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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)|
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
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.
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.
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:
"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.
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".
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".
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
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.
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.
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.
In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, the Brigade returned to the Middle East in 2004 to the capital city of Baghdad with responsibility for the security of the "International Zone". The Brigade conducted combat operations in the violent Haifa Street neighborhood during the beginning of the insurgency in Iraq, setting the security conditions to conduct the first free national Iraqi elections within that critical area.
On 24 May, following their returm from the deployment, the 3rd Brigade underwent modular transformation into a Brigade Combat Team. To accomplish this, the Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) of the 1st Cavalry Division were reconstituted into seven integrated fighting groups consisting of a headquarters company, a reconnaissance battalion, two maneuver battalions, an artillery battalion, a brigade support battalion and a brigade support troop battalion. Once transitioned, these new BCTs enabled greater capacity for rapid packaging and responsive and sustained employment to support combatant commanders. BCTs also enhanced the expeditionary and campaign qualities of Army forces by better enabling Joint/coalition operations.
On 14 July 2005, the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB) was activated in response to the Modularity Plan employing Units of Action (UA) / Units of Employment (UE) concept of fielding "The Objective Force" vision of of the US Army.
On 17 October 2005, Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was reorganized and redesignated as the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. (The Headquarters, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division remained as structured, but hereafter maintained a separate lineage)
In a short one year time span, the organic companies of the Battalion were composed of five separate, functional organizations.
The creation and designation of this new Special Troops Battalion, along with the transfer and reorganization of the subordinate elements created an organization that had earned and accrued a significant battle and campaign history along with an impressive lineage.
The "GREYWOLF" Brigade deployed again to Iraq in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. 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.
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.
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