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108TH AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY BRIGADE

108TH AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY BRIGADE

108TH AIR DEFENSE
ARTILLERY BRIGADE

The 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade traces its lineage to the 514th Coast Artillery Regiment, which was constituted in the Organized Reserves in July 1923 and organized in October 1923 with headquarters at Schenectady, N.Y. On
Jan. 1, 1938, the unit was deactivated and concurrently withdrawn from the Organized Reserves and allotted to the regular Army.

The Regiment was reactivated March 1, 1942 at Camp Davis, N.C. On Jan. 20, 1943, the regiment was broken into Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 108th Coast Artillery Group and three other coast artillery battalions. In May 1943, the 108th was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 108th Anti-aircraft Artillery Group.

The 108th deployed to Europe during World War II and participated in the landings at Normandy, going ashore at Utah Beach. The 108th then went on to provide anti-aircraft defense for the city and port of Cherbourg for 11 months, then moved forward to the cities of Rheims and Rouen. The Group was deactivated Dec. 14, 1945, in Germany.

On Sept. 25, 1956, the 108th Anti-aircraft Group was reactivated in Los Angeles, and again redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 108th Artillery Group March 20, 1958.

The 108th was deactivated Aug. 26, 1960, at Fort MacArthur, Calif. On May 1, 1967, the Group was reactivated at Fort Riley, Kan., and deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in October 1967. The Group participated in every major operation conducted in I Corps area of operations, was credited with participation in 11 different campaigns while in Vietnam and was awarded the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. The 108th departed from Vietnam and on Nov. 22 1971, at Fort Lewis, Wash., the unit was again deactivated.

On Nov. 21, 1974, the Group was again reactivated at Kapun Barracks, Kaiserslautern, West Germany, as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 108th Air Defense Artillery Group, the only Chaparral/Vulcan Group in the U.S. Army. In September 1975, the group moved to Kleber Kaserne. On July 16, 1983, the 108th was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters
and Headquarters Battery, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. On April 15, 1992, the Brigade was moved to Fort Polk, La., becoming a Patriot anti-missile unit. On Aug. 15, 1996, the Brigade moved to Fort Bliss, Texas where it was aligned under the Fort Bragg-based XVIII Airborne.

In 2004, the brigade gained 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment based out of Fort Campbell Ky., which was previously assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). In 2007, the unit was moved to Fort Bragg as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure realignment. The 108th saw its 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment temporarily move to South Korea for a one-year tour, only to redeploy to Fort Bliss and then move to Fort Bragg. For one year, 1-7 ADA trained and redeployed again to the U.S. Central Command area for another one year tour. The brigade gained 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, previously an Avenger battalion with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The unit is now 3rd Battalion, 4th Air and Missile Defense, a mix of Patriot batteries and one Avenger battery that remains on airborne status and maintains the Air Defense Artillery Branch’s only airborne element with a forced- entry capability.

In 2007, the 108th moved to Fort Bragg as part of the 2005 BRAC realignment. On April 29, 2009, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the start of construction on a new complex for 108th and two of its current three subordinate battalions. The new complex is scheduled to be ready in the first quarter of 2011.

In September 1956, the 108th AA Group was reactivated in Los Angeles, Calif. It was again redesignated as the 108th Artillery Group (Air Defense). The 108th was deactivated in April 1960 in Fort MacArthur, Calif. In May 1967, the group was reactivated at Fort Riley, Kan. as the 108th Artillery Group and deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in October 1967. The Group participated in every major operation conducted in I Corps area of operations, was credited with participation in 11 different
campaigns while in Vietnam and was awarded the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

The 108th departed from Vietnam on
Nov. 22, 1971 for Fort Lewis, Wash., where the unit was again deactivated. On Aug. 26, 1974, the group was again reactivated at Kapun Barracks, Kaiserslautern, West Germany, as the 108th Air Defense Artillery Group, the only Chaparral/Vulcan Group in the U.S. Army. In September 1975, the group moved to Kleber Kaserne.

On Oct. 1, 1982, it was redesignated as the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. On
April 15, 1992, the Brigade was moved to Fort Polk, La., becoming a Patriot unit. On
Aug. 15, 1996, the Brigade was moved to its present home at Fort Bliss, Texas.

At Fort Bliss the Brigade was aligned under the Fort Bragg-based XVIII Airborne Corps and, because of this alignment, added a blue Airborne tab above its patch. The unit is not, in fact, an Airborne or Air Assault unit, and the Army’s Institute of Heraldry notes the tab is unauthorized, that alignment with an Airborne command does not authorize the wearing of the tab. In 2007, the unit was moved to Fort Bragg as part of the 2005 BRAC realignment.

The 108th saw its 1-7 ADA BN temporarily move to South Korea. It gained 3-4 ADA, previously an Avenger battalion. 3-4 ADA is now the 3-3 AMD (Air and Missile Defense) Battalion. It lost the 2-43 BN to the 11th ADA Brigade. Due to the unit moving to Fort Bragg, it may lose the Airborne tab.

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