Special Troops Basttalion
4th Brigade Combat Team
Historical Missions
"Vigilant And Always Ready"

Army Modular Force, 2005

On 24 May 2005, 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). Under the reorganization, the Division will have six Brigades.

While undertaking the transformation changes, the Division experienced nearly a fifty percent turnover in personnel while performing the coordination of arrival and reallocation of critical new equipment required to support their new missions. Simultaneously, with the equipment changeovers, new training and maintenance programs that were initiated to prepare for possible combat redeployment as early as 15 April, 2006 or as may be directed by the Army Command. The completion the Division transformation will occur with the major milestone of "Standing Up" the 4th Brigade Combat Team at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

In Celebration, The Cavalry Charges

On 18 October 2005, in accordance with the Base Realignment and Closure recommendations approved by President George W. Bush, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and its subordinate units were concurrently activated in a ceremony at Noel Field, Ft. Bliss, Texas. In addition to the unfurling of the Brigade colors that signified its formal reactivation and return to duty, each of the Battalion colors were unfurled and passed to their respective commanders.

The Horse Cavalry Detachment of the 1st Cavalry Division, with sabers raised high and pistols blazing in a traditional charge, concluded the ceremony with a reenactment of the famous "Cavalry Charge" across the very field that was named in 1928 after Lt. Paul A. Noel, a famed polo player, who learned his skill as a horseman while in the 1st Cavalry Division. The cavalry had come home !! The Brigade remained remotely located at Ft. Bliss until its return with the Division from its second deployment to Iraq.

The "Standing Up" of the 4th Brigade allowed the completion of restructured of the 1st Cavalry Division that now consisted of a War Fighting Headquarters (UEx), staffed with approximately 1000 personnel, that provides Battle Command and Control (BCC) of four Heavy Maneuvering Brigade Combat Teams (HBCT), a Heavy Air Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (ACBCT), a Special Troops Battalion (SPT) and a Support Brigade (SB). The UEx consists of Combined Command, Control and Communications (CCCC) functions and assets formally associated with heavy division and corps headquarter units.

The Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team was first constituted on 15 May 1971 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Ft. Hood, Texas. On 30 June 1972, it was inactivated at Ft. Hood, Texas.

On 14 July 2005, the 4th 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 18 October 2005, as part of the transformation of the US Army towards a modular force the Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division was redesignated as Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Ft. Bliss, Texas. The Headquarters of the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division thereafter had a separate lineage. On 18 October 2005. the unit was formally activated in a ceremony at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

The 4th Special Troop Battalion forms the backbone of the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. It provides the Brigade Combat Team with its organic Signal, Military Intelligence, and Military Police capabilities. The battalion returned from Iraq in June 2009, and is conducting command and control operations for the 4th Brigade Combat Team. \

The mission of the Special Troop Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, "Vigilant," is to provide intelligence, communications, and force protection assets; command, control, and supervise of the tactical operations of the 4th Brigade Combat Team and attached units; and secure all command posts and plans. It would also prepare and execute security operations within the 4th Brigade Combat Team logistic and administrative support areas, with assets provided by the 4th Brigade Combat Team Commander,to defeat level I and II enemy threats.

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.

Operation IRAQI FREEDOM IV, 2006 - 2008

On 27 July 2006 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 puts the entire 1st Cavalry Division on orders to return to Iraq. The newly identified units of the 1st Cavalry Division are the 1st Brigade and 4th Brigades, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. This rotation continues the US commitment to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, yet is flexible and adaptable in order to meet the evolving requirements for the mission in Iraq.

Last Kiss Before Long Departure

As of April 2006, the Special Troop Battalion, in the process of establishing their presence at Ft. Bliss, began their deployment to Iraq, said their last good-byes to loved ones at Ft. Bliss. They left Texas on chartered flight to Kuwait to support the missions of the 4th Brigade Combat Team by providing command and control for the 4th Brigade Combat Team during the conduct of operations by employing its dual task organized command posts.

On 15 November, under the clear morning skies of a promising new day the 1st Cavalry Division took the reigns for Multi-National Division, (Task Force) Baghdad from the 4th Infantry Division during a Transfer Of Authority Ceremony at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. The ceremony honored the hard work and sacrifices of the departing 4th "Ironhorse" Infantry Division who will return to their home base at Ft. Hood, Texas, and looked forward to future challenges and successes to be garnered by the "First Team".

Lt. General Peter Chiarelli, the Commanding General of the Multi-National Corps - no stranger to the 1st Cavalry Division, presided over the ceremony. Less than two years ago, he had commanded the First Team during their first rotation as MND-B. With the crisp notes of the 1st Cavalry Division band accompanying the ceremony, Major Generalo James D. Thurman the Commanding General of the Multi-National Division, Baghdad passed on the mantle of MND-B with pride for his soldiers and optimism for his successors. Major General Joseph F. Fil Jr. the Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division, uncased his colors and assumed command of the MND-B mission as the Division colors changed position in the honor guard procession.

Needs Data

On 13 August 2007 Division Headquarters announced a preliminary schedule for the return of the troops from Iraq. A timeline for the return of units is shown below.

Preliminary Time-Line for Return of Troops from Iraq
Iron Horse = 1st Brigade Combat Team
BlackJack - 2nd Brigade Combat Team
GreyWolf = 3rd Brigade Combat Team
LongKnife = 4th Brigade Combat Team
Warriors = 1st Air Cavalry Brigade
Maverick = Division Special Troops Battalion
Wagonmaster = 15th Sustainment Brigade
SilverEagles = 15th Finance Battalion
Broncos = 15th Personnel Services Battalion

4th "LongKnife" Brigade Conducts TOA
On 11 December during a Transfer of Authority ceremony, at Forward Operating Base Marez. Mosul, Iraq, the 4th "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, handed over their responsibility for operations in northern Iraq to the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment from Ft. Hood, TX. The Long Knife Brigade cased their colors for transport back to the US, following a 14-month tour in Ninevah Province located in northern Iraq, as the 3d ACR unfurled theirs, to symbolize assumption of control of the northern battlespace and formally mark the beginning of their third rotation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since 2003.

Major General. Mark Hertling, commander of the 1st Armored Division, Task Force Iron, and Multinational Division North, began the remarks by observing how, in a bit of historic irony, the newest Brigade Combat Team of the Army had just ceded battlefield responsibility to the oldest regiment of the Army. With the majority of the Long Knife Brigade's Soldiers in transition to Kuwait, or already back in the US, Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of the Fort Bliss, Texas, based 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, welcomed Col. Mike Bills and the great Soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

During the most recent deployment in Iraq, several reconstitutional changes were studied, considered and since the return of the Division to Ft. Hood, TX. from Operation Freedom IV, were implemented in order to be ready and more prepared for their next deployment.

An element of these reconstitutional changes involved the relocation of the 4th Combat Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division from the remote station of Ft. Bliss to Ft. Hood in to central Texas. Returning to Fort Bliss in late 2007, the 4th Brigade (LongKnives) Combat Team was inactivated, reflagged and designated as the 4th Brigade Combat (HighLanders) Combat Team and assigned to the 1st Armored Division on 04 March 2008.

On 07 March, sequenced to minimize physical movenet of troops, the 4th Brigade (Cobras) Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas was reflagged and designated as the 4th Brigade (LongKnives) Combat Team, and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. As an element of the each Brigade, the Special Troops Battalion was included in the reflagging operations.

Iraqi Freedom, VI 2008 - 2010

On 11 April 2008, the 4th Combat Brigade returned home from the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA. and is continuing their preparation for its upcoming summer deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They spent almost a month at the light infantry training center learning how to operate as small teams. The Long Knife Brigade is putting the final touches on its deployment schedule integrating new equipment and preparing their Soldiers for the combat zone. The unit is scheduled to receive new vehicles and equipment, including the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in addition to new weapons including the fielding of M-4. The M-4 carbine is a shorter weapon that is more compatible for military operations in urban environments. Conversely, the Long Knives are scheduled to transfer unarmored vehicles and older equipment to units remaining at Ft. Hood.

4th Brigade Cases Their Colors
On 04 June 2008 the 4th (Longknives) Combat Brigade Team began an initial step in their anticipated 15th month deployment by casing their colors in a ceremony at Cooper Field Parade Grounds. Although an advanced party left Central Texas for Iraq four days ago, the entire Brigade is not scheduled to deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom - VI until mid June. This deployment comes after the soldiers of the Brigade have been undergoing extensive training for the last 18 months, including rotations to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA in November 2007 and the Joint Readiness Training Center in March 2008.

Previously the "Long Knife" Brigade was part of the 4th Infantry Division and deployed with it to Iraq in late 2005. As part of a reorganization between Fort Hood, TX, Fort Bliss, TX and Fort Carson, CO the brigade was re-flagged as a 1st Cavalry Division unit on 07 March. The former 4th Infantry soldiers stayed at Fort Hood, but adopted the unit designations of the 1st Cavalry Brigade, which transferred its colors from Fort Bliss, TX. The unit flags that were cased during the ceremony of Wednesday will be unfurled in Iraq when the unit officially assumes responsibility for the areas currently under the control of the 82nd Airborne Brigade.

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Airlift To Camp Buehring, Kuwait
Beginning on 07 June, soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division have boarded chartered aircraft at Robert Gray Army Airfield that routinely depart for Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Camp Buehring, formerly named Camp Udairi, is an offloading and staging post for US Military troops heading north into Iraq. It is located in the northwestern desert of Kuwait, just 15 miles from the southern border of Iraq. The area surrounding Camp Buehring, known as the Udairi Range Complex which is used for live fire training, is largely uninhabited, but for a few nomadic Bedouin tribes raising camels, goats and sheep. After adaptation to the extreme climates of the desert environments and operational desert training in Kuwait, the Long Knife Brigade will move forward to the interior of Iraq where they will conduct combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom - VI.

On 16 June, the last of the main body of the 4th "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division flight took off from Ft. Hood, Texas without a hitch carrying its passengers to a 15-month deployment in Iraq. The nearly 60 Long Knife Soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment onboard the flight to Kuwait, along with others of the brigade, will be conducting various combat skills training to include weapon ranges before moving from Camp Buehring, Kuwait to Iraq.

The flight marked the last large movement of 4th BCT troops to the combat zone for their deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation 08-10. With this last main body departure, only a small trailing flight of a handful of Long Knife Troops remain and will follow the other more than 3,500 4th BCT Soldiers to Kuwait sometime within the next week. The training and conditioning of the 4th at Camp Buehring, Kuwait will continue throughout the rest of June and into early July which schedules all of the brigade to be in Iraq by mid-July as planned.

On 23 June 2008, approximately 200 Soldiers of the advance staging party, 4th "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division arrived at Tallil Airbase, Iraq to begin their 15-month deployment in support of Operation IRAQ FREEDOM - VI. (Rotation 08-10). The continuous transport and staging of other brigade team units continued and on 14 July, the 4th Brigade Combat Team conducted a Transfer Of Authority ceremony at Addler's Memorial Hall, Contingency Operating Base located at Addler, Iraq relieving the command of the 1st Brigade Combat Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.

During their deployment, the Special Troops Battalion was stationed in Southern Iraq at several different forward operating bases. The Battalion headquarters was co-located with the Brigade Headquarters at Contingency Operating Base Adder. The Battalion had a myriad of missions throughout the deployment, including running Garrison Command Operations for Contingency Operating Base Adder, as well as its primary missions in support of Brigade operations. This included the reconnaissance, Intelligence, and surveillance as well as providing a network which enabled command and control throughout three separate provinces (Muthanna, Dhi Qar, and Maysan) in Southern Iraq. The military police platoon secured the mission of training and mentoring the Iraqi Police in the region, and the battalion was also responsible for the Base Defense Operations Cell for Contingency Operating Base Adder.

Long Knifes Awarded Combat Patch
On August 13, the commanders conducted a ceremony to recognize the sacrifices of the Soldiers of the Spartan Battalion and Long Knife Brigade at Contingency Operating Base Adder. In the ceremony, the 4th Brigade "Long Knife" Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and their 4th Special Troop "Spartan" Battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), a little over two months ago, officially received their combat patches.

Although the main body of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division is operating out of Camp Adder at Tallil Airbase, elements are moving to occupy an area of southern Iraq that until now hasn't hosted American troops. Their assigned mission is to stop weapons smuggling from Iran to Iraq. Units like the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment man areas of the Iraq-Iran border and stop smugglers, They have seized hundreds of explosively formed projectiles and improvised explosive devices and prevented them from being used in Baghdad.

The mission is one the Brigade wasn't expecting to take on, but like the nature of the Army, the soldiers quickly adapted once they arrived in the Middle East. Because soldiers are needed at remote locations where military forces haven't been before, living conditions can be austere. It can be compared to the start of the war in Iraq when soldiers were moving into areas where forward operating bases were just being built. However, with home grown skills, these conditions can be quickly changed.

I.A, & A/2/7th Conducts Operations
On 12 September, one of the many concepts that many successful organizations employ, teamwork came into play during a five-day mission conducted by the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat, 1st Cavalry Division. The mission, referred to by the unit as Operation CLIPPER JONES, consisted of house-to-house searches and a series of raids to seek out and arrest criminals and illegal weapons in northern Baghdad locations near Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

Operation CLIPPER JONES was a simple, yet very effective mission, gave them the chance to spend more time with the locals and establish a better perspective with the Iraqi people. The time spent with locals reaped major benefits for the 5th Battalion, 82nd FA Regiment Soldiers when a local farmer escorted the unit directly to a sizable weapons cache in a village near Baghdad. He was upset about insurgents damaging his crops when conducting hasty mortar attacks directed at the Joint Base (JB) Balad.

JB Balad had earned the nickname "Mortaritaville" due to the amount mortar fire it receives. But thanks to a recent surge of additional Soldiers in Baghdad and the surrounding areas, the indirect fire has dramatically decreased. Along with finding illegal weapons, the Long Knife Solders completed mounted and dismounted patrols in areas where, historically, there were many incidences of indirect fire and insurgent activity. Operations such as Chipper Jones have quelled the violence in northern Baghdad, and most of the people of Iraqi express a greater sense of security with the increased presence of US Soldiers.

Joint Operation GREENVILLE in Maysan
On 24 September, the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment and 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery units of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division set out on Operation GREENVILLE, a 4-day mission to partner with units from the Iraqi department of border enforcement, and the 2nd Iraqi Commando element that operates in the northern Maysan province. The mission was unique for everyone because it was the first time the groups had worked together, and ventured into the most northern portion of Maysan since the Long Knife brigade arrived to Iraq in late June.

A hugely successful first encounter with great potential to further develop relationships with some outstanding Iraqi Soldiers, the Soldiers departed Forward Operating Base Hunter before sunrise, and quickly set up their headquarters in the sandy northern desert where the Head Hunter and 5-82 Bulldog Soldiers could perform area reconnaissance. This was an important step, as the Long Knife Soldier and Iraqi elements searched houses and buildings as one team to build partnerships in the area.

The terrain was quite diverse in the desert, with mountains to the south, reminding the Soldiers of their mission readiness exercise last winter at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA. The major difference being the fact that along many roads in northern Mayson, you can see the Iranian soldiers guarding their territory on the other side of the Iraq-Iran border. The population of the area was extremely sparse, with the majority of the local nationals who are oil field workers, perform the tasks required to bring the vast natural resource to market, which helps the country become stable economically.

Though Operation GREENVILLE was mainly designed to locate Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and other unexploded ordnances in the area, the Long Knife and Iraqi soldiers were also expecting to uncover bombs and land mines left over from the Iran-Iraq war. During their mission, the Coalition Forces patrolled more than 1000 miles, visited 12 Iraqi Border towns and acquired loads of valuable information that should be useful in future missions.

On 28 September, Soldiers of the 38th Iraqi Army (IA) Brigade and the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division completed their second combined tactical air insertion in the Amarah, Iraq area. The 38th IA is focused on reaching the tribal villages in some of the more remote areas of the Maysan Province. The ability to move by air allows the Soldiers to search areas seldom patrolled by coalition forces. The 2nd Battalion, which has partnered with the 38th IA Brigade. for the last three months, continues to support the IA units while conducting counter-smuggling operations along the Iraq-Iran border.

The combined patrol canvassed three different villages where the Iraqi and American patrol leaders met with local national officials. The leaders identified ways to work together to bring greater progress to the more isolated areas of the province. Members of the patrol also handed out fliers promoting the Coalition tips line, which is used by locals to report smuggling and any suspicious activity. The partnered units will continue to operate throughout Maysan as they work in coordination with the provincial government to integrate tribal villages.

On 09 October, the Commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team indicated that operations of US led forces in southeastern Iraq have disrupted a major arms-smuggling network blamed for distributing deadly Iranian-made roadside bombs and rockets in Iraq. The Brigade has committed 1,800 troops or more than half of their 3,500 strong force to Iraq's Maysan border province north of Basra. Since their deployment to Iraq in July, the Brigade has seized more than 8,000 weapons crossing into Iraq from Iran, including about 600 Explosively Formed Penetrators or Projectiles (EFPs) and a number of Iranian-made rockets. EFPs, which can pierce armor, are a particularly deadly form of roadside bomb. US officials have accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' elite Qods force of supplying those munitions as well as rockets to Shi'ite militias in Iraq for attacks on US and Iraqi forces.

Artillery Rounds Light Up The Night Sky
On 04 November a small team of forward observers from the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division went to the outskirts of a small town Nasiriyah, located just outside the Contingency Operation Base of Adder, Iraq with the Romanian artillery troops from the 341st Infantry Battalion to observe the movements of the local citizens and their activitivies. The surveying of landscape for criminals in the outskirts of Nasiriyah has become a team effort for the Long Knife Brigade and its Romanian White Shark Battalion partners.

The group travelled down a long highway for an hour before leaving the main roadways for dirt roads and small villages, filled with children and farm animals being attended to by the adults in the area. The American and Romanian team found an area of the open desert where they could easily maintain proper security and maintain a good view of the surrounding areas. The Long Knife artillery team brought a night vision device that provided the ability to easily see objects hundreds of meters away, even in the low visibility conditions. The team agreed that working with the Romanians, as they are among the few forward observers to work directly with troops of another country, brings an honor they will always remember. Just after nightfall, the 4th Brigade Combat Team artillerymen, set up their equipment and began observation of the local Iraqi citizens during normal evening activities.

Vision became greatly improved as the first illumination artillery rounds were launched from COB Adder, lighting up the sky as though the sun was beginning to rise, and the team began to notice a vehicle with a handful of suspicious looking men. The illumination rounds did their job of detouring criminal actions and improving visibility, as the suspicious group fled the scene. The group observed a second volley of illumination rounds just in time for the observers to confirm whether the group was preparing to do harm or if they were only on a routine trip outside of town. The joint Romanian and American artillery teams spent the remainder of the night observing the area and improving their relationship as coalition partners.

Newly Formed EOD Team Detonates TNT
On 07 November, an Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team, assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division traveled from Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq to Combat Outpost Six to train the newly-formed 10th Iraqi Army EOD team. Prior to the formation of the Iraqi EOD team, the Iraqis depended primarily on Coalition forces to provide ordnance disposal over the past five years. Iraq and its Army takes one more step toward self-sufficiency by building its own EOD units, in each of the provinces, with assistance from the 4th BCT, to ensure the units are trained and equipped to handle such dangerous missions.

Organization and training of these newly formed EOD groups is another step forward for the Iraqi Security Forces in Muthana. It makes them more self-sufficient and encourages them to take on greater responsibility and tougher missions, without Coalition support. The training started with classroom instruction, then elevated to hands-on practical exercises and culminated with a live detonation of a cache of TNT previously found and confiscated during a mission. The event provided another step on the road to a trained, professional Iraqi security force able to carry out stability operations in southern Iraq.

On 10 November, the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division returned to the First Team's fold after spending the first few months in Balad where their initial mission was securing a key airport north of Baghdad.

On 15 November leaders from the Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police and Iraqi Border Patrol met with Coalition leaders for the first time in the Maysan Province, near the provincial capital of Amarah. For weeks in advance, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division leaders worked behind the scenes to bring commanders from the 11th Border Enforcement, the 38th and 41st Iraqi Army Brigades and the Maysan Police together. The Long Knife Brigade shared information on suspected criminal activity and provided plans for future cooperative efforts to increase border security in the province. Up to this point, the border patrol, Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army have done great work in securing the province.The conference represented a huge step toward synchronizing all those successes to close security gaps and secure the province as a whole.

Three of the battalions from the Long Knife Brigades are operating in Maysan. The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment is partnered with the border patrol element to interdict munitions and arrest criminals crossing from Iran into Iraq. The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment is partnered with the 38th IA Brigade and the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment is partnered with the 41st IA Brigade. During these combined operations, the Iraqi Security Forces in southern Iraq have arrested approximately 200 suspected criminals and seized more than 9,000 various munitions, including Improvised Explosive Devices and Explosively Formed Projectile Materials, since the Long Knife Brigade arrived this summer.

IA Solders Conduct Dismounted Patrol
On 24 February the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, also known as "Black Dragons," teamed up with the 41st Brigade, 10th Iraqi Army (IA) Division for Operation LONG ISLAND with the intent of duplicating the results of patrolling in northern Baghdad last summer where they reduced the rate of indirect fire received at the base to its lowest levels since the war started in 2003.

The training programs provided by the "Black Dragons" at Camp Dhi Qar and the Besmaya Range Complex, which is where all IA Division units do their final training before being considered ready to conduct operations in southern Iraq, helped lay the foundation for an effective partnership between the "Black Dragons" and IA Division units. The training involved vehicle and foot patrols, searching vehicles and personnel at checkpoints coupled with small-arms qualification.

By enabling the Iraqi troops to take the lead during joint patrols, the IA Division Soldiers became better prepared to interdict and help in the continued steady decline of violence in the Maysan Province. The Black Dragons look forward to continued joint training and patrols with their new Iraqi partners, which will lead to the reduction of the amount of indirect fire focused on FOB Hunter.

On 02 March, the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, was tasked to assume responsibility of battle space near the operating base of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hunter, Iraq, build a new home and move in - all at the same time. In movements beginning at their initial deployment in June 2008, the unit had Soldiers spread out from northern Baghdad to southern Iraq with missions ranging from counter-fire to maintaining a military presence in a joint-defense-operations center.

After providing base security just north of Baghdad, then training a new Iraqi Army brigade in southern Iraq, the 'Black Dragons' of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were once again on the move. With FOB Hunter nearing its maximum capacity, the Black Dragon Soldiers worked to expand the base to house their unit. Meanwhile, the battalion continued its partnership with its Iraqi artillery counterparts, the 41st Brigade, 10th Iraqi Army Division in protecting the Iraqi people of Maysan. The Black Dragons are scheduled to complete their deployment by late summer, but for now they're lighting up the Iraqi sky with illumination rounds and ready to make a positive impact in Maysan.

Troopers Depart Security Station Apache
On 16th March, Troopers of the distribution and maintenance platoons, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment began a mission that is repeated every week in the Maysan Province - taking to the roads delivering critical supplies to support the rest of the unit. The average trip for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division can take days depending on the load and distance. However, without these supplies, the Squadron would not be able to patrol the south-eastern border of Iraq to intercept illegal weapon-smuggling.

The average patrol starts 24 hours before departing. The Troopers load their flat-bed vehicles, water tankers and fuel trucks with supplies available for transport. When the loading is completed they conduct pre-combat checks and rehearse every phase of the operation. Once rehearsals are complete, the unit requires at least eight hours of rest to ensure they are fully prepared for the long mission ahead.

In traveling along the dusty roads of southern Iraq, along the Iranian border, the Soldiers pass through many rural towns and villages. During each phase of the convoy, the Head Hunters rely on their discipline and training to be considerate of the Iraqi citizens of Maysan Province. Each time the brave soldiers of the distribution and maintenance platoons take to the road in support of the Squadron, they risk their lives while improving the lives of the people of Iraq.

Moving UAV To Launching Area
On 31 March, the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Platoon began using the high-flying, remotely-piloted aircraft to provide real-time imagery along the southeastern border of Iraq. The UAS troops were stationed at Contingency Operating Base Adder when the brigade took responsibility for southern tri-province areas of Dhi-qar, Muthana, and Maysan of Iraq in late June 2008. As the brigade began to expand operations, the Spartan soldiers deployed to Forward Operating Bases (FOB) Garry Owen and Hunter to use their extensive "eye in the sky" visuals to monitor the brigade's ground troops and provide increased force protection capabilities.

The platoon initially moved a section of troops to Garry Owen in September to support the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment soldiers with long-range UAV coverage in the city of Al Amarah. In early October, the 21-man platoon was on the move again to Forward Operating Base Hunter located in southern Maysan Province. The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment soldiers worked closely with the UAS platoon, while the soldiers provided aerial coverage for the entire Maysan province.

Also on 31 March 2009, the 1st Cavalry Division officials addressed soldiers and family members during the division's first town hall meeting night, tackling topics from deployment lengths to recreation facilities for deployed soldiers. The meeting was led by Lt. Col. (promotable) Jeffrey Sauer, the Division's rear detachment commander, at Ft. Hood while Major General Daniel Bolger and Command Sgt. Major Rory Malloy gave updates and answered questions live from Baghdad, Iraq.

During the meeting, it was confirmed that the 4th Brigade Combat Team is scheduled to come home in June, 12 months after they soldiers left Ft. Hood and block leave for the brigade's soldiers will begin 20 June. None of the soldiers, currently in Iraq, will be sent to Afghanistan to complete their deployments that are currently scheduled for 12 months.

The information officers did provide some information about the organization of the Division throughout Iraq. The Special Troops Battalion and 1st Brigade Combat Team are in the capital where the Division serves as head of Multinational Division-Baghdad. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team is in Kirkuk, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team is in Mosul, and the 4th Brigade Combat Team is located in the southeastern part of Iraq.

The Special Troops Battalion and 1st Brigade are the only two 1st Cavalry units in Multinational Division-Baghdad. The 2nd and 3rd Brigades are operating under the control of the 25th Infantry Division, and the 4th Brigade reports to the 10th Mountain Division with over half the units located on small patrol bases, combat outposts or joint security stations.

Also, on 23 April, at Contingency Operating Base, Adder, near Nasiriyah, Iraq, it was announced that the 4th Brigade Combat Team, will begin returning to Ft. Hood next month after its year-long tour in Iraq. The 4th BCT has been operating in southern Iraq in three provinces: Dhi Qar, Muthanna and Maysan. They have partnered with Iraqi Security Forces to improve security and support civil developments of the region.

The Brigade was originally scheduled to return in September, but with the improved security conditions in the area of operations controlled by the brigade has allowed Army leaders to redeploy the brigade at the end of the one-year mark. Flights carrying the main group of the brigade are scheduled to arrive at Ft. Hood during the latter part of May, with the entire unit scheduled to return by mid-June.

Key training sessions for comprehensive safety and reintegration program started in Iraq will be continued after the unit returns home to ensure a seamless transition. The sessions will address the usual concerns voiced by Soldiers after returning from a combat tour, such as redeployment, leave, and healthcare to prepare the troopers to adjust to life back at home. The brigade will host a ceremony to uncase its colors at the end of the normal block leave in late July.

Ziggurat - Located At The City Of Ur, Iraq
On 13 May, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division transferred back the 5,000-year-old Ziggurat of Ur, one of Iraq’s most famous archeological sites, to the protection of Iraqi security forces. The Ziggurat, a multi-level pyramid believed to have a religious significance, is in Dhi Qar province in southeastern Iraq. The site is now under the control of the Dhi Qar police and under the management of the Ministry of Tourism.

The Dhi Qar Provincial Reconstruction Team and the 4th Brigade Combat Team, assisted the Iraqi security forces and the Antiquities in Nasiryah, to plan the event, which included various government officials and military leaders throughout central and southern Iraq.

Coalition forces have had control of the structure since 2003. They turned it over to Iraqis in a ceremony attended by government and military leaders at Contingency Operating Base Adder. The transfer is one of the final acts of partnership between Iraqi forces and the 4th Brigade Combat Team, who has already began their rotation home, returning to Ft. Hood, TX.

Joint Colation Forces and ISF Patrols
On 18 May, deesignated members of 1st Cavalry Division joined with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in an effort to update the ISF with all necessary knowledge, training, and experience which will provide a more safe, stable and secure Iraq before they are required to pull back (from Iraq cities and villages) by 30 June in accordance with the security agreement. As an example of this effort, Soldiers from "A" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team and the 3rd Battalion, 44th Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army (IA) Division, operating out of Joint Security Station Ur, joined in a joint security patrol in Hamandiyah, in northeast Baghdad.

Coalition Forces operate hand-in-hand with the Government of Iraq (GOI) and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). All missions are conducted as joint efforts between Coalition Forces and the ISF. Joint patrols are an everyday routine as the "Warriors" and the ISF meet before every patrol to discuss proper tactics and techniques to be employed during tactical operations. The meetings also provide the Coalition Forces and ISF the opportunity to discuss goals for the patrol, recent activity in the area, and tips provided by people of the community.

During the patrol, joint forces walked through the community of Hamandiyah and talked with citizens, inquiring about possible suspicious behavior of any individuals of the community. The IA also elected to visit a neighborhood home in an effort to obtain information on possible extremist activity in the area. Most patrols are routine, designed to show a presence and ensure the security of the community. The IA often follows-up on information provided by citizens and focuses on building friendships and bolstering community support.

Before officially and completely handing everything over to the Iraqi Security Forces, this final transition phase of the security agreement is crucial. The steps taken right now, ensures that ISF will have all the training they need and will set the Coalition Forces counterparts of Iraq up for success in the future, when the control of the areas is completely up to them.

1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Completes TOA
Also on 28 May, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division completed the Transfer Of Authority of Forward Operating Base Hunter to the Soldiers of the 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division who will assume the task of securing the southeastern border of Iraq. A flag changing ceremony symbolically marked the beginning of Task Force Saber's responsibility for the area.

The TOA process included transferring property, familiarizing themselves with the area and conducting key leader engagements with prominent local Iraqis. The squadron recognizes FOB Hunter as their home for the next year and as such the Soldiers have made strides to improve the living standards. Under the new command, further improvements are scheduled in order to increase Soldiers' morale and welfare to include the construction of a new dining facility, replacement of aging air conditioning systems and the establishment of reliable personal wireless internet. Despite the excitement of their imminent return home to Ft. Hood, the outgoing Soldiers made every effort to facilitate the reception of 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment "Sabers" to FOB Hunter.

The completion of this transfer sets the foundation for a year-long Saber deployment to continue efforts in advising and supporting the Iraqi security forces and the Government of Iraq.

"Long Knives" Complete Iraq Tour
On 05 June, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, cased its colors in a Relief In Place/Transfer Of Authority ceremony at COB Addler, Iraq that transferred responsibility for coalition operations in southern Iraq to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

Soldiers assigned to the 4th BCT "Highlanders", 1st Armored Division from Ft. Bliss, TX unfurled their colors in the Memorial Hall, sending the last of the Long Knife Soldiers home and ending their year-long tour in the southern tri-province area of Maysan, Dhi Qar and Muthanna, Iraq.

The Long Knife Brigade has laid a firm foundation of security and opportunity for the people of southern Iraq. The sacrifices of the troopers and their families gave this part of Iraq an unprecedented atmosphere of hope, success and optimism. During the yearlong deployment, the Long Knives trained the Iraqi police, army and border patrols to facilitate those units to assume sole responsibility for the security of the people in Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Maysan provinces.

The brigade also enabled the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in each province to improve the government and economic development throughout southern Iraq. After block leave, the Brigade will uncase its colors 23 July at Cooper Field to mark its official return to Ft. Hood, TX.

On 04 May 2009, the "Torch Party" of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division composed of 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Troopers, returned from Iraq to hundreds of cheering family members, fellow Soldiers and other guests at a welcoming home ceremony in front of the Division headquarters.

The torch party is sent back earlier than the rest of the unit to help set up operations for their unit when it starts to deploy in its entirety. Flights for the 4th BCT Soldiers are scheduled to go on for the next several weeks, bringing the rest of the brigade back to Ft. Hood, TX.

On 10 May, 2009 the second group of more than 300 Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team came home to Ft. Hood after spending 15 months being deployed in Iraq. Arriving on Mother's Day, they gave out flowers to their mothers, wives, grandmothers and other special women in their lives.

"Longknives" Uncase Brigade's Colors
The Long Knife Brigade had returned to Ft. Hood, TX in June after serving a year long deployment in the tri-province region of southern Iraq. The six battalions of the Brigade uncased their unit colors during the ceremony to signify their return to garrison operations.

On 08 October, a Defense Department news release announced that the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are among units that will deploy to Iraq next summer as part of annual troop rotations there. The deploying units will serve 12-month tours. In addition, the deployment of the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters will be extended for up to an additional 23 days, and elements of the II Marine Expeditionary Force will be extended for up to an additional 79 days.

The extensions will ensure that key capabilities are maintained following Iraqi national elections in January and provide support for redeployment of remaining Marines and their equipment. The number of troops involved in the movement will total about 15,000 servicemembers. The units will replace redeploying units, with no increase in overall force levels.

0n 18 November, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Long Knives" received word of a future deployment to Iraq less than a month ago, but the Brigade has been focused on preparing for such news since returning from Iraq in the summer of 2010. A revised training plan has been issued that nvolves both individual and collective training at Fort Hood, and next May at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA. But before soldiers are able to train, the unit must receive new equipment, and return old equipment that is either obsolete or no longer serviceable during a process the Army refers to as "reset."

Their inventory will be expanded to include new items they didn't have before from the last time deployed along with modernized items. The upcoming deployment will be much enhanced by the latest equipment upgrades. The re-set process not only provides the Long Knife Brigade with the latest equipment upgrades, but also saves the Army time by cutting out the middle function of supply services. These inventories will be used for training and for deployment, and the support here from the 4th Brigade has been excellent.

4th Brigade Units Initiates Training
On 12 March 2010, and within weeks of an approaching field training exercise in preparation for this year's upcoming deployment, troops assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted humvee training at the Blackwell Multi-Use Range. The essential goal for the 4th BSTB field training exercise was the familiariation and qualification of each Soldier on the tactical vehicle's weapons systems to gain confidence in their equipment and enabling them to use overwhelming fire power to suppress the enemy.

The humvees are equiped with either a M2 .50 caliber machine gun, M240B machine gun or the M249 Squad Automatic Weapons to engage targets out to 600 meters and complete the mission. Depending on the engagement, troops expended as many as 800 rounds. Although a number of the Spartan Soldiers have had previous gunnery training, for some of the Soldiers, this was the first time they fired a weapon from a vehicle making the training as realistic as possible with what they might experience in the field.

Operation New Dawn, 2010 - 2010

01 September, 2010 marked the official end to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and combat operations by United States forces in Iraq. In The transition to 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 civil capacity of Iraq.

4th Combat Brigade Cases Colors
On 01 September, in a symbolic ceremnony that took place for the 4th Combat Team of the 1st Calvary Division as they held their colors casing ceremony at Fort Hood for an historic mission taht will start as they leave this month in support of Operation NEW DAWN.The 4th Brigade will be the first unit of the 1st Cavalry Division to leave specifically in support of the new mission.

The ceremony was filled with the traditions of the 1st Calvary Division, including soldiers on horses, their historic band, and multiple cannon fire. At the ceremony, the 4th Brigade introduced the Stability Transition Team. The new unit is made up of special forces and green berets. As the soldiers of the 4th Brigade marched off the field, the band played the Army song. The 4th Brigade will once again go marching along, back into Iraq, for what they believe will be the final time.

In their new mision, the 4th Brigade will no longer combatants, thry will be now advising. Leaving to support Operation NEW DAWN, with a plan to come home with the sun shining brightly on Iraqi freedom. The Long Knife Brigade will uncase their colors when they get to Iraq, and begin supporting the Iraqi leadership and forces.

The unit consisting of 100 soldiers has gone through specialized training to take charge in making sure over the next year and a half, Iraqi military and police leaders are prepared to lead the country's security without US back-up to bail them out.In the meantime, the 4th Brigade will focus on providing support in Northern Iraq as well, in places like Mosul, Nineveh, Kirkuk, and along the northern Syrian border.

4th CBT Port Inspection Operations
On September 18, with their new mission of Operation NEW DAWN underway, Soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have a few more items to finalize to ensure they are mission ready. Soldiers of the3 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, staged vehicles, inventoried containers and prepared for the brigade's equipment movement north from the southern port at Kuwait City, Kuwait, to Iraq.

With their new advise and assist mission, it is crucial for Soldiers to have their equipment in Iraq on time. The operation not only oversaw the specializd weapon platform equipment essential to support the Combat Team, but it also included supplies critical for maintaining and sustaining the combat platforms. Soldiers rotated shifts and worked through the night to guarantee their fellow Soldiers would have mission essential equipment ready for Iraq. Without the brigade being properly equipped and ready to take on any mission, it forces units to have to do a lot more with fewer tools, which leads to individual stress. By being involved in pushing the equipment forward, it alleviates those worries.

With the equipment of the brigade en route to Iraq, troopers now stand one step closer to beginning their mission of helping the Iraqi nation become self-reliant and providing for their own security. Brigade port operations is an important transition that began in 2003, By ensuring that the efforts in the last seven years finish successfully, defending this nation against external threats.

4th CBT Prepares to Head North
Troopers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, maintained their combat readiness with training classes at Camp Buehring, located in the desert of Kuwait, prior to their deployment north into Iraq in the coming weeks. Long Knife brigade Soldiers will be the first brigade combat team from the Division to deploy in support of Operation NEW DAWN

A unit consisting of 100 soldiers has gone through specialized training to take charge in making sure over the next year and a half, Iraqi military and police leaders are prepared to lead the country's security without US back-up to bail them out.In the meantime, the 4th Brigade will focus on providing support in Northern Iraq as well, in places like Mosul, Nineveh, Kirkuk, and along the northern Syrian border.

On September 20, soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted final checks of their Bradley fighting vehicles weapon systems, prior to moving into Iraq later this month. In crews of three; consisting of a driver, a gunner, and a Bradley commander, troopers drove for over two hours to get to the range where their training would begin.

The unit consisting of 100 soldiers has gone through specialized training to take charge in making sure over the next year and a half, Iraqi military and police leaders are prepared to lead the country's security without US back-up to bail them out.In the meantime, the 4th Brigade will focus on providing support in Northern Iraq as well, in places like Mosul, Nineveh, Kirkuk, and along the northern Syrian border.

Soldiers positively indentified exactly what types of targets were down range and used the on-board computer to aim and engage them with the appropriate type of weapon system. While much of the work reconfirmed training that the Head Hunters conducted prior to their deployment, troopers worked on their communication skills to ensure they will be ready to assist their Iraqi counterparts if needed during their deployment in support of Operation NEW DAWN.

The training that started in the daylight soon proceeded into the night hours, but through communication and confirmed shots, Soldiers ended the day with more knowledge of and confidence in their weapons systems.

The Soldiers participated in weapon certification ranges, combat life-saving classes, humvee egress assistance training and counter improvised explosive device classes to refresh the skills they acquired during brigade field training exercises and at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, LA.

The Soldiers will continue their refresher classes and training prior to their movement to northern Iraq for their scheduled deployment.

4th Combat Brigade Uncases Colors
18 Oct 2010. after being in Iraq for nearly a month, the 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, officially uncased its colors and took part in a colorful transfer of authority ceremony to assume authority in Ninewa Provinceal Contingency Operating Site at Marez, Iraq.

The ceremony officially recognizes the Long Knife brigade assuming authority for advising, assisting, and training Iraqi counterparts in Ninewa Province and Mosul, in northern Iraq.

Accepting responsibility for the mission from the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Long Knife Soldiers will now be working directly with their Iraqi counterparts in support of Operation NEW DAWN.

The transfer of authority (TOA) gives the 4th Brigade a chance to thank the Spartan brigade for the hard work done over the last year and a chance for them to show our Iraqi counterparts here to continue to assist them with their security training. In their role as an AAB, Soldiers of the 4th AAB will conduct combined patrols, assist at checkpoints and train the ISF, who are in the lead for all operations.

The focus of the effort of the 4th Brigade is to advise, train, and assist Iraqi Security Forces marking what will amount to be the cloase out of efforts over the last seven years. Each commander spoke during the ceremony with the commander of the redeploying Spartan brigade, Col. Charles Sexton, welcoming the Long Knife brigade and wishing them luck on their journey to helping Iraq achieve independence.

US Transfers Responsibility For COS Sykes
Also on 14 June, US forces officially transferred responsibility of Contingency Operating Site (COS) Sykes to Iraqi Security Forces, Soldiers assigned to "A" Battery, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, spent more than a month preparing the base for turnover to the 10th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division.

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The "Long Knife" Brigade Combat Team stands ready to lead the way to any contingency area world-wide to accomplish any mission that the future might bring.

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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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