After the historic bridging of the Sava River on 31 December 1995, the 1st Armored "Old Ironsides" Division, with supporting forces from V (US) Corps, was joined by armed forces of twelve other nations that included Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Poland, Denmark, Lithuania, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Russia, Turkey and the United States. Together, these nations comprised MultiNational Division - North (MND-N), one of three MultiNational Divisions in NATO Stabilization FORce (SFOR). TFE represented the Unites States contribution to SFOR.
One of the most powerful UN formations ever fielded, MND-N, enforced the cease-fire, supervised the marking of boundaries, and monitored the zone of separation between the former warring factions, Entity Armed Forces (EAF) which consisted of the Bosnian-Croat Entity (the Federation) and the Bosnian Serb Entity (the Republika Srpska), enforced the withdrawal of the combatants and the movement of the heavy weapons to designated storage sites. TFE also supported the efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to administer the country's first ever democratic national elections.
On 10 November 1996, the 1st Armored Division transferred authority for command and control of TFE to the 1st Infantry Division. The 1st Infantry Division deployed as a covering force to allow the safe return of the 1st Armored Division units to Germany. Upon completion of the covering force mission, the 1st Infantry Division continued ensuring that all military aspects of the Dayton Peace Accord were accomplished firmly and fairly.
On 20 December 1996, the implementation force mission came to successful conclusion and the 1st Infantry Division was directed to continue serving in Bosnia as part of the new NATO Stabilization FORce (SFOR). This decision brought to close the mission of Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR and the beginning for Operation JOINT GUARD.
On 22 October 1997, the 1st Armored Division conducted a relief in place of the 1st Infantry Division, and reassumed command of MND-N. Soldiers from America's tank division, accustomed to the mission, quickly adjusted to their familiar role and challenges of maintaining a safe and secure and peaceful environment in the MND-N sector of SFOR.
Through careful planning and the skillful execution of every mission, the soldiers of the 1st Armored Division and those of our multi-national allies, continued to monitor the militaries of the former combatants and provide a climate of stability in the war-torn land of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
On 17 April 1998, a Pentagon spokesman announced that the 1st Cavalry Division troops from Ft. Hood, Texas, would deploy in late summer to replace the US peace keeping force in Bosnia, the 1st Armored Division. It was an historic move. It was the first time a Continental United States (CONUS) based contingency unit would assume the Bosnian peacekeeping mission.
While not obvious to the layman, the challenge of moving a division-size Army task force from its home station in Texas to a deployment zone far away, was great. The task force of approximately five thousand soldiers required over seven hundred vehicles, aircraft, and shipping containers of supplies. The shipment had to travel to a far shore across many time zones, mountains, and kilometers of salt water. The route had to be secure and the movement had to be safe.
Planning for the move began in the spring and early summer of 1998. The equipment of the 1st Cavalry Division task force would be transported, staged and concentrated at the shipping terminal of the 596th Transportation Group in Beaumont, Texas, then be moved to its final destination by motor convoy, rail, and air delivery. Additional cargo of the 3rd Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, which was to be attached to the 1st Cavalry Division for the Bosnian Operation, would be staged and loaded at Wilmington, North Carolina.
Spring turned into early summer. Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) planners began to hear word of a change of plans. The original planed seaport of embarkation was to be Bremerhaven, Germany, but Pentagon planners were considering a port much closer to the destination. Aviators were concerned about maintenance and safety issues associated with a long air transit across the heart (and mountains) of Europe from northern Germany. Leaders in the 1st Cavalry Division wanted to hurry the movement of their heavy equipment to facilitate the mission transfer. Although a port closer to their destination such as the Adriatic Sea port of Rijeka, Croatia might create infrastructure and security problems, it was finally chosen because its location would speed the entry of the task force's heavy equipment into the theater.
In May, the 3rd Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment, which has its origin in the "WidowMakers", "C" Company, 229th Aviation Regiment as an organic unit of the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, received orders to deploy to Bosnia as peacekeepers in support of Operation JOINT FORGE. In June, in preparation for deployment, its intensive training criteria included an Aviation Training Exercise at Ft. Rucker, Alabama; in July, a Mission Readiness Exercise at Fort Polk, Louisiana and in August, a Joint Air Attack Team live fire coordination exercise at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
On 20 June, the mission of the NATO SFOR was restated to deter hostilities and stabilize the peace, contribute to a secure environment by providing a continued military presence in the area of operations, target and coordinate SFOR support to key areas and primary civil implementation organizations and progress towards a lasting consolidation of peace without further need for NATO-led forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As a result of the mission restatement, the transition of the current NATO led SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina changed over to a slightly smaller follow-on force. The United States agreed to provide a force of approximately 6,900 US military personnel to help maintain a capable military force in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Concurrently, Operation JOINT GUARD ended and Operation JOINT FORGE began. Operation JOINT FORGE continued to build on the successes of Operations JOINT GUARD and JOINT ENDEAVOR. No timeline for the duration of Operation JOINT FORGE was established from the onset. Rather than establish a deadline for the termination of the mission, its accomplishments were assessed periodically and the level of force commitment adjusted, as circumstances required.
With the deployment to Bosnia inching closer, soldiers from the advanced party, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division had already packed their military vans in preparation for their year-long deployment.
Different sections from the Division Headquarters loaded the military vans for about four days. The loading went fast because everyone was assigned a specific task. Once the military vans were packed, they were loaded onto vehicles, weighed and moved to the Deployment Readiness Reaction Field (DRRF) to be marshaled, and taken to the railhead in one group, In addition to the Headquarters equipment, High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), five-ton trucks and expando-vans from the Headquarters Company motorpool were being loaded on the trains for shipment to Beaumont, Texas.
Long lines of vehicles were concentrated at the Beaumont docks. The cargo was mostly from Ft. Hood. However, some cargo was from Ft. Carson, Colorado; Ft. Riley, Kansas; Ft. Sam Houston, Texas; and Ft. Polk, Louisiana. Helicopters were flown into the port, some from as far away as a National Guard unit in California. Army Reservists from the 1192nd Transportation Terminal Brigade, from New Orleans, Louisiana, began loading on 04 and 05 August. In all, the cargo covered 192,000 square feet.
For the USNS Soderman, the distant port of Rijeka drew closer by the hour. As the ship approached the lands of the former country of Yugoslavia, the personnel of MTMC were joined by some new and valuable partners, military and civilian. The military partners included the 21st Theater Area Army Command (TAACOM) of Kaiserslautern, Germany. who were charged with the responsibility of setting up a small city to speed the transition from ship unloading to onward movement to Bosnia.
On 20 August 1998, it was "wheels up" for the troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division as it became the first Continental United States (CONUS) based division to support the ongoing peace-keeping mission in Bosnia and assume command of Task Force Eagle and MND-N. Members of the division departed Robert Gray Army Airfield, Ft. Hood to set the stage for more than six thousand soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Brigade that would follow.
On the same day, the 3rd Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment along
with the 301st Attack Squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force and "I/K" Company,
4th Battalion. 159th Aviation that supplements the Battalion's organic
aviation maintenance, was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division as Task Force
ANGEL. Concurrently, the first element of Task Force ANGEL (the 3rd Battalion,
229th Aviation Regiment) conducted an incident free deployment from Fort
Bragg, North Carolina and arrived at the Camp Comanche airfield. Task Force
Angel immediately assumed the attack aviation mission for the 4th Brigade, 1st
Cavalry Division as if it were organic to the division. Their defined mission
was to conduct reconnaissance, security and attack helicopter operations
across the SFOR Area of Responsibility (AOR); to deter EAF hostility and
enforce the GFAP; on order, conduct mission handover and safely redeploy to
The operations of the port of Rijeka, a new one for MTMC presented many
challenges. There were civilian contractors to work with as well. MTMC
contracted with Jadroagent, of Rijeka, for port and stevedore services. The
stevedores, with another language and culture, were required to undergo
extensive training. American contractors included veteran overseas operators
Brown & Root Services Corporation and DynCorp. Brown & Root operated a dining
facility and shower point. DynCorp maintenance specialists, many of whom were
Army veterans, were assigned to assist in the assembly and preparation of the
helicopters for flight. In short order, a complete task force staff, from
command sergeant major to public affairs officer, was functioning and ready
for the arrival of the USNS Soderman.
From 23 to 25 August, stevedores at the Rijeka dockside unloaded 377 wheeled and tracked vehicles, 287 shipping containers, 45 Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, numerous support vehicles, and assorted unit supplies. The cargo was prepared immediately for onward movement. From 25 to 30 August, some twelve trains were loaded with vehicles and shipping containers. Some nonstandard pieces of equipment went by road convoy to the Bosnia-Herzegovina 1st Cavalry Division area near Tuzla.
The shipment into Croatia was a plus for the aviators and saved hundreds of hours of helicopter time for the aircraft of the Division. From a hastily formed dockside aviation compound, helicopters were reassembled, tested, and prepared for liftoff. Almost hourly, another helicopter completed safety and maintenance checks and lifted off high above the sun-drenched docks and out over the azure waters and blue skies of the Adriatic. Pilots flew the helicopters directly to the Camp Comanche airfield, deep in Bosnia.
On 24 August the main body of the Division began deploying from Robert Gray
Army Airfield. Flights continued through early October. In preparation for the
mission, the training soldiers had conducted prior to deploying had been very
demanding and the whole experience had pulled the Division Staff together.
Morale was quite high.
Although units of the 1st Cavalry Division are deployed routinely around the
world, the Division Headquarters had not deployed since DESERT STORM. The
headquarters command staff of the division would be stationed at Camp Eagle
near Tuzla, Bosnia during the entire year-long deployment. It was planned that
the 1st Brigade Combat Team would be relieved by the 2nd Brigade Combat Team
in March 1999. In August 1999, the 10th Mountain Division (and other units)
would replace the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters, 4th Brigade, 312th
Military Intelligence Battalion, and 13th Signal Battalion. The 2nd Brigade
Combat Team would remain in Bosnia under the control of the 10th Mountain
Division until October 1999 when, as the last unit of the 1st Cavalry
Division to return, it would redeploy to Ft. Hood.
General Eric M. Shinseki, NATO SFOR Commander was the reviewing officer for the afternoon ceremony. The ceremony began with an
inspection of the honor company. After a performance of the Turkish band
playing the "Star Spangled Banner" the colors of the 1st Armored Division were
cased and the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were uncased and presented.
The ceremony closed with a benediction by the 1st Cavalry Division Chaplain
and the band playing "Hit the Leather", "Iron Soldier March", and "The Army
First, working in a coordinated, preplanned effort, each unit of the Combat Team was assigned tasks or undertook specific missions, that fulfilled the overall mission of the 1st Cavalry Division. The missions included the following tasks:
Patrolling the 1,400 km Zone of Separation (ZOS)
Monitoring 766 cantonment sites
Conducting site inspections and confiscation of unauthorized weapons
Monitoring Entity Armed Forces (EAF) training and movement activities
Monitoring of de-mining efforts
Enforcing restrictions on EAF training
Removing unauthorized checkpoints
Maintaining a secure environment for civil implementation
Improving local infrastructure of bridges, roads and railroads
Maintaining local airport facilities for civil air traffic
To effectively cover their theater of operations, the 1st Cavalry Division
Units were functionally deployed and stationed at base camps in Bosnia as
indicated by the green designator labels shown on the map below.
The 1st Cavalry Division Units deployed for the first six months of duty were positioned in the following camp areas:
|1st BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM (20 August 1998 to 15 Mar 1999)|
EAGLE BASE CAMP McGOVERN CAMP COMANCHE
"HHC", 1st Cav Div "HHC", 1-8th Cavalry "HHC", 4th Bde Cmbt Tm "HHC", 1st Bde Cmbt Tm "A" Co, 2-5th Cavalry "HSC", 2-227th Avn Regt "HHB", 1-82nd FA Bn "B" Co, 1-8th Cavalry "A" Co, 2-227th Avn Regt "B" Btry, 1-82 FA "C" Co, 1-8th Cavalry "B" Co, 2-227th Avn Regt "C" Btry, 1-82nd FA "D" Co, 1-8th Cavalry "C" Co, 2-227th Avn Regt "C" Btry, 1-21st FA "B" Co, 20th Engineer Bn "D" Co, 2-227th Avn Regt "HHC", 13th Signal Bn "HHC", 615th Avn Spt Bn "C" Co, 13th Signal Bn "HHC", 115th Fwd Spt Bn "D" Co, 13th Signal Bn "A" Co, 2-8th Cavalry 15th Finance Det "C" Co, 2-5th Cavalry 15th Pers Serv Det "HHC", 3-229th Avn Regt ** "HHC", 312th MI Bn "A" Co, 3-229th Avn Regt ** "B" Co, 312th MI Bn "B" Co, 3-229th Avn Regt ** 545th MP Company "C" Co, 3-229th Avn Regt ** 410th MP Company "D" Co, 3-229th Avn Regt ** "I/K" Co, 4-159th Avn Regt ** 301st Atk Sqn, RNAF **
CAMP DOBOL CAMP BEDROCK CAMP DEMI
"HHC", 2-5th Cavalry (-) "HHC", 2-8th Cavalry "HHC", 2-5th Cavalry "D" Co, 2-5th Cavalry "C" Co, 2-8th Cavalry "B" Co, 2-5th Cavalry "A" Co, 1-8th Cavalry "D" Co, 2-8th Cavalry "A" Btry, 1-82nd FA "B" Co, 2-8th Cavalry "C" Co, 20th Engineer Bn "A" Co, 20th Engineer Bn "A" Co, 52nd Engineer Bn "A" Co, 4-5th ADA (-) ** Units attached 20 Aug 1998 and not organic to 1st Cavalry Division. Relieved from attachment 30 Mar 1999
Following deployment to Bosnia, 1st Cavalry Division troopers underwent a post
deployment training and transition program with the soldiers of 1st Armored
Division that was built on the concept of a "right-seat-ride". During this
time, leaders, staffs and soldiers trained alongside their counterparts with
the 1st Cavalry Division soldiers accompanying 1st Armored Division soldiers
as they accomplished daily missions in Bosnia. Each soldier and officer rode
"in the right seat" for a minimum of two weeks. 1st Cavalry Division soldiers
assumed more responsibility for missions as 1st Armored Division soldiers were
slowly phased out from daily operations.
Units of the 13th Signal Battalion were deployed to Bosnia in support of
Operation JOINT FORGE. They were stationed at various camps sites to upgrade
or replace existing networks and make radio, data link, land line and internet
communication for commanders and service personnel deployed to the area,
simple and efficient. The objective of the 13th Signal Battalion was to
facilitate communicating throughout the rough terrain of the MND-N sector as
easy as in the states.
On 15 October the first of many video teleconferences between the Command Division staff and the Family Readiness Group leaders at Ft. Hood occurred. Task Force Eagle updated the leaders about the status of current operations in Bosnia and the leaders were given the opportunity to provide information on any critical family issues and ask questions. Following the Family Readiness conference, the Task Force Hood staff briefed the Commanding General on the situations at Fort Hood.
On 24 October an unidentified laser device was directed at a UH-60 helicopter
and resulted in minor eye injuries for two crewmembers of "B" Company, 2nd
Battalion, 227th Aviation. The incident occurred near the town of Zenica. The
flight crew completed their mission and returned to base where they were both
immediately examined and treated. The pilot and a crew member had sustained
minor burns to the outer tissue of their eyes. The optometrist who treated the
pilots indicated that the injuries would not be permanent. Subsequent
examinations showed improvement and the crew returned to full flight status
within the next few days.
Immediately following the confirmation of the incident, coalition military
units and units from the EAF were notified and a full investigation was
initiated. This was the first verified laser incident in which medical
treatment was required. There had been three other reports of suspected
pen-type laser devices being aimed at US aircraft. However, there had been no
injuries in any of these cases.
At Christmas, the brass players performed a tree lighting ceremony at the
MND-N Headquarters, complete with Santa Claus in a HMMWV and a bag full of
gifts. After the ceremony, the band members, trading their battle dress
uniforms for "dress blues", held a concert for Major General Byrnes and the
staff. While serving with Task Force Eagle, throughout the tour and at all the
concerts, the First Team Band helped boost Division morale during the holiday
season, as well as spread goodwill throughout the civilian community and as
well by promoting esprit de corps throughout Bosnia.
Base security, at all times, was the prime mission for the Division. New
Year's Eve passed much like any winter night of pulling guard duty at Eagle
Base except for the 15-minute fusillade that was touched off at the stroke of
midnight by local Bosnians living in the nearby communities, who celebrated
(in a somewhat dangerous fashion) by firing pistols, rifles, and machine guns
into the sky along with several small explosions for good measure.
The most important and dangerous mission performed by units of the engineer battalions deployed to Bosnia was monitoring demining operations. Their mission was: "To collect, manage and provide mine information for the protection of the force and support the removal, dismantling, and destruction of all mines, unexploded ordnance, explosive devices, and demolitions in accordance with the Dayton Accords."
Bosnia and Herzegovina has the most severe landmine problem in Europe, where
it is estimated that one million land mines were emplaced during the three
year civil war. To prepare themselves for the mission, the engineers conducted
an extensive training program that consisted of: 1) deminer refresher
training; 2) mechanical deminer training; 3) survey training; 4) mine
awareness and 5) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training.
Significant improvements in demining operations were developed in Bosnia. The significant change was made when the methodology changed from "mine lifting" to "mine clearing". Mine lifting consists of identifying and removing known mines in accordance with the quantities shown on existing minefield records and any additional devices identified during the lifting operation. This method does not account for inaccurate maps or mines that had been added at later dates. Mine clearing consists in a concentrated clearance of mines from a designated area and physical proofing of the ground. This process results in a 99.6% certainty that the area will be safe and can be returned for public use.
In addition to the dangerous task of monitoring mine clearing, units of the Engineer Brigade were busy constructing and reshaping the landscape with their heavy equipment. Among the most critical high priority tasks, was the restoring, remodeling and new construction of the various camps and specialized training facilities. A major effort was undertaken to improve the local infrastructure system of roads and bridges around each of the camps and patrol areas. Working with the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB-40) Seabees, the engineers rebuilt the drainage system and added new access roads and several Forward Area Refueling Points (FARP) pads at the Comanche airfield.
One of the assignments of the Division was to routinely set up checkpoints to exercise the interoperability of various forces during day and night operations and to spot check vehicles that might be carrying illegal cargo. On the evening of 24 February, troopers of "A" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, operating out of Camp McGovern, found a large quantity of contraband munitions in two trucks during checkpoint operations near Brcko. Acting within their mandate, they seized the two trucks and all military weapons and ammunition on board.
The seized weapons, hidden behind piles of firewood, were not the types of weapons that ordinary citizens would have in their possession. They included multiple rocket launch systems, SA-7 air defense systems, and other sophisticated and expensive weapons that one would expect to see only in the possession of military forces.
Following up on the results on their investigation, troopers supported by Russian troops moved to a warehouse suspected of holding illegal weapons in Bijeljina. Entering the warehouse, they found hundreds of cases of military equipment, plastic explosives, grenades, arms and ammunition. The equipment was seized and removed from the site along with paperwork and records.
Subsequent investigations revealed that several personnel assigned to the 311th Infantry Brigade, III Corps Bosnian Serb Army Voijska Rep Srpska (VRS) were directly involved in supporting this illegal act. As punishment for the movement of counterband arms, the 311th Infantry Brigade was disbanded in its entirety. The headquarters, barracks, weapons storage sites, ammunition depots, ranges and other facilities associated with the 311th Infantry Brigade were barred from any military function.
The 3rd Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment - designated as Task Force ANGLE, under Operational Control (OPCON) to the 1st Cavalry Division, accomplished its mission and each of its Mission Essential Tasks (MET), as well as exceeding every standard by which a unit can be measured.
In the Bosnian AOR, TF ANGLE conducted multinational operations with more than
ten foreign countries, from NATO and the former Warsaw Pact. In doing so, it
executed its traditional attack helicopter missions as well as non-traditional
roles such as hostage rescue exercises, border surveillance, weapon storage
site reconnaissance, escort and combined arms operations with infantry and
After it arrived in Bosnia, TF ANGEL flew over five hundred hours per month. This Operating Tempo (OPTEMPO) reflected an average of 32.5 hours per month per aircraft. In carrying out its mission, TF ANGEL surpassed the Field Mission Capability (FMC) standard for both aircraft availability (84% FMC) and vehicle readiness (88% FMC) for each and every month of deployment by 14% and 8% respectively.
In March, seven countries participated in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) training hosted by the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry at Camp McGovern. US troops participated along with Russian, Danish, Turkish, Swedish, Finish, Polish, and Norwegian chemical soldiers in a joint static display of NBC defense equipment. The US soldiers also held a decontamination exercise demonstrated by soldiers from Camp Bedrock.
The multinational forces converged to observe the US soldiers perform an operational decontamination demonstration. The demonstration consisted of a vehicle wash down to simulate cleansing vehicles of contamination. The exercise also involved a Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear exchange, where soldiers traded out simulated contaminated protective suits for clean garments.
In early March, the 1st Brigade with its attached units began the process of
deploying to Ft. Hood and was relieved in place by the 2nd Brigade with its
corresponding attached units. The Division Headquarters, the 4th Brigade, the
312th MI and 13th Signal Battalions, scheduled as "Holdover Units", remained
deployed in theater until redeployment in August.
On 24 March 1999, NATO launched a major offensive against Kosovo, a
neighboring Balkan province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The
objective of the strike was to force the Yugoslavian leader, Slobodan
Milosevic to end his "ethnic" cleansing of Albanians who constituted
approximately eighty-five percent of the population in the Serb province.
Although wreckage from the two downed aircraft landed near the US Sector. troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division remained safe and secure as they continued with their mission. As always, force protection was the top priority. Immediately, access to all camps became limited to mission essential personnel only, with normal operations resuming as soon as was practical. Troops were back in flak jackets and helmets and were eating Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs) supplemented with fresh fruit, breads and simply prepared foods. Contractor personnel only returned when the potential of any threat to the troops was eliminated.
On 27 March, a second violation of Bosnia-Herzegovina airspace occurred when
two FRY helicopters crossed the border south of Bijeljina. The helicopters
were tracked by NATO aircraft and retreated to FRY airspace before they could
The Sentinel radar, a towed, ground-based unit assigned to short range air defense battalions. It is capable of automatically detecting, tracking, identifying and classifying threat targets in all weather conditions up to forty kilometers away. Its low altitude system is capable of alerting and cueing air defense gunners to aerial targets approaching their engagement area.
Amid the flurry and background of a war occurring in a neighboring country, the members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team readied themselves to relieve the 1st Brigade Combat Team in Bosnia. Upon deployment for the second round, the 2nd Brigade, along with its support units, including the non-divisional attached units as well as the "Holdover Units" were stationed at the following five camp areas. (Camp Bedrock had been closed in March.)
|2nd BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM (15 March 1999 to 01 October 1999)|
EAGLE BASE CAMP McGOVERN CAMP COMANCHE
"HHC", 1st Cav Div * "HHC", 1-12th Cavalry "HSD", 4th Bde "HHC", 2nd Bde Combat Tm "A" Co, 1-12th Cavalry "HHC", 1-4th Avn Regt ** "HHB", 3-82nd FA "C" Co, 1-12th Cavalry "A" Co, 1-4th Avn Regt ** "A" Btry, 3-82nd FA "D" Co, 1-12th Cavalry "C" Co, 1-4th Avn Regt ** "B" Btry, 3-82nd FA "C" Co, 1-5th Cavalry "D" Co, 1-4th Avn Regt ** "C" Btry, 1-21st FA * 1st Plt, "C" Btry, 3-82nd FA "D" Trp, 1-7th Cavalry "HHC", Engineer Bde "A" Co, 91st Engineer Bn "E" Trp, 1-7th Cavalry "HHC", 91st Engineer Bn (-) 2nd Plt, 401st MP Co ** "F" Trp, 1-7th Cavalry "C" Co, 91st Engineer Bn "HHC", 1-159th Avn Regt ** 545th MP Co (-) * "A" Co, 1-159th Avn Regt ** "HHC", 312th MI Bn * "B" Co, 1-159th Avn Regt ** "B" Co, 312th MI Bn * "D" Co, 1-159th Avn Regt ** "HHC", 13th Signal Bn * "HHC", 15th Fwd Spt Bn "B" Co, 13th Signal Bn "A" Co, 15th Fwd Spt Bn 15th Finance Det * "B" Co, 15th Fwd Spt Bn 15th Pers Serv Det * "C" Co, 15th Fwd Spt Bn 401st MP Co (-) ** "A" Co, 62nd Engineer Bn ** "HHC", 404th Avn Spt Bn ** "C" Btry, 4-5th ADA Bn
CAMP DOBOL CAMP BEDROCK CAMP DEMI
"HHC", 1-5th Cavalry ** CLOSED ** "HHC", 2-12th Cavalry "B" Co, 1-5th Cavalry "A" Co, 2-12th Cavalry "D" Co, 1-5th Cavalry "D" Co, 2-12th Cavalry "B" Co, 1-12th Cavalry "A" Co, 1-5th Cavalry "B" Co, 2-12th Cavalry 2nd Plt, "C" Btry, 3-82nd FA "C" Co, 2-12th Cavalry 1st Plt, "C" Co, 91st Engineer Bn "B" Co, 91st Engineer Bn 1st Plt, 401st MP Co ** * Holdover units from fall 1998 deployment ** Units attached and not organic to 1st Cavalry Division
On 01 April, the Division initiated the formal implementation of the second and final mission phase as the 2nd Brigade Combat Team relieved the 1st Brigade Combat Team. On 02 April Major General Byrnes addressed the morale and dedication of all the MND-N troops necessary to keep Bosnia on a peaceful track. He made arrangements to get the troops back on one hot meal a day, and they eagerly awaited the day for the return of "home cooking" provided by the contractor, Brown and Root.
The Division Support Command (DISCOM) "Wagonmasters" provided TFE with the "life line" of "fuel-fix-arm-move-sustain" spectrum of support for the operations of the 1st Cavalry Division in Bosnia. Previously, in the first mission phase, this function was provided by the 115th Forward Support Battalion (FSB) and the 615th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB). Now the colors of the 15th FSB provided the focal point of the Logistics Task Force (LTF) which included aviation maintenance elements of the "A" Company, 404th ASB, 4th Infantry Division and higher-echelon maintenance from the 183rd Maintenance Support Team (MST), III Corps from Ft. Carson, Colorado.
The LTF was also home to a platoon of Heavy Equipment Transports (HETs), as well as a section of Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units (ROWPUs) from the division's own 27th Main Support Battalion (MSB), the largest and most powerful battalion of its kind in the entire United States Army. The HETs add the capability for transport armored vehicles quick and efficiently over long distances, and the ROWPUs provides a standby fresh water "on call" capability, should the local contracting efforts break down or become overloaded. The 27th MSB also provided personnel backfill to the 15th FSB prior to the deployment to Bosnia in order to fill critical slots in a variety of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).
Although the "Gamblers" of the LTF operated mainly from Comanche Base, they also had soldiers and equipment spread throughout the MND-N area of responsibility, providing support where needed. MSTs were attached to each battalion TF to ensure that weapon system repairs are done at the lowest possible echelon of support, and the HET drivers of the 27th MSB operate constantly, shifting combat power where needed in the sector.
On 16 April, the Navy ship, USNS Antares (T-AKR-294), a "Roll On/Roll Off" Transport, arrived at the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas. The docks became a flurry of military activity as Black Hawk helicopters, Humvees and supplies were loaded onto trains and trucks after their return from Bosnia. The equipment, coming from Rijeka, Croatia, was moving to the home base of the 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood near Killeen. Texas.
The MTMC planned the highly coordinated endeavor. It involved synchronizing seventy rail cars, forty-six trucks and more than two-hundred people, including one-hundred local stevedores, who descended on the cargo dock and began unloading the ship. Among the contents of the ship were twenty-four helicopters, which were shipped disassembled. The pieces of each of the $14 million helicopters would be reassembled on the dock, inspected, refueled and then flown on to Ft. Hood, Texas.
On 23 July, initiating the 6th rotation of US Troops into Bosnia, an advanced
party of what will eventually be 3,200 soldiers from 10th Mountain Division,
Ft. Drum, New York arrived to begin the staffing build up for the Change of
Command of MND-N. The 10th Mountain Division had been in training for the past
year, preparing for their mission assignment to Bosnia. The 2nd Brigade, 10th
Mountain Division began deploying later in the month to fall in on equipment
which sailed from the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, Staten Island, New York
on 04 August.
Major General James L. Campbell assumed command of MND-N from Major General Kevin P. Byrnes. In carrying out the TA, there was a gradual, incrementally executed operation, that was planned in a manner to ensure that there would be no disruption in the mission of MND-N, which was to provide a safe and secure environment throughout its area of responsibility. The 1st Cavalry Division soldiers would continue to serve the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the 2nd Brigade Combat Team remained in place under the command of the 10th Mountain Division, completing the full mission transition in October
In the continuation of its assignment, members of the 2nd Brigade stayed
busy conducting their regular patrolling activities and participating in, and
monitoring the variety of EAF training and movement events throughout the
sector. The missions included presence patrols, weapons search and
inspections, Operation HARVEST '99, the summer demining campaign, Joint
Assessment Team investigations and displaced persons and refuges returns.
This transition represented more than a brigade level transition of authority. It signaled the mission accomplishment of the military provisions set forth by the Dayton Peace Accords and the end of the magnificent tour of the "First Team" in Bosnia. Following the TA Ceremony, the final efforts of the 2nd Brigade were spent organizing personnel, cleaning, packing and loading equipment. Upon arrival at Ft. Hood, Texas, a Division Patch Welcome Home Ceremony was held on 18 October, at Cooper Field.
As you journey through the history of the 1st Cavalry Division and its assigned elements, you may find it interesting enough to send a message to your friends and extend them an invitation for the opportunity to review the rich history of the Division. We have made it easy for you to do. All that is required is for you to click on the Push Button below, fill in their eMail addresses and send.
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