3rd Brigade Combat Team
1st Cavalry Division
Historical Missions

The Early Years, 1917 - 1942

The 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division is a heavily armored, subordinate unit stationed at Fort Hood, Texas as part of the US Third Mobile Armored Corps. The history of the 3rd Brigade can be traced back to 29 August 1917, when it was constituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Brigade. On December 1917, it was organized and assigned to the 15th Cavalry Division at Camp Harry J. Jones, Arizona. The Brigade's initial wartime service was patrolling the Mexican Border, until 12 May 1918 when it was relieved from the 15th Cavalry Division and demobilized on 15 July 1919, at Camp Harry J. Jones, Arizona. On 20 August 1921, the Brigade was reconstituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Cavalry Brigade, an element of the 2nd Cavalry Division. Never officially reorganized, the Brigade remained on inactive status until 15 October, 1940 when it was activated at Ft. Riley, Kansas.

World War II - European Theater, 1942 - 1945

On 15 July 1942, the Brigade was relieved from assignment to the 2nd Cavalry Division; concurrently converted and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Armored Division Trains. The 9th Armored Division landed in Normandy late in September 1944, and first went into line patrol duty in a quiet sector along the Luxembourg-German frontier on 23 October. When the Germans launched their winter offensive on 16 December, the 9th, with no real combat experience, suddenly found itself engaged in heavy fighting. The Division saw its first action at St. Vith, Echternach, and Bastogne, its units fighting in widely separated areas.

9th AD Advances Through Engers, Germany
Its stand at Bastogne held off the Germans long enough to enable the 101st Airborne to dig in for a defense of the city. After a rest period in January 1945, the Division made preparations for a drive across the Roer River. The offensive was launched, 28 February 1945, and the 9th smashed across the Roer River to Rheinbach, sending patrols into Remagen. The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen was found intact, and was seized by elements of the 9th Armored minutes before demolition charges were set to explode on 07 March 1945. The Division exploited the bridgehead, moving south and east across the Lahn River toward Limburg, where thousands of Allied prisoners were liberated.

The Division drove on to Frankfurt and then turned to assist in the closing of the Ruhr Pocket. In April it continued east, encircling Leipzig and securing a line along the Mulde River. The Division was shifting south to Czechoslovakia when the war in Europe ended on 09 May 1945. For their actions, the "HHC", 9th Armored Division Trains received campaign-participation credit for operations in the Rhineland, the Ardennes-Alsace, and the Central Europe theatres of war, and awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations, with embroidered streamers reading: Europe 1944 and Europe 1945.

After World War II, the unit returned state-side and was inactivated on 13 October, 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, VA.

Demilitarized Zone, 1963 -1965

The Brigade remained inactive until 15 July 1963 when the 1st Cavalry Division was transformed by the new Army Division called, Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD) which brought back the triangular Division. At that time the Brigade was reconstituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and on 01 September 1963, was activated in Korea on the demilitarized zone. The 3rd Brigade was stationed, along with the rest of the 1st Cavalry Division, at the facilities of the former 24th Infantry Division who were stationed at a Headquarters Compound, redesignated as Camp Howze that was located in the western defense corridor at Bong il Chong in the Paju City area. The 3rd Brigade and the 1st Cavalry Division remained headquartered at Camp Howze until it went home on 01 July 1965.

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 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division debarked from the troop ship USNS Maurice Rose and marched ashore at the city of Qui Nhon, Republic of Vietnam. The brigade initially consisted of two airborne infantry battalions, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 7th Cavalry. (Note - The third element of the brigade, the 5th Battalion, was activated and assigned on 01 April 1966.) 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.

Interrogating VC Prisoner
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. The 3rd Brigade joined the fighting on 09 November. Five days later, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry air assaulted into the Ia Drang Valley near the Chu Pong Massif. Landing Zone X-Ray was "hot" from the start. At Landing Zone X-Ray, the Division's first medal of honor in the Vietnam War was awarded to 2nd Lt. Walter J. Marm of the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry. The fighting, the most intensive combat in the history of the division, raged for three days. When the Pleiku Campaign ended on 25 November, troopers of the First Team had killed 3,561 North Vietnamese soldiers and captured 157 more. The troopers destroyed two of three regiments of a North Vietnamese Division, earning the first Presidential Unit Citation given to a division in Vietnam. The enemy had been given their first major defeat and their carefully laid plans for conquest had been torn apart.

25 January 1966 began "Masher/White Wing" which were code names for the missions of the 3rd Brigade in Binh Dinh Province. The mission ended 06 March 1966, with the enemy losing its grip on the Binh Dinh Province; however, its name would be heard again and again during the next six years.

In August 1966, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry was sent to Binh Thuan Province at the southernmost end of II Corps to bring the long months of "Operation Byrd" to a productive finish. The mission would last till the end of 1966.

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 Lo 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.

Following fierce fighting at Thorn La Chu, the 3rd Brigade moved toward embattled city of Hue. The southwest wall of the city was soon taken after the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry overcame severe resistance and linked up with the 5th Battalion. At this point, the NVA and Viet Cong invaders were driven from Hue by late February. The Tet offensive was over. The NVA and Viet Cong had suffered a massive defeat, with 32,000 killed and 5,800 captured.

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. Company "A", 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry led the way, followed by Company "C", 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 th+e 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.

In February 1969, Operation Cheyenne Sabre with the mission to straddle and cut enemy infiltration routes began in areas northeast of Bien Hoa. The rest of the summer was relative calm - until the night of 12 August. The VC threw simultaneous attacks against Quan Lai, LZBecky, LZJon, LZKelly and LZCaldwell. The VC were thrown back, experiencing heavy losses as they fled in retreat. In the final months of 1969, the First Team stymied enemy infiltration along the roads, trails and narrow paths of the "Serges Jungle Highway" which was hidden beneath the canopy of heavy jungle growth. The year 1969 ended in a high note for the 1st Cavalry Division. The enemy's domination of the northern areas of III Corps had been smashed - thoroughly.

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. On 08 May, the troopers of the 2nd Brigade found an enemy munitions base that they dubbed "Rock Island East". 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.

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 to remain "in country". On 30 April, a 3rd Brigade (Separate) was organized and activated to carry out the continuing mission of the 1st Cavalry Division. The mission of the unit, composed of experienced, specialized fighting units, was to continue the interdiction of enemy infiltration and supply routes in War Zone D, known as "Cav" Country.

3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Separate)
Regimental Units
   2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment
   1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment
   2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment
   1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment
Brigade Aviation Units
   1st Aviation Platoon
   "F" Troop, 9th Cavalry (Air)
   229th Aviation Battalion
   362nd Aviation Company
Brigade Artillery Units
   1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery
   "F" Battery, 26th Artillery (Prov)
   "F" Battery, 77th Artillery, Aviation
   "F" Battery, 79th Artillery (ARA) "Blue Max"
Brigade Support Units
   14th Military History Detachment
   26th Chemical Detachment
   215th Support Battalion
   501st Engineer Company
   525th Signal Company
Temporary Duty Unit
   2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry
Attached Units
   34th Inf Platoon, (Scout Dog Patrol)
   62nd Inf Platoon, (Combat Trackers)
   75th Infantry Rangers, "H" Company
   191st Military Intelligence Company
   405th Radio Receiver Detachment
   483nd Military Police Platoon
   Radio Research Detachment (Prov)

The 3rd Brigade was well equipped with helicopters from the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion and later, a battery of "Blue Max", aerial field units and two air cavalry troops. A QRF (Quick Reaction Force) - known as "Blue Platoons", was maintained in support of any air assault action. The "Blues" traveled light, fought hard and had three primary missions; 1) to form a "field force" around any helicopter downed by enemy fire or mechanical failure; 2) to give quick backup to Ranger Patrols who made enemy contact; and 3) to search for enemy trails, caches and bunker complexes.

On 30 March 1972, General Giap of the North Vietnamese Army began an offensive across the DMZ in a final attempt to unify the North and South. By 03 April, these thrusts became a full scale attack. More than 48,000 NVA and VC troops hit Loc Ninh. Two days later, on 05 April, the North Vietnamese threw heavy assaults against An Loc and announced that by 20 April, An Loc would be the new capital of the South for the North Vietnamese.

In April and May, stepped up bombings by B-52's helped blunt the North Vietnamese invasion. Large groups of enemy soldiers were caught in the open fields and entire NVA units were destroyed. Helicopters and gunships from the 3rd Brigade saw heavy action at An Loc and Loc Ninh, engaging heavy armor as well as ground troops. The intensity of the fighting took a heavy toll on them. For example, on 12 May, five Cobra Ships were destroyed in less than 30 minutes by Chinese Surface-to-Air (SA-7) Missiles.

On 15 May, relief units, moving down Highway 13, broke through and helped lift the bitter siege of An Loc. The North Vietnamese were reeling from huge losses and began to withdraw to their sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos. Their spring offensive aimed at cutting South Vietnam in half and capturing Saigon had been decisively smashed. The helo air effort of the 3rd Brigade had turned in a magnificent performance in support of the remaining advisors with the ARVN units. During the period of 05 April through 15 May 1972, more than 100 T54 tanks, armored personnel carriers and anti-aircraft guns were knocked out in the area around An Loc.

Missile! Missile! Missile!
Joseph Kline, Co "B", 104th Avn Bn, 101st Airborne Division captured the intensity and energy typical of subsequent air battles with his painting "Missile! Missile! Missile" which portrays the situation of Captains Mike Brown and Marco Cordon, "F" Btry, 79th ARA, whose Cobra took a direct hit of a Surface-to-Air (SA-7) Missile at 4,000 feet while on a mission in support of an ARVN airborne brigade in the vicinity of Tan Khai on highway 13, approximately 6 miles south of An Loc. Only sound training and the instinct for survival lead to their safe return.

By 31 March 1972, only 96,000 U.S. troops were involved in the Vietnam combat operations. In mid June 1972, the standdown ceremony for the 3rd Brigade was held in Bein Hoa and the colors were returned to the United States. The last trooper left from Tan Son Nhut on 21 June, completing the division recall which had started on 05 May 1971. With the 3rd Brigade completing their withdraw, the 1st Cavalry had been the first army division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave.

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

Return To Conus , 1972

On 26 June 1972, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry; 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry; and the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry along with the 3rd Brigade (Separate) was brought back to the United States, completing the last stage of the "Vietnam recall" for the 1st Cavalry Division. The return of the units brought about several changes to the organizational structure of the 1st Cavalry Division over the next several years.

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.

During the 1970s, 1980s, and the beginning of the 1990s a crucial part of US Army doctrine of "Total Force" employed the use of "Roundout Brigades". The use of this concept included the flexibility or changes in either staffing or equipment resources by the attachment/assignment of either an Army Reserve or National Guard unit to the Regular Army Divisions. Implementation of these plans included the close supervision and/or training of these "roundout brigades" by the active parent division. In the implementation of the "roundout concept", several active duty divisions reorganized their staffing around the use of two active duty brigades and one brigade of either the National Guard or Army Reserve. The 1st Cavalry Division, one of the active divisions planning to take advantage of the "roundout resources", inactivated the 3rd Brigade at Ft. Hood, Texas on 15 September 1980.

In early 1983, in order to offset the need of increased staffing requirements caused by the inactivation of the 3rd Brigade, the 1st Cavalry Division, as planned, took advantage of the Army Total Forces - Roundout Brigade Program. The Roundout Program, designed and controlled by DOD, in conjunction with State Legislators, had promised to bring any of the participating divisions up to full strength when mobilized. In anticipation of fulfilling its manpower staffing and equipment needs during their continuous reorganization for combat against unknown enemies of the future, the 1st Cavalry Division attached the 155th Armored Brigade, Mississippi Army National Guard to functionally operate as its third brigade.

AUTHOR's NOTE: When the nation critically needed the Roundout Brigade Program concept to work during Operation DESERT STORM, neither the 1st Cavalry Division nor the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) deployed with their roundout brigades. In early 1991, the US Army began a move at reducing the combat role of reservists and changed its basic tenant of the "Total Force" policy. In parallel, it began a massive restructuring effort to deal with a smaller military force by 1995.

As modifications were made to the reserve training program, the reserve units made significant contributions to the continuing Middle East conflicts. The 155th Armored Brigade, Mississippi Army National Guard successfully carried out and met the objectives of the following recent deployments:

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. Although the 3rd Brigade had not been reactivated for the deployment, members of the "Tiger" Brigade, the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, reflagged as the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry, 2nd Armored Division, reflagged as the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment in 1992, when the 3rd Brigade was reactivated, did play a significant role in the battle.

"The Tiger Battle Team", assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, joined the 2nd Marine Division as the main forces of the 1st Cavalry Division rushed to the defense of the Wadi al Batin. With its Abrams, Bradleys and self propelled artillery, the "Tiger" Brigade was now poised to attack north in support of the lightly armored Marines. At 2:00 PM of 24 February, the command post rolled through the 30 foot of the bern and ninety minutes later TF 3-41 Infantry crossed in column, buttoned up in chemical gear. Mine plow-equipped tanks led the way, widening the lanes. Within fifteen minutes, TF 3-41 Infantry cleared the first two minefields safely.

Apocalyptic World of Hellfire
The others began to move. TF 3-67 Armor on the left and TF 1-67 on the right to bring them, out from six lanes to a bridge wedge, with 1-3 Field Artillery trailing in the center. The Brigade moved on into the dreamscape of Southern Kuwait, an apocalyptic world of hellfire with more than 500 oil wells set ablaze by the Iraqis before they surrendered, The smoke drifted north, darkening the sky over the 1st Cavalry near Basrah and the Euphrates River Vallley. The debris of the war littered the flat desert; spent bomb casings, unexploded rockets standing like quills in the stand, wrecked and blackened equipment.

At dawn of the 25th, TF 3-41 Infantry hit a bunker complex spotted the night before. In an approach repeated over the next two days, tanks and Bradleys the bunkers from up to 2,500 yards away, then sent in dismounted Infantry. The defenders, in disarray, gave up readily. They quickly realized, as one said "We have nothing that can touch you".

Force Restructuring, 1991 - 1993

On 21 May 1991, the 1st Cavalry Division became the largest division in the Army, with the reactivation of its 3rd (Greywolf) Brigade. Organic units included in this reactivation were formally assigned to the 1st (Tiger) Brigade, 2nd Armored Division that, at times, had been attached to the 1st Cavalry Division during the Gulf War. Units filling out the 3rd Brigade were 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st and 3rd Battalions, 67th Armor Regiment, 1st Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment and the 502nd (later redesignated as the 215th) Forward Support Battalion.

Since the Gulf War, the 3rd Brigade has participated in several NTC rotations, deployed a tack force sized element to the Emirate of Kuwait and in September 1996, conducted the first post Desert Storm, no notice, brigade-sized deployment in Kuwait in support of "Operation Desert Strike".

Desert Peacekeepers, 1996 - 2000

On 26 August 1996, in response to "Operation Intrinsic Action 96-3", Task Force 1-9 comprised of soldiers from the 3rd "Greywolf" Brigade had come to Camp Doha for extensive ground training. Iraq was quiet, but the soldiers of the First Team were back at Camp Doha, Kuwait. Task Force 1-9, part of the 3rd "Greywolf" Brigade, was comprised of elements from:

3rd "Greywolf" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division;
Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment;
"D" Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment;
"B" Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment;
"D" Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment;
"A" Battery, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery;
"A" Company, 8th Engineer Battalion;
215th Forward Support Battalion;
15th Finance Battalion.

Immediately after the jet-engines of the transport airplanes were silenced, Task Force 1-9 hit the ground running. Following a bus ride to Camp Doha, the 3rd "Greywolf" Brigade put a carefully planned operation into action.

A row of Bradley Fighting Vehicles lay in wait for their crews at the Tactical Assembly Area Tuesday. Once there, the troops picked up force protection ammunition and moved to the marshaling area for staging and reorganization. Tracked vehicles were loaded onto heavy equipment transports and lowboys for transport to the Logistical Release Point One at Tactical Assembly Area Headhunter.

M109A6 Paladin Howitzers
The 1st Cavalry Division earned its nickname, America's First Team, by being the first unit to do so many things. First in Tokyo, First in Korea, First in Vietnam, First heavy armored division into Iraq and now the first to use the M109A6 Paladin Howitzer in Kuwait.

Artillerymen from "A" Battery, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery soldiers were the first to use the new M109A6 Paladin Howitzers on Udaira Range in Kuwait. The use of this new weapon provided an excellent opportunity for the 1-9 Force Team to demonstrate their ability to project combat power anywhere in the world, showing their allies and others the resolve of the United States to maintain peace.

As the Task Force 1-9 were engaged in their training exercises, word came of the Alert sounded for their comrades at Fort Hood, Texas. Tensions in the Gulf areas increased when the Iraqi troops moved into a "safe haven" of Irbil in northern Iraq.

On 17 September after several days of preparation, the III Armored Corps was given the green light to deploy additional forces to Kuwait as part of Exercise Intrinsic Action. The deploying units, a US Army Brigade Combat Team of approximately 3,500 soldiers, consisted of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, the remainder of the 82nd Field Artillery, support personnel from Battery "A" 21st Multiple Rocket System, 68th Chemical Company and the 13th Signal Battalion deployed from Robert Gray Army Airfield to augment their elements already with Task Force 1-9.

Maj. Gen. La Porte Visits Departing Troops
The deploying 1st Cavalry Division forces reinforced the 1,200 soldiers who have been in Kuwait training with the Kuwaiti armed forces as part of exercise Intrinsic Action 96-3 since early August. Troops deployed with individual arms and equipment by air from Robert Gray Army Airfield at Ft. Hood, Texas and utilized equipment such as M1A1 Abrams tanks and M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles previously prepositioned in the Kuwait theater.

The soldiers of Task Force 1-9 and the reinforcements, dug in and were not going anywhere until it was sure that there was no threat to Kuwait. The leaders made good use of the opportunities provided by Kuwait's Udairi Range to hone fighting skills to a razor-sharp edge.

The soldiers weren't finished, however. After training themselves, it was time for the soldiers to meet with their hosts, the Kuwaiti Army, and forces from the United Kingdom. The three countries learned to integrate their forces. Language barriers fell with the help of linguists, and soldiers began to learn the strengths of their coalition partners. The hard work all paid off, on 20 November, the three countries came together for a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise that ended the live-fire portion of Intrinsic Action 96-3.

The "GreyWolf" Brigade Combat Team had performed flawlessly on every mission. Without serious accident or incident, it conducted live fire and maneuver training at a wartime pace. Averaging more than 500 miles per vehicle and firing all its weapon systems, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team was fully trained in its Mission Essential Task List. The Grey Wolf soldiers accomplished this while maintaining their vehicles above a 90% operational readiness rate.

As Task Force 1-9 stood up and demonstrated their fighting ability, it became evident that Iraq wasn't looking for a fight. It pulled its forces from northern Iraq and agreed to honor a newly-extended no-fly zone. In December, the Task Force, with their mission assignment completed, returned to Fort Hood.

Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, 2001

In November 2001, as a direct response to the attacks of September 11th, Task Force Black Jack deployed to Kuwait as a participant in "Operation Enduring Freedom". The Brigade Combat Team prepared and subsequently deployed in November 2001, fourteen days after notification, and returned to Fort Hood in early April 2002 following a highly successful operational deployment.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II, 2003 - 2005

The BlackJack brigade deployed to Iraq in January 2004 as the lead element for the Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I. During the initial deployment, the 2nd BCT was attached to the 1st Armored Division and patrolled Western Baghdad. The brigade fell back under the 1st Cavalry Division in May 2004. During OIF I/II deployment, a 14 month combat tour, the Soldiers saw action in Western Baghdad, An Najef, Fallujah, and Northern Babil.

Army Modular Forces, 2005

On 24 May, following six months of extensive planning, officers of the 1st Cavalry Division began executing the monumental task of reorganizing and realigning its manpower and equipment resources into the Army Matrix of Modular Forces. As each Brigade changed command, they changed their colors and become a Brigade Unit of Action (BUA). Having completed their deployment cycle, the Black Jack Brigade, as part of the reorganizational process, underwent modular transformation into a Brigade Combat Team.

During their reconstitution, the Black Jack brigade once again answered the call of our Nation and deployed to New Orleans, LA, in support of the humanitarian Relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. During the deployment, Black Jack provided humanitarian and military assistance to the local governance and to the citizens of the Algiers district.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM IV, 2006 - 2008

The "GREYWOLF" Brigade deployed again to Iraq in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom IV. The Brigade was responsible for the Diyala Province and the capital city of Baqubah and conducted operations in the Salah ah Din Province. The "GREYWOLF" Brigade was responsible for defeating al Qaeda in Baqubah along with the restoration of stability and civil services throughout the Diyala Province.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM VI, 2008 - 2010

In December 2007, the "GREYWOLF" Brigade deployed to Iraq for a third time. Responsible for the Ninewa Province in northern Iraq, the Brigade conducted full-spectrum operations to neutralize Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Irreconcilable Elements to improve security, stimulate economic growth and create enduring stability. In accordance with the Security Agreement, the "GREYWOLF" Brigade moved operations outside of cities and transitioned security primacy within Mosul and Tal Afar to the Iraqi Security Forces. The Brigade continued to conduct full-spectrum operations outside of Mosul to prevent insurgents from using the Mosul Belts as support zones to conduct attacks within the city, setting the conditions for National Elections of Iraq.

3rd ACR Transfers Authority to 3rd BCT
On 19 January 2009, in a Transfer of Authority ceremony on Forward Operating Base Marez, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment cased its colors and handed over the reins of Nineveh Province to the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment has completed its 15-month deployment and will return to Ft. Hood, while the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, also from Ft. Hood, uncased its colors for their 12-month deployment for OPERATION Iraq Freedom - VI. (Rotation 08-10).

On 26 July, three joint security stations within the city of Mosul were transferred Sunday by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, to the Government of Iraq in accordance with the US-Iraq Security Agreement. However, as agreed by the governments of Iraq and the United States, the joint security stations, Hotel, Castle and Mountain, remained open past the 30 June deadline to house transition and advisory teams, maintain stable security and increase the capability of Iraqi Security Forces.

JSS Hotel was the first base of the day to be transferred. Officials presiding over the ceremony included the mayor of Mosul, the 3rd Federal Police Division commander, the Mosul Brigade commander, and US military leaders from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 1st Cavalry Division. After a few short speeches, Brooks and the Receivership Secretariat, Sameer Alhaddad, signed papers transferring the property to the Government of Iraq.

Immediately after the transfer ceremony at JSS Hotel, the Alhaddad went to JSS Castle, where the Gogjali District IP commander, Colonel Sheet Admeer, and Major Scott Carpenter, operations officer for 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, awaited his arrival. JSS Castle was home to the Gogjali District Iraqi Police Transition Team from the 351st Military Police Company, a Florida reserve unit. The 351st MP Co. is now moving to Forward Operating Base Sykes to focus on a new mission with the 6th Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT.

The final transfer involved JSS Mountain, located in the neighborhood of Judaydat Al Mufti. Since January, Mountain has been used to conduct operations in east Mosul that involve the Iraqi Army and 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd BCT. US Soldiers living at JSS Mountain finished packing early in the morning, loading the last of Mountain’s belongings onto a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck.

Operation IRAQI DRAWDOWN, 2009 - 2010

Grey Wolf Troopers Case Their Colors
On 21 January, 2011, a new mission in a new location began for the Greywolf Troopers as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division cased its unit colors Friday on the Cooper Field. The event marked the most recent of many milestones for the brigade.

Upon casing the colors, the Greywolf troopers became members of the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, Task Force Vigilant in preparation for their fourth deployment to Iraq in the coming weeks. In addition, the brigade formally activated three Stability Transition Teams, comprised of 45 field-grade officers to assist with the new mission in Iraq. The three teams, each led by a lieutenant colonel, will train, mentor and assist, as necessary, their Iraqi counterparts.

Stability Transition Teams are just one of the new aspects of this deployment for Greywolf. Although this will be the fourth deployment to Iraq for the Brigade, the mission has changed drastically since the formal end of combat operations in September 2010 and the transition to Operation NEW DAWN. This time, Greywolf troopers will be assisting and advising Iraqi Security Forces in southern Iraq. Though the mission has changed to one of support, there are still dangers.

The troopers trained as they have for previous deployments, but with the additional focus on cultural awareness, a nod to the improved conditions in Iraq. Through U.S. efforts over the past seven years, conditions are now such that Iraqi capability and capacity have finally reached a point where a transition from military-led operations,

Upon their arrival in Iraq, the Greywolf brigade will assume responsibility for Iraq’s four southernmost provinces and portions of the country’s borders with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran in partnership with two Iraqi army divisions, a division of border enforcement, four provincial chiefs of police and more than 50 local and regional police stations, The brigade also will be tasked with dissolving four Provincial Reconstruction Teams and assisting with the stand-up of a US Consulate in Basra.

The 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, the last Army unit to leave Iraq Saturday night, had been stationed at Contingency Operating Base Adder, which was the last base to close. After about 20 minutes, the white buses turned onto Battalion Avenue and soldiers stared silently out the windows at the cheering crowds - their voices muffled by the windows and the engines of the buses.

3rd Brigade At Khabari-Crossing
This is a video of the last convoy of heavily armored personnel carriers, known as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles, of the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. They had left the staging base at Camp Adder in southern Iraq in Sunday's early hours. No formal "exit ceremony" was given as they slipped out under cover of darkness and strict secrecy to prevent any final attacks. The 500 soldiers didn't even tell their Iraqi comrades on the base they were leaving.

The film clip begins as they were preparing to leave Iraq and enter Camp Virginia, Kuwait through the Khabari-Crossing that has been the gateway for the passage of troops, equipment, and supplies, between Iraq and Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Operation New Dawn.

The movement of the 3rd Brigade, as the last unit to redeploy out of Iraq, symbolizes the closing of a mission spanning nearly a decade. This last unit to pass through the Khabari-Crossing played an essential role in Iraq since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq in 2003. The Gray Wolf Brigade was there at the beginning of the mission and now, as Operation New Dawn ends, they will be a part of history in the making - and, in their legacy, will see the mission to the very end.

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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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