227th Aviation Regiment
In Readiness
"POWER"; or "CAN DO"

1st Cavalry Division Headquarters - 1971
On 05 May 1971, after 28 years, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division, minus those of the 3rd Brigade, were moved from Vietnam to Texas, its birthplace. Using the assets and personnel of the 1st Armored Division, located at Fort Hood, Texas the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganized, reassigned to III Corps and received an experimental designation of the Triple-Capability (TRICAP) Division. Its mission, under the direction of Modern Army Selected Systems Test, Evaluation and Review (MASSTER) was to carry on a close identification with and test forward looking combined armor, air cavalry and airmobile concepts. A new aviation organization, the 230th Aviation Battalion was formed to collect and receive assets of the Vietnam Aviation Organizations which were be used in various MASSTER warfare concepts.

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 September 1972.

Position cursor on selected function, "Click" and "Hold".
TRICAP Division Organization - 1972
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

The opening ceremonies for the new 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters Building were held in July, 1983. A modern brick, 124,000 square-foot facility replaced the original World War II structures, enabling the housing of the Division Staff under one roof. Major General William C. Chase (Retired), who commanded the Division in the final days of World War II and through the occupation of Japan, participated in the ribbon cutting which was held during the 36th reunion of the Association.

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:

USNS Capella, RollOn RollOff Vessel
This effective build-up and training of aviation capabilities could have not come at a more opportune time in the history of the First Team. On 07 August 1990, a deployment order for the Southwest Asia operations was issued. Plans calling for the Division to deploy by 15 September extended the work day to 14, 16 and in some cases 24 hours. On schedule, by mid September heavily loaded vehicles and aircraft were loaded at the Fort Hood railhead to make the trip to the seaports of Houston and Beaumont. Additional vehicles formed road conveys that left every two hours, around the clock.

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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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 14 Sep '11 SpellChecked