TRICAP, an acronym for TRIple-CAPability, was derived from combining the ground (mechanized infantry or armor) capability, airmobile infantry and air cavalry or attack helicopter forces. TRICAP I was held at Fort Hood, Texas beginning in February 1972. The purpose of TRICAP I was to investigate the effectiveness and operational employment of the TRICAP concept at battalion and company levels when conducting tactical operations in a 1979 European mid-intensity warfare environment. The exercise consisted of six phases; movement to contact, defense and delay, exploitation, elimination of penetration, rear area security and night elimination of penetration in an adjacent area.
By 31 March 1972, only ninety-six thousand US troops were involved in the Vietnam combat operations. In mid June 1972, the stand-down 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 26 June, completing the Division recall which had started on 05 May 1971. With the 3rd Brigade completing its withdrawal, the 1st Cavalry had become the first US Army Division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave.
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.
On 28 June the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry was inactivated at Ft. Hood, TX. and
on 29 June the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry replaced the 2nd Battalion, 12th
Cavalry Regiment which was inactivated at Ft. Hood, Texas. On 22 August, the
1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry was inactivated at Ft. Hood, Texas followed by the
inactivation of the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry at Ft. Hood, Texas on 13
The main body of the 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, under the direction of MASSTER, continued to test future concepts of mobility and flexibility on the battlefield. The tests continued for three and a half years were very demanding. It was concluded that the employment of the TRICAP concept at the battalion level appeared to have application in some tactical situations, but employment at company level appeared to be feasible only for short periods of combat and for special missions. Evaluation also indicated that air cavalry would normally be controlled above the company level. The battalion task force encountered no combat support problems directly attributable to the TRICAP concept. On 05 May 1974, seeing a continuing need for aviation assets to support its combat role, a 1st Cavalry Division Aviation Brigade (Provisional) was formed. Somewhat in parallel, the 227th Aviation Battalion continued their role of Division support until 19 November, 1974 when its Headquarters and Headquarters Company was reorganized and redesignated as the 227th Aviation Company. The organic elements were concurrently inactivated. In its new role, the 227th Aviation Company performed its mission of supporting the 1st Cavalry Division.
On 21 February 1975, the end of TRICAP evaluations, the mission of airmobile anti-armor warfare was transferred to the 6th Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) co-located at Fort Hood, Texas and the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganized and redesignated to become the newest Armored Division in the Army, essentially the battle configuration it retains until the Divisional Modular Reorganization that it retains today.
On 08 August 1977, in the continuing wrestling with the role of divisional aviation assets, the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 19th Combat and the General Support Aviation Companies were assigned to the Aviation Brigade, filling out its organizational needs. This change was augmented on 21 May, 1978 when the 227th Aviation Company was reorganized and designated the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation with organic elements concurrently activated.
|1st Cavalry Division Headquarters - 1983|
These two aviation assets, the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment and the Provisional Aviation Brigade, continued concept testing and Divisional operational support until 01 September 1984, when the provisional status of the Division Aviation Brigade was removed and the unit was official activated and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. Concurrently the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment was assigned to the Aviation Brigade. By then, the 1st Battalion had been filled out with the following companies:
On 16 September, an Air Force C5A Galaxy, carrying the advanced headquarters staff, left Fort Hood Robert Gray Army Airfield. In the final drama, soldiers assembled for manifest roll call. The moment came; busses pulled up, planes were loaded and the time for memories had begun. On 28 September, personnel of the 227th Regiment flew to Dharhan, Saudi Arabia.
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