aspects of ground and air combat had been utilized. The enemy had lost enough men to field three NVA divisions and enough weapons to equip two divisions. A years supply of rice and corn had been seized. The troopers and the ARVN soldiers had found uncommonly large quantities of ammunition, including 1.5 millions rounds for small arms, 200,000 antiaircraft rounds and 143,000 rockets, mortar rounds and recoilless rifle rounds. The sweeps turned up 300 trucks, a Porsche sports car and a plush Mercedes-Benz sedan.

The campaign had severe political repercussions in the United States for the Nixon Administration. Pressure was mounting to remove America's fighting men from the Vietnam War. Although there would be further assault operations, the war was beginning to wind down for many troopers.

The efforts of the 1st Brigade were not limited to direct enemy engagements but also, using the experiences gained during the occupation of Japan and Korea, encompassed the essential rebuilding of the war torn country of South Vietnam. As a result of its' gallant performance, the regiment was awarded two presidential Unit Citations and the Valorous Unit Citation.

Although 26 March 1971 officially marked the end of duties in Vietnam for the 1st Cavalry Division, President Nixon's program of "Vietnamization" required the continued presence of a strong US fighting force. The 2nd Battalion of the 5th Regiment, 1st Battalion of the 7th Regiment, 2nd Battalion of the 8th Regiment and 1st Battalion of the 12th Regiment along with specialized support units as "F" Troop, 9th Cavalry and Delta Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion helped establish the 3rd Brigade headquarters at Bien Hoa. Its primary mission was to interdict enemy infiltration and supply routes in War Zone D.

The 1st Brigade, began its "Stand Down" in a phased withdrawal and was bought back to the United States, returning to Fort Hood in April 1971. The 1st Cavalry Division had been the first army division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave.

"Firsts" had become the trademark of the First Team.

On 27 January 1973, a cease-fire was signed in Paris by the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the National Liberation Front (NLF), the civilian arm of the South Vietnam Communists. A Four-Party Joint Military Commission was set up to implement such provisions as the withdrawal of foreign troops and the release of prisoners. An International Commission of Control and Supervision was established to oversee the cease-fire.

Persian Gulf War, Southwest Asia, 1990 - 1991

Theater of Operations
In August 1990, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for deployment to Southwest Asia as part of the joint forces participating in Operation Desert Shield. The focus at that time was the defense of Saudi Arabia against potential Iraqi attack. The First Team soldiers flew from Robert Gray Army Airfield to Dhahran International Airport via Paris, France and Cairo, Egypt. There, they settled into warehouses and tents to await the arrival of their equipment. As soon as their equipment arrived, they moved to the remote Assembly Area Horse (AA Horse) in the Saudi desert 160 miles west of the airport.

By the end of three months intensive training, the 1st Cavalry Division was one of the most modern and powerfully equipped divisions in the Army. The first glimpse of their capability came in December 1990, on the division's Pegasus Range which had been built up from the sands of the Saudi desert. Every tank and Bradley crew test fired their new weapons as part of the new equipment transition training. Throughout this period, leaders of the division were planning and rehearsing the First Team's role as the theater counterattack force - the force that would defeat any Iraqi attack into Saudi Arabia.

Defense in the Wadi 14 Jan 1991
In January 1991, the division was attached to VII(US) Corps and the focus of the First Team clearly began to shift toward offensive action. The division moved its 17,000 soldiers who were now accustomed to "jumping", 500 kilometers to another assembly area near King Khalid Military City (KKMC) in northern Saudi Arabia. This repositioning put the division in a key strategic location covering the historic Wadi al Batin approach into Saudi Arabia and threatening Iraq along the same avenue into western Kuwait, completing defensive preparations along the Tapline Road. The 1st Brigade tied in with the 6th (French) Light Division to the left and the 2nd Brigade along with the 101st Airborne Division to the right.

The First Team began a calculated war of deception along the Saudi border. The goal was to lure Saddam Hussein into believing the main ground attack of the Allies would come up the Wadi al Batin, a natural invasion route, causing him to reposition additional forces there. The deception consisted of three major thrusts;

Deception in the Wadi 20 Feb 1991
During 07 - 20 February, the offensive lines of the 1st Cavalry Division had crept north and were just below the border. Both of the 1st and 2nd Brigades and supporting artillery conduct reconnaissance, artillery raids, and "Berm Buster" obstacle reduction missions. Desert Storm's "First" major ground encounter was on 19/20 February 1991, when the division's 2nd (Blackjack) Brigade conducted Operation Knight Strike I, 10 kilometers into Iraq, confirming and destroying enemy positions.

After thirty-eight days of continuous air attacks on targets in Iraq and Kuwait, the commander of the Allied Forces, General Norman Schwarzkopf unleashed all-out attacks against Iraqi forces very early on 24 February 1991. On that day, the mission of the 1st Cavalry Division was to conduct a "feint" attack up the Wadi al Batin, creating the illusion that it was the Allies main ground attack. Meanwhile, far to the west, the VII Corps and the XVIII Airborne had already began a deep strike into Iraq.

The enemy reacted as anticipated. Iraqi divisions focused on the coalition threat in the Wadi, and the First Team froze them. The deception worked, in that it tied down four Iraqi divisions, leaving their flanks thinned and allowed the VII Corps to attack virtually unopposed, conducting a successful envelopment of Iraqi forces to the west.

Position cursor on selected function, "Click" and "Hold".
Summary Of Actions, 24 - 28 February
Having fulfilled their assigned mission of deception, the following day, General Norman Schwarzkopf issued the command "Send in the First Team. Destroy the Republican Guard. Let's go home". In the approximate center of the allied line, along the Wadi al Batin, Maj. Gen. John H. Tilelli, Jr.'s 1st Cavalry Division swung west at noon the 26 of February, conducting refueling on the move, crossing the 1st Infantry Division breach sites and moving up the left side of VII Corps' sector by late 26 February, and attacked north into a concentration of Iraqi divisions, whose commanders remained convinced that the Allies would use the Wadi al Batin and several other wadies as avenues of attack.

The first enemy encountered was the Iraqi 27th Infantry Division. That was not their first meeting. General Tilelli's division had actually been probing the Iraqi defenses for some time. As these limited thrusts continued in the area that became known as the "Ruqi Pocket". The 1st Cavalry found and destroyed elements of five Iraqi divisions, evidence that they had succeeded in their theater reserve mission of drawing and holding enemy units.

By mid afternoon 27 February, after a high-speed 190 mile (305 Km) move north and east, slicing into the enemy's rear, General Tilelli's brigades joined in with the 24th Division across the VII Corps' boundary. The dust storms had cleared early in the day, revealing the most awesome array of armored and mechanized power fielded since World War II. In a panorama extending beyond visual limits 1,500 tanks, another 1,500 Bradleys and armored personnel carriers, 650 artillery pieces, and supply columns of hundreds of vehicles stretching into the dusty brown distance rolled east through Iraqi positions, as inexorable as a lava flow.

Stand Down After Cease Fire
By 28 February 1991, when the cease-fire ordered by President Bush went into effect, the Iraqis had lost 3,847 of their 4,280 tanks, over half of their 2,880 armored personnel carriers, and nearly all of their 3,100 artillery pieces. Only five to seven of their forty-three combat divisions remained capable of offensive operations. In the days after the cease-fire the busiest soldiers were those engaged in the monumental task of counting and caring for an estimated 60,000 prisoners.

1st Cavalry Division units setup defensive positions where the cease fire had stopped the attack, then in its final mission, expanded north to "Highway 8" clearing bunkers and looking for enemy equipment and soldiers. The 1st (Ironhorse) Brigade stretched through the historic Euphrates River Valley. Within 2 weeks, the 1st Cavalry moved south into Saudi Arabia and the new assembly area (AA) Killeen. There on the plain of the Wadi al Batin - the Cavalry began to prepare for redeployment home.

During Operation Desert Storm, the First Team accumulated several new "Firsts":
  • "First" to defend along the Saudi-Iraq border.
  • "First" to fire Copperhead artillery rounds in combat.
  • "First" to conduct intensive MLRS artillery raids.
  • "First" to conduct mobile armored warfare in Iraq .

First Team Persian Gulf Color Guard

Today's Cavalry, 1992 - 2000

Upon return to the United States, in April 1991. the first of a series of reorganizations were initiated in the period May 1991 to August 1993, which resulted in a contingency force, ready to deploy anywhere in the world on a moments notice. Since then, elements of the 1st Brigade have deployed to Guantanamo Bay from May - June 1992 for Operation "Sentinel" and to the Emirate of Kuwait for Operation "Intrinsic Action" from August - November 1992. In March 1994, the "Iron Horse" Brigade Combat Team returned from its third successful rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California since Desert Storm.

Bosnia Peacekeepers - "Task Force Eagle", 1998 - 1999

In April 1998, the IRONHORSE Brigade was alerted for peace enforcement duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Stabilization Forces (SFOR) 4 on Operation Joint Forge. The IRONHORSE Brigade deployed to Bosnia from August 1998 until March 1999 and was crucial to maintaining peace and stability during a very critical and potentially violent time in Bosnia where new governments were forming and the post-war tension was at its peak.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II, 2003 - 2005

Following an intense train-up period, including the first ever Low-intensity Conflict rotation at the National Training Center, the "Ironhorse" troopers deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II in March 2004. There the 1st Brigade Combat Team fought some of the most intense street battles of the war in the dense urban terrain of the Eastern sectors of Baghdad. The "ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team engaged in a full spectrum of operations on a daily basis on its streets, and supervised the construction of hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces. In March of 2005, the BCT redeployed back to Fort Hood, TX and began the task of preparing for reorganization into the future Unit of Action.

Army Modular Force, 2005

In March of 2005, the Brigade redeployed back to Fort Hood and began the task of preparing for reorganization into the future Unit of Action. Beginning on 12 July 2005, under the 1st Cavalry Division Restructuring Program, the Brigade began to reorganize as a full Brigade Combat Team as the 2nd Bn. 5th Cavalry; 1st Sqdn, 7th Cavalry; 2nd Bn, 8th Cavalry; 1st Bn, 82nd Field Artillery Regiments; 115th Brigade Support and the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalions were restructured and assigned. This new alignment posture was scheduled for completion by 27 July, 2005 when the United States Army announced the stationing and flagging designation plan for the active component divisions and brigade combat teams (BCTs) that brought the Army from a Cold War footprint to a new presence that is better suited to the 21st century security environment.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM IV, 2006 - 2008

On 27 July. 2005 the Department of Defense announced additional major units scheduled to deploy as part of the next Operation Iraqi Freedom rotation. The announcement, included four Army brigades and two Marine Regimental Combat Teams consisting of approximately 25,000 service members put the entire 1st Cavalry Division on orders to return to Iraq. The newly identified units of the 1st Cavalry Division were the 1st Brigade Combat Team, Ft. Hood, TX and 4th Brigade Combat Team, Fort Bliss, TX. This rotation continues the US commitment to OIF, yet is flexible and adaptable in order to meet the evolving requirements for the mission in Iraq and their time is coming up quickly.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM VI, 2008 - 2010

Throughout 2006, the brigade reorganized to a Heavy Brigade Combat Team, deploying to Iraq in October of 2006 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM - VI. Taking over the largest and one of the most populated areas in Multi-National Division– - Baghdad (MND-B), the 1st Brigade Combat Team was an integral part of the surge operation in Baghdad. The initial focus on combat operations provided a safe, stable, and secure environment which allowed reconciliation efforts of both Sunni and Shia tribal leaders and led to a significant expansion of Iraqi Security Forces, local government, and infrastructure improvement followed by a flourishing economic and cultural growth.

Operation IRAQI DRAWDOWN, 2009 - 2010

In February 2009, the IRONHORSE Brigade again answered the call to duty and deployed with 1st Cavalry Division to assume mission in the North-East corner of Baghdad. As the flagship brigade for the "First Team" division, the area of operations for the brigade included Sadr city, Rusafa, Adahmiyah and Istiqlaal, and was extended during the deployment to include Taji and Tarmiyah. The brigade had a significant role in the transfer of bases and responsibility to the Iraqis. In total, 9 facilities were transferred from US to Iraqi possession. The brigade partnered with Iraqi Security Forces including brigades of the 9th Iraqi Army Division as well as the 11th Iraqi Army Division throughout the deployment and was present for the historic 30 June 2009 transition when the Iraqi Security Forces took responsibility for security.

The Brigade assisted the people of Iraq by supporting civil capacity projects with embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams (ePRT) and assigned civil affairs units which improved quality of life and gave a sense of normalcy to the population. Through Civil Affairs projects, security support, and partnership with the ISF the IRONHORSE Brigade made an historic difference in the lives of Iraqis in and around Baghdad. The Brigade returned to Ft. Hood in January 2010.

Operation NEW DAWN, 2010 - 2012

01 September, 2010 marked the official end to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and combat operations by United States forces in IraqThe transition to Operation NEW DAWN. During Operation NEW DAWN, the remaining 50,000 US servicemembers serving in Iraq will conduct stability operations, focusing on advising, assisting and training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Operation NEW DAWN, a compromise of the Republican and Democrat Parties to vacate the Iraqi operation by mid 2010, also represents a shift from a predominantly military US presence to one that is predominantly civilian, as the Departments of Defense and State work together with governmental and non-governmental agencies to help build Iraq’s civil capacity.

Today these great soldiers of the IRONHORSE Brigade Combat Team, a poised and highly trained unit, ready to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice and win decisively.

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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.

Revised 10 Oct '11 SpellChecked