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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|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|
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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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