The “Iron Eagles” were first constituted April 1, 1957 as the 4th Aviation Company, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington. The unit was reorganized and redesignated Oct. 1, 1963, as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Aviation Battalion.
The 4th Aviation Battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in September 1966, where it participated in multiple campaigns, and was awarded two Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry, and one Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal. The unit redeployed back to the United States in 1970. It was inactivated Dec. 4, 1970, at Fort Lewis.
The 4th Aviation Battalion was re-designated Nov. 21, 1972 as Aviation Company, 4th Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Carson. It was again reorganized and redesignated March 17, 1980, as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Aviation Battalion, and again Aug. 16, 1987, as 4th Aviation Regiment. In 1995, the unit was relocated to Fort Hood, Texas, with the 4th Infantry Division. On Oct. 1, 2005, the unit was again redesignated as the 4th Aviation Regiment.
The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was inactivated in September 2011 at Fort Hood and was reactivated July 2, 2013, at Fort Carson.
The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, once in 2005 and again in 2008, and was awarded two Meritorious Unit Citations. The unit deployed again in 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, after which the brigade was awarded a Valorous Unit Award. Task Force Iron Eagle supported 22 allied nations across four regional commands, the largest geographical area of any combat aviation brigade. The brigade’s most recent deployment was in November 2015, where the “Iron Eagle” Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan again, this time in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel where they conducted full-spectrum aviation operations, assisting in providing security and stability to the region.
In addition to providing support to the mission of the 4th Infantry Division, providing aerial support to the brigade combat teams, home station training, and other units of the Fort Carson and theater, the 4th CAB Soldiers also give lifesaving support in emergencies. An example of this support is the units’ actions during the 2013 Black Forest fires and the Boulder floods. They flew more than 913 missions and dropped 700,000 gallons of water during the Black Forest fires. The Iron Eagles contributed to the largest airlift evacuation since hurricane Katrina in the Boulder floods, and the brigade also volunteered more than 560 hours outside of military operations to help with the recovery of the communities during both of these natural disasters. The professional Soldiers of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade are routinely requested to provide critical aviation support to the installation and community and volunteers with more than 25 different nonprofit, veteran, and state organizations throughout southern Colorado.