The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
2700 Indiana Ave.
Staff Duty Office
The Screaming Eagles are one of the most deployed and recognized divisions in the U.S. Army, with a combat record spanning from the paratroopers of World War II to the Security Force Assistance Teams deployed in Afghanistan today.
The 101st Airborne Division was activated Aug. 16, 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. Its first commanding general, Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, noted that the division had no history but that it had a “rendezvous with destiny” and that the new division would be habitually called into action when the need was “immediate and extreme.” Throughout its more than 75-year history, the division has amassed a proud record, in both war and peace, unmatched by any other unit.
Following its activation and initial training in the United States, the division embarked for the European Theater of Operations in September 1943, where it continued its training in England. During the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, the Screaming Eagles parachuted into the Cotentin Peninsula, becoming the first Allied Soldiers to set foot onto occupied France. The 101st Airborne Division, charged with clearing the way for the 4th Infantry Division’s landing on Utah Beach, eventually linked the Utah and Omaha beachheads and liberated the city of Carentan. After a month of fighting, the division returned to England to prepare for future operations.
On Sept. 17, 1944, the division jumped into the Netherlands, spearheading Operation Market Garden. Holding a narrow 16-mile corridor through enemy-held territory, the division fought tirelessly against heavy odds for 72 days. In late-November 1944, the division returned to France for a well-deserved rest. The rest would be a short one.
To counteract the massive German offensive through the Ardennes Forest in mid-December 1944, the 101st Airborne Division was unexpectedly recalled to the front. Responsible for defending the critical road junction at Bastogne, Belgium, the 101st Airborne Division was surrounded by strong enemy forces that demanded its immediate surrender. Responding to the German ultimatum, Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe made history with his famous reply … “Nuts!” Although the siege of Bastogne was broken Dec. 26, 1944, intense fighting continued until mid-January 1945 as Allied units reduced Nazi gains in the Ardennes salient.
Attacking the heart of Germany through the Ruhr valley, the 101st Airborne Division pursued retreating German forces into Bavaria. In spring 1945, the Screaming Eagles liberated the Landsberg concentration camp and Hitler’s mountaintop retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany. The end of World War II in Europe relegated the 101st Airborne to occupation duties in Germany, Austria and France. The division was inactivated Nov. 30, 1945.
The immediate postwar period marked an intermittent existence for the Screaming Eagles. The period is marked by several reactivations and inactivations at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Official reactivation ceremonies, held Sept. 21, 1956, marked the 101st Airborne Division’s return to active-duty as the Army’s first nuclear-capable Pentomic Division and its debut at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
In September 1957, some elements of the 101st Airborne Division were ordered to Little Rock, Arkansas, by President Eisenhower. As part of Operation Arkansas, the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 327th Infantry escorted the first nine African-American students — the “Little Rock Nine” — as they attended classes at Little Rock Central High School. Successful, the Bastogne Bulldogs returned to Fort Campbell in late 1957.
On July 29, 1965, the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam, earning the nickname of “The Nomads of Vietnam.” The remainder of the division remained at Fort Campbell until ordered to Vietnam in late 1967. During the enemy’s ill-fated Tet Offensive in 1968, the Screaming Eagles were involved in combat operations from Saigon to Quang Tri Province.
In August 1968, the Screaming Eagles shed their parachutes in favor of helicopter-borne operations earning a brand new designation — the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). After the Tet Offensive, the division settled into Thua Thien Province and continued offensive operations there until redeployed to the United States in early 1972.
The post-Vietnam period was a time of change for the Army and the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). In February 1974, then-Maj. Gen. Sidney Berry signed Division General Order 179, authorizing wear of the new airmobile (later air assault) qualification badge. Reflecting a shift in structure and orientation, the division was re-designated as the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on Oct. 4, 1974.
In March 1982, elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) began six-month deployments to the Sinai Peninsula as members of the Multi-national Force of Observers. Tragedy struck in December 1985, when 248 Screaming Eagles redeploying from Sinai were killed in a charter airplane crash near Gander, Newfoundland.
In August 1990, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) deployed to the Middle East in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Liberation of Kuwait, the division fired the first shots of the air war and conducted the longest and largest air assault operations to date, securing Iraqi territory in the Euphrates River Valley. With announcement of the Safwan cease-fire in February 1991, the 101st began redeployment preparations. By May 1991, the Screaming Eagles were home.
The 1990s was a busy time for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), seeing numerous deployments in support of stability and support operations worldwide. Fort Campbell-based units were deployed to Somalia, Haiti, the Sinai Peninsula, Central and South America, Bosnia and Kosovo.
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, elements of the division quickly deployed to protect susceptible facilities in the United States from potential attack. Almost immediately, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan in November 2001. In March 2002, the Rakkasans were, in part, responsible for offensive operations in the Shah-I-Khot Valley that dealt a crippling early blow to the Taliban and al-Qaida. After a challenging six-month deployment, the 3rd Brigade redeployed to the United States.
In February and March 2003, the division deployed to Kuwait in anticipation of combat operations against Saddam Hussein’s regime. In a grueling air and ground movement of more than 350 miles through hostile territory and intense combat in urban areas, the division exhibited its flexibility, lethality and firepower at every turn. Fighting its way from Najaf, through Karbala and Hillah, the division eventually consolidated in southern Baghdad in mid-April 2003. Ordered to northern Iraq shortly thereafter, the division conducted the longest air assault in history and quickly assumed responsibility for Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, and the four surrounding provinces. In the months that followed, the division concentrated on the goals of re-establishing security, the restoration of basic services and reconstruction of civilian infrastructure. During this period, the Screaming Eagles underwrote the completion of 5,000 reconstruction projects, killed Uday and Qusay Hussein, and captured more than 500 anti-coalition insurgents.
The division redeployed to Fort Campbell in early 2004. During the year that followed, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) fully recovered and completely reorganized under the new Army Transformation Organizational structure in anticipation of its second deployment to Iraq.
In November 2005, the division headquarters, the 1st and 3rd Brigade Combat teams, and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade deployed to Iraq for a second time. As Task Force Band of Brothers, the division assumed responsibility for the northern half of Iraq — the largest area of operation in the country. Partnered with four Iraqi army divisions, the Screaming Eagles focused their efforts on developing credible Iraqi Security Force units that were capable of independent counterinsurgency operations. This monumental effort resulted in vastly improved security and the transfer of several areas to Iraqi control prior to the division’s redeployment in October 2006. Under the new modular structure, 2nd and 4th Brigade Combat teams and the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade were attached to other Multinational Division or Multinational Force commands elsewhere in Iraq.
Fort Campbell entered the final phases of the Army’s historic modular transformation in late 2006. In this phase, the XVIII Airborne Corps shed its peacetime command responsibilities for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) — a relationship that began prior to the 1944 invasion of Holland — and the division became a direct reporting unit to Forces Command. Additional command and control changes saw Fort Lee, Virginia’s 49th Quartermaster Group join the Fort Campbell family.
Late 2007 saw the majority of the division deployed again. The division’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat teams and elements of the sustainment brigade deployed independently to Iraq, where each served under the command of different multinational divisions then conducting combat operations throughout Iraq. Soldiers of the 49th Quartermaster deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan to support combat and combat support operations. The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade deployed to Afghanistan and was eventually relieved by the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade.
In March 2008, the Headquarters (and Special Troops Battalion) 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) joined the 4th Brigade Combat Team and the 101st Sustainment Brigade in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As Combined Joint Task Force 101 (CJTF-101), the division headquarters was supported by many attached coalition units and was responsible for an area of operation the size of Pennsylvania designated as Regional Command-East. Composed of 14 provinces, including much of the volatile border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the Hindu Kush and Afghan Control Highlands, Regional Command-East was posed a unique and difficult set of challenges unlike anything previously experienced.
The Soldiers of CJTF-101 thrived in their role as both Soldier-diplomats and warriors. CJTF-101 helped restore the Afghan people’s confidence and trust in their government while improving their quality of life through more than 2,500 innovative development projects. As warriors, CJTF-101 aggressively trained Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and, side by side, relentlessly pursued insurgent groups wherever they could be found.
Throughout 2010, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat teams, 101st Sustainment Brigade, and 159th and 101st Combat Aviation brigades deployed to Afghanistan at different times throughout the year. The 101st Division Headquarters commanded RC-East for the second time as the entire division deployed in the same theater of operations.
On May 2, 2011, Special Forces Soldiers and Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaida and responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after bin Laden’s death, President Barack Obama visited Fort Campbell to thank 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Soldiers and Soldiers in the division.
During the summer and fall of 2012, elements of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat teams, as well as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, again deployed to Afghanistan.
In early 2013, the 101st Division Headquarters, 101st Sustainment Brigade and 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan. The 101st Division Headquarters commanded RC-East for the third time in five years.
Later in 2013, elements of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat teams and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) returned home to Fort Campbell.
In early 2014, parts of 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and 159th CAB deployed to Afghanistan while the 101st Division Headquarters, 101st Sustainment Brigade and remaining elements of 4th BCT returned home from their deployment to Afghanistan.
In the fall that same year, elements from 1st BCT deployed to Afghanistan while 2nd BCT and 159th CAB returned home. As well, parts of 3rd BCT, deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait as the Theater Response Force, ready to quickly respond to missions across Afghanistan.
Not long after they returned home, and after four deployments in support of the War on Terror, 4th BCT inactivated April 25, 2014.
In October 2014, the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters, deployed as the Joint Force Command for Operation United Assistance in Monrovia, Liberia. The division headquarters along with elements of the 101st Sustainment Brigade, elements of the 86th Combat Support Hospital and several other tenant units from Fort Campbell deployed in support of the Department of Defense operation to provide logistics, training and engineering support to U.S. Agency for International Development-led efforts to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
In early 2015, the division returned from its successful mission, effectively halting the spread of Ebola in Liberia and neighboring countries — ultimately bringing the number of Ebola cases to zero. In early 2015 an additional element of 3rd BCT deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, as the Joint Multi-national Force Security detachment.
On May 7, 2015, 159th CAB, whose roots reached back as far as the Vietnam War, inactivated.
Later in 2015, 1st BCT and both elements of 3rd BCT returned home.
The division’s efforts in Afghanistan resulted in successful and decisive operations at every level, producing a significantly improved Afghan National Security Force committed to the defense of their country. Similarly, Screaming Eagles in Iraq measurably improved the quality of life of the Iraqi people and their trust in the Iraqi army. Every Screaming Eagle should be proud of their efforts to assist Afghanistan and Iraq to resume their rightful place among the peaceful community of nations.
In November 2016, the 101st Division Headquarters returned from a nine-month deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The division served as the Headquarters for the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJFLCC-OIR). Elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) continue to work with coalition forces in an advise and assist role with the Iraqi Security Forces.
In April 2018, the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters cased its colors for a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. Embarking upon its fourth deployment to Afghanistan in the last decade, the 101st Airborne Division’s mission is to oversee NATO’s train, advise and assist mission and U.S. counterterrorism operations nationwide.
The 101st is recognized for its unmatched Air Assault capability, its ability to execute any combat or contingency mission anywhere in the world, and is still proving its mettle as “tomorrow’s division in today’s Army.”
1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) “Bastogne”
3962 55th St.
Staff Duty Office
The 1st Brigade Combat Team was first activated as part of the newly formed 101st Airborne Division on Aug. 16, 1942, as 1st Brigade, 327th Infantry Glider Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The brigade had previously consisted of 1st and 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Glider Regiment, 164th Infantry Brigade and 82nd Infantry Division, since Sept. 17, 1917, based in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The 327th Infantry Regiment saw its first combat in World War I, in the St. Mihiel offensive, when it defended the Lorraine Front in France and fought the great Meuse-Argonne offensive. During this operation the regiment conducted the flank attack on Argonne and was the first American expeditionary force to reach and pierce the formidable Kriemhilde Stellung.
In June 1944, the 327th once again entered combat during the invasion of Normandy, Operation Overlord, which was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The 327th continued to serve valiantly during World War II, participating in Operation Market Garden, the airborne invasion of Holland, in September 1944. During the operation, 327 gliders, alongside Allied paratroopers, jumped into enemy territory and gained control of the main supply routes and bridges within the German-occupied Netherlands.
Of all the 327th’s heroic endeavors, the sacrifices made at the city of Bastogne, Belgium, from Dec. 16, 1944, through early January 1945, have earned the 327th Airborne Infantry Regiment international fame. The 327th’s accomplishments at Bastogne were essential to the Allied victory at the Battle of the Bulge. On Nov. 30, 1945, the 327th Airborne Infantry Regiment was inactivated. From June 1948 to July 1965, the regiment went through various reactivations and redesignations.
On Feb. 3, 1964, the 1st Brigade, 327th Airborne Infantry Regiment became the first unit from the 101st Airborne Division to deploy to Vietnam. The 327th participated in over 40 combat operations during Vietnam. Some of these operations include the Defense; counteroffensives I through VII; the Tet Counteroffensive; Consolidation I and II; and the ceasefire. From 1965 through 1972, the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry earned its title “No Slack!” while fighting for seven consecutive years without respite in the Vietnam War. No other battalion has spent as much time deployed in theater as the “No Slack” battalion. On April 6, 1972, the 101st Airborne Division returned home to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where it has since resided.
On Feb. 24, 1991, the 327th Infantry Regiment participated in the largest helicopter air-assault mission in military history as part of the offensive to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.
Since Operation Desert Storm, the 327th remained actively involved in peacekeeping operations throughout the world, to include Sinai, Egypt, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Kosovo until redeployment on Feb. 15, 2001.
On March 1, 2003, the 327th deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and returned home early the following year. The 327th was noted for liberating 840,000 people in the city of Al Najaf, protecting supply lines for the 3rd Infantry Division, and assaulting north in the Ninewa Province just south of Mosul.
In September 2005, the newly “modularized” Bastogne Brigade 1st BCT returned to Iraq and assumed duties in the most ethnically diverse area in northern Iraq, centered on the city of Kirkuk. During OIF 05-07, the 1st BCT developed, trained and validated the 2nd and 3rd brigades, 4th Iraqi Army Division. The 1st BCT left Iraq in September 2006 with Iraqi forces firmly in the lead and the government able to provide basic services to the citizens of Iraq.
In September 2007, the Bastogne Brigade was once again called to arms and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom VI. The brigade was placed in the strategically important crossroads of Tikrit, Iraq. This key city was historically a safe haven for terrorist organizations transiting from north to south and east to west. Through the brigade’s many valiant efforts, control of these key lines of communication was regained. Safe neighborhood projects were emplaced to improve the safety and security of the local citizens, and basic essential services were restored to the surrounding areas. After a 14-month deployment, the Bastogne Brigade redeployed to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in November 2008.
In May 2010, Task Force (TF) Bastogne deployed to Afghanistan. They assumed operational control of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman (N2KL) provinces. These regions are some of the most violent territories in Afghanistan, including a turbulent border with Pakistan used by insurgents for infiltration and smuggling. During its year in Afghanistan, TF Bastogne was instrumental in improving security in N2KL and received tremendous support from Afghan and coalition special forces. They carried out many missions that severely degraded the insurgents’ ability to plan and carry out violent activities.
TF Bastogne’s efforts, along with those of the U.S. State Department, Afghan National Security Forces and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, helped set up the Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division for success as they came in to take over in May 2011.
In December 2012, the Bastogne Brigade returned to eastern Afghanistan as one of the first Security Force Advise and Assist brigades. With a greatly reduced force, the brigade trained and advised the ANSF and provided security throughout N2KL.
By the time the Bastogne Brigade was prepared to redeploy in July 2013, the ANSF successfully completed the first brigade-sized air assault operation conducted by an all Afghan force.
As part of the Army’s BCT 2020 Initiative, 2014 saw a significant realignment of forces with the Bastogne Brigade. As the Spartans of 1st Special Troops Battalion cased their colors, the brigade welcomed the 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion and 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment into the fold as the newest members of the Bastogne Family.
In November 2014, The Bastogne Brigade returned to southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedom Sentinel where they trained, advised and assisted the ANSF in ensuring a safe and secure region. Only about one-fifth of the brigade deployed to Afghanistan while the remainder supported operations stateside. Elements of the brigade supported training rotations at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, while others assisted in the training of cadets at West Point.
On July 1, 2015, the brigade’s fire support battalion, formally known as 2nd BN, 320th Field Artillery Regiment “Balls of the Eagle,” was redesignated as the 2nd BN, 32nd FAR “Proud Americans.”
In April 2016 1st BCT prepared for and conducted its Joint Readiness Training Rotation, in Fort Polk, Louisiana, becoming the first unit to trek 18 miles across the marshes of the training areas to surprise enemy forces at their objective.
In October 2016, 1st BCT assumed the Regionally Aligned Forces mission in support of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa, to assist U.S. partners in building ready forces and operating as part of a multi-national coalition.
1st BCT “Bastogne” Soldiers deployed to multiple missions and exercises across the African continent, many for the first time in 101st Airborne Division history. 1-506 Inf. “Red Currahee” led Task Force Toccoa, working with the Cameroon Air Force as well as the Cameroon government and communities to strengthen our partnership there. In Niger, “Bastogne” Soldiers mentored basic combat training instructors. Others worked in Malawi to help their Army build programs such as a company command course and a scout sniper course.
In the summer of 2017, almost 300 “No Slack” Soldiers spent a month in South Africa for Shared Accord 2017, one of the largest training events in the theater, executing live fire exercises with the South African Army. Soldiers of “Red Currahee” deployed to Ghana and Gabon where they completed United Accord 2017 and also completed Jungle Warfare School alongside Soldiers of those nations. “Bulldog” and “Sapper Eagle” Soldiers deployed for six-month rotations in Djibouti, where they served as elements of the East African Response Force, a rapid-response and security force for U.S. locations and interests within the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa area of operations.
“Taskmaster” and more “Bulldog” Soldiers spent the summer on a historic mission in Somalia, where they trained more than 200 Somalia National Army Soldiers on logistics operations. This increased their capability to provide a safe and secure environment for the people of Somalia, and defeat violent extremist organizations such as al-Shabaab. Other missions included Bastogne Soldiers traveling to or working with Uganda, Senegal and Rwanda.
2016 and 2017 were also historic for the brigade in terms of building relationships with the Clarksville and Tennessee communities. 1st BCT and the City of Franklin, Tennessee signed an official proclamation as partners. The two organizations work together to increase mutual understanding of the Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division base, mission and Soldiers, as well as share best practices and cooperation with the city government and citizens.
The brigade also began a relationship with the Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team, with more than 700 Bastogne Soldiers and family members attending the APSU Military Appreciation game in January. Finally, 1BCT strongly supported the 101st Airborne Division’s relationship with the Tennessee Titans, a highlight being the entire team coming to Fort Campbell and racing our Soldiers through a punishing obstacle course and physical fitness challenge.
In the fall of 2017, 1st Brigade welcomed a new commander and CSM. The Bastogne Brigade is focused on continuing their storied legacy of “The Always First Brigade” as it looks forward to its next rendezvous with destiny.
From its inception, the Bastogne Brigade Combat Team has played a vital role in numerous combat and noncombat operations. Its long and decorated history serves as a reminder of the countless Bastogne Soldiers who have given their lives in defense of democracy and freedom around the world.
1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM UNITS
Headquarters and Headquarters Company “Hydra”
1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment “Above the Rest”
2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment “No Slack”
1st Squadron, 32nd Calvary Regiment “Victory or Death”
1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment “Red Currahee”
326th Brigade Engineer Battalion “Sapper Eagle”
426th Brigade Support Battalion “To the Task”
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) “Strike”
7078 Stands Alone Ave.
Staff Duty Office
The 2nd Brigade can trace its proud heritage to Headquarters, 159th Infantry Brigade, an element of the 80th Division in August 1917. During World War I, the unit distinguished itself with campaign participation credit in the Somme, Meuse-Argonne and Picardy campaigns. The unit returned to the states in May 1919 and was inactivated at Camp Lee on June 26, 1919.
The 502nd, or “five-oh-deuce,” was activated July 1, 1941, as a parachute infantry battalion. In August 1942 the 502nd joined the 101st Airborne Division and became the division’s first organic parachute infantry regiment.
The brigade entered combat in World War II on June 6, 1944, by jumping into Normandy. In addition to the Normandy Campaign, the brigade participated in Operation Market-Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the defense of Bastogne. By May 1945, the 502nd had emerged as one of the most decorated units of World War II. Two Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were awarded the Medal of Honor, both were assigned to the 502nd. The 502nd was also awarded two Presidential Unit citations and two foreign awards.
The 502nd deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in December 1967 and participated in 12 major campaigns and was awarded two Presidential Unit citations, four Valorous Unit awards and a Meritorious Unit Citation. The unit was awarded the Government of Vietnam’s highest national award for valor — the Cross of Gallantry with Palm — and the Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class. The brigade returned to Fort Campbell in April 1972.
The Strike Brigade moved to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield in late summer 1990 to deter a possible Iraqi invasion. On Feb. 25, 1991, the Strike Brigade participated in the largest helicopter air assault in military history to establish Forward Operation Base (FOB) Cobra, Abu Ghraib palace, Baghdad, Iraq.
During Operation Desert Storm, the 2nd Brigade and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) cut the enemy’s lines of communications, struck deep into the country, threatened a lethal strike against the capital and shut off any escape. The brigade redeployed to Fort Campbell in March 1991.
In February 2003, the brigade deployed to the Middle East with the remainder of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as part of the division’s main effort, for what became Operation Iraqi Freedom. Strike Brigade returned a year later having led the division through the key battles of An Najaf, south Al Hillah, Karbala, southern Baghdad, Mahmoudiya and Mosul.
It completed the two longest air assaults in division history. Once in Mosul, it was instrumental in forming the city council by holding the first free elections in the country since the fall of the regime. Over the subsequent nine months, the brigade rebuilt the city’s hospitals, schools and water system. It built from scratch a regional police force that became the model for the rest of the country to follow. It created the conditions whereby former Iraqi military personnel got paid and where the new Iraqi dinar was introduced without incident. Above all, the brigade fostered a secure environment that allowed the citizens of Mosul to live in a free and safe city, which became a beacon of hope throughout Iraq. For the first time in the brigade’s combat history, the 526th Forward Support Battalion joined the 502nd, where they supported Regiment in the city of Mosul and was also awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
The Strike Brigade then redeployed back to Fort Campbell and began transforming from an infantry brigade to a modular BCT, introducing the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment (FAR); 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion; and the 526th Brigade Support Battalion to complement the 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed in September 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom once again and was assigned an operational area south of Baghdad, in arguably the most difficult area of operations in Iraq, and supported the strategic goal of stabilizing Baghdad. This area, due to the intensity of the insurgency, was labeled as the “Triangle of Death.”
The brigade rapidly initiated combat and counterinsurgency operations in this area to neutralize anti-Iraqi forces, develop Iraqi security forces capabilities, secure key terrain, and improve government and economic development. In turn, the Strike Brigade established and fostered relationships with Iraqi army leaders, local sheiks, mayors and city council members. The unit fought selflessly, disrupting enemy activities, and denied terrorist safe-havens. The brigade returned to Fort Campbell in late September 2006.
In October 2007, Strike Brigade deployed for its third time to Iraq. This time it was assigned to the “heart” of Iraq, once again as part of Multi-National Division — Baghdad. The brigade combat team was the main effort for the division and rapidly partnered with Iraqi security and government officials to protect the population and disrupt enemy activity.
The brigade left its mark in Iraq during OIF 07-09 by greatly reducing violence, denying al-Qaida and special group criminals safe haven, and improving the economy and essential services. The brigade completed its third deployment to Iraq and returned to Fort Campbell to re-fit and prepare for its next “rendezvous with destiny.”
On Dec. 22, 2009, the Strike Brigade received orders to spearhead the new surge of forces into the southern region of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit prepared its Soldiers and leaders for operations in the Kandahar Province. With complex training received at the Joint Readiness Training Center, combined arms live fire exercises, and extensive Dari and Pashto language and culture training, the Strike Brigade entered Kandahar in May 2010 mission-ready.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team worked shoulder to shoulder, “shonna ba shonna,” with the forces of the Afghan national army, the Afghan National Police and the Afghan government to ensure the safety and protection of the people of Afghanistan from Taliban tyranny. The brigade returned in December 2012 and started training for their next deployment the following March.
In February 2014, the 2nd BCT deployed to Afghanistan for another rendezvous with destiny. The 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment joined the 2nd Brigade Combat Team after the brigade returned from deployment.
In May of 2016, the brigade deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve with the mission to advise the Iraqi security forces in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. During the deployment, Strike’s advise and assist teams were credited for: conducting the first ISF contested bridging operation,
re-establishing the airfield at Qayyarah West, conducting the first air assault Operation Inherent Resolve, and setting the conditions for the seizure of East Mosul. The brigade returned to Fort Campbell in January.
In July of 2017, 2BCT became the first light infantry brigade combat team to participate in the Network Integration Exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas. While there, 2BCT Soldiers tested and validated technology, techniques, and equipment that would be fielded in the future throughout units in the United States Army.
2ND BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM UNITS
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team
1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment “First Strike”
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment Strike Force”
1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment “Blue Spaders”
1st Battalion, 75th Cavalry Regiment “Widowmakers”
39th Brigade Engineer Battalion “Raptor”
526th Brigade Support Battalion “Performance”
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) “Rakkasan”
6760 A Shau Valley Road
Staff Duty Office
The 187th Infantry Regiment, from which the Rakkasans draw their history and lineage, was constituted Nov. 12, 1942, at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. The unit was activated Feb. 25, 1943, and designated as a glider infantry regiment (GIR) assigned to the 11th Airborne Division.
The first mission of the 187th GIR was to help convince the War Department that an airborne division could fly over water at night, drop with minimal casualties, and wage sustained combat operations while being resupplied entirely by air.
The success of the ensuing Knollwood Maneuvers proved the effectiveness of the airborne division concept and compelled the War Department to create other airborne divisions.
The 187th deployed to the Pacific theater in mid-1944 with the 11th Airborne Division and saw combat service in New Guinea, Leyte and Luzon.
The 187th was the first airborne regiment in concert with the 188th to conduct a combat amphibious landing on enemy-held shores, landing in Lingayen Gulf to flank the Japanese lines on Luzon, while also fighting in the battles of Purple Heart hill, Tagaytay Ridge, Nichols Field and Manila.
During the battle for Tagaytay Ridge, a platoon from Co. C, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment made one of the most unique airborne insertions in the history of airborne operations. To reinforce the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the platoon jumped from L-4 liaison planes, single-engine aircraft with only enough room for one Soldier per plane, to make a successful combat jump.
They also earned the distinction of being the only Allied airborne force to meet and destroy an enemy combat parachute operation on their positions when Japanese airborne units tried to recapture airfields on Leyte taken by the 187th. After successfully holding the airfields, the 187th, joined by its sister regiments (188th and 511th) led in the liberation of Manila, the first enemy-held capital liberated in the Pacific campaigns. The 187th took control of garrisoning the city of Manila to clear it of remaining enemy forces and prevent the infiltration of Japanese elements who threatened the establishment of the Philippine government.
When the war ended, the 187th, as part of the 11th Airborne Division, was chosen to spearhead the occupation of Japan. On Aug. 30, 1945, at 1 a.m., the first planes carrying 187th Soldiers left for Atsugi Airfield. This was a momentous occasion, as the 187th would be the first American, as well as foreign, troops to enter Japan in more than 2,000 years.
While serving as part of the American Occupation Force and conducting training jumps, the 187th Infantry Regiment earned its nickname “Rakkasan,” which loosely translates as “falling down umbrella men” from Japanese locals observing the training.
On Aug. 27, 1950, the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.
In September 1950, the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team deployed to Korea, where elements of the 187th exploited the success of the Inchon landings, clearing the Kimpo Peninsula between the Han River and the Yellow Sea.
In the months that followed, the 187th defeated an enemy force of more than 3,000 soldiers, performed a parachute assault and heavy drop at Sukchon-Sunchon and defeated the Chinese in the Battle of Wonju.
The Rakkasans performed another airborne assault into the Munsan-ni Valley, fought battles at Inje, Kumwha and Wonton-ni and quelled prison-camp riots at Koje-do.
For their actions in the Korean War, four Rakkasans, Cpl. Rodolfo Hernandez,
Cpl. Lester Hammond, Cpl. Joe Baldonado and Pfc. Richard Wilson, would earn the Medal of Honor and 18 Soldiers would receive the Distinguished Service Cross. The unit earned one Presidential Unit Citation and two Korean Presidential Unit citations for its actions during the war.
The Rakkasans’ successes in Korea changed the face of airborne warfare, revitalized interest in the use of paratroopers, and convinced the Pentagon to reactivate the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Through numerous reorganizations and redesignations, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade evolved into its modern configuration in February 1964. The brigade was composed of three infantry battalions. From 1964 until 1971, these battalions were the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 506th Infantry Regiment “Currahee” and the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment “Rakkasans.” Between 1964 and 1967 these units conducted challenging and diverse operations, ranging from the Mojave Desert to Norway in preparation for both conventional and unconventional war contingencies.
On Dec. 13, 1967, the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division reported for duty in the Republic of Vietnam during Operation Eagle Thrust, the longest and largest airlift directly into a combat zone.
The 3rd Brigade was called upon to conduct countless operations against “hot spots” of enemy activity throughout every corps area in the Vietnam theater and became known as the “nomad” unit. From 1968 until 1971, the brigade participated in many airmobile combat operations, such as Operation Apache Snow, which included the battle for Dong Ap Bia, better known as Hamburger Hill.
When the unit returned to Fort Campbell, six Soldiers, Sgt. Gordon Roberts, SP4 Frank Herda, Pfc. Kenneth Kays, Lt. Col. Andre Lucas, SP4 Matthew Guenette and Capt. Paul Bucha, had received the Medal of Honor and 11 Soldiers had received the Distinguished Service Cross. The unit had distinguished itself by earning two Valorous Unit awards and its third and fourth Presidential Unit citations for the battles of Trang Bang and Dong Ap Bia Mountain.
Following the Vietnam War, the 3rd Brigade was reorganized, with elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, as the only parachute-qualified brigade in the division. The 1st and 2nd battalions, 503rd Infantry Regiment replaced the two battalions of the 506th Infantry Regiment. The unit came off jump status and was designated as an airmobile unit in April 1974 and an air assault unit later that year.
In October 1983, the 4th Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment was activated as part of the brigade and the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment was concurrently relieved from assignment and inactivated. A year later, the 5th Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment was activated and replaced the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment. The brigade now consisted of the 3rd, 4th and 5th battalions, 187th Infantry Regiment stationed in the U.S. and in the 193rd Infantry Brigade (Panama) received the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 187th Infantry Regiment. Following Army force realignment in 1987, the 1st and 2nd battalions, 187th Infantry Regiment were deactivated in Panama and the 4th and 5th battalions at Fort Campbell were redesignated as the 1st and 2nd battalions, 187th Infantry Regiment.
In September 1990, the Rakkasans deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield. In late February 1991, days before the initial invasion, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment air assaulted into Objective Weber and captured more than 400 Iraqi soldiers. On Feb. 25, 1991, the 48th anniversary of the regiment, the Rakkasans conducted the largest and deepest air assault operation of its time, striking 155 miles behind enemy lines into the Euphrates River valley, cutting off Highway 8 and the Iraqi retreat from Kuwait. This action led to the decisive defeat of Iraqi forces and helped ensure a total allied victory.
In December 2001, as part of the ongoing war on terrorism, the Rakkasans were deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The first Army brigade to deploy in support of the global war on terror, they conducted operations against the Taliban and were instrumental in liberating Afghanistan from extremists. The Rakkasans took part in numerous missions in Afghanistan, to include fighting in the Shahikot mountain region of eastern Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda in March 2002.
In 2003, seven months after their return from Afghanistan, the Rakkasans deployed to Kuwait as the division DRB-1 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. On March 20, 2003, the Rakkasans led the division’s attack into Iraq, establishing Forward Arming and Refueling points Exxon and Shell in support of deep attacks into Iraq. They later seized the city of Al Hillah, participated in the liberation of Saddam Hussein International Airport, and occupied portions of Baghdad, defeating Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi forces. The brigade then moved to Ninewa province along the Syrian border for the remainder of the deployment, establishing fledgling governance and reconstruction projects for the betterment of the local population while continuing operations against insurgents.
In early 2004, the brigade returned to Fort Campbell and soon reorganized under the Army brigade combat team system as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, resulting in the 2nd Battalion, 187th Infantry being redesignated as the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment. The 3rd BCT also began preparation to return to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, deploying in September 2005 for OIF 05-07. Deployed to Salah ad Din province, the BCT conducted combat operations for the next year against a growing Sunni insurgency. In partnership with the fledgling Iraq army and police, the BCT conducted countless operations against the insurgency, to include Operation Swarmer, the largest air assault since the invasion in 2003.
The BCT redeployed in September 2006 and commenced another refit and retraining period. A year later, in September 2007 following the Iraq Surge, the 3rd BCT deployed again for OIF 07-09, this time to southwest and southern Baghdad between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The BCT, in concert with improved Iraqi army and police counterparts and thousands of Sons of Iraq, conducted operations over the course of the next 15 months against the remaining Sunni and Shia insurgents, eventually transferring authority of the area to the partnered Iraqi forces.
Redeploying again in November 2008, the BCT commenced its fourth refit and re-training period since 9/11. Fourteen months later, in January 2010, the 3rd BCT returned to Afghanistan in support of OEF 10-11 as part of Regional Command-East, near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The Rakkasans completed nearly 600 major named operations, with individual battalion task forces conducting over 12,000 unit-level patrols in the Paktika, Paktia and Khost provinces, Deh Yak and Andar districts in Ghazni Province, and Panjwa’i district. Task Force Rakkasan units also conducted more than 2,000 key leader engagements (KLEs) or shuras with local village leaders.
After 12 months, the BCT returned to Fort Campbell in early 2011. Following the longest period home since 9/11, the Rakkasans once again returned to Afghanistan in September 2012, assuming responsibility for Khost, Paktia and eastern Paktika provinces. In partnership with the Afghan 1st Brigade, 203rd Corps, multiple border police battalions and the Afghan Uniformed Police, the Rakkasans conducted hundreds of operations against insurgents across eastern Afghanistan while advancing the confidence and independence of their Afghan counterparts.
Redeploying in May 2013, the BCT has undergone transformation as part of the Army 2020 force structure, integrating elements of the deactivated 4th BCT, including the return of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, the addition of a third artillery battery to the 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment and the redesignation of the 3rd Special Troops Battalion as the 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion. The unit conducted Operation Golden Eagle, the first brigade-size air assault training mission of a 101st unit in more than a decade. Recently the Rakkasans completed a rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, where they completed combat advisor training and the first joint force entry Air Assault exercise in over a decade. In October 2016, Soldiers from 2-506 “White Currahee” and the 3rd Brigade Headquarters deployed to take part in ongoing advisory missions in Afghanistan, while parts of the 1-33 Cavalry Regiment conduct NATO joint security operations in Kosovo.
Upon the return of the unit in mid-July of 2017, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team entered into their refit and re-training cycle, conducting battalion-wide training exercises on Fort Campbell and Fort Knox that culminated in a Joint Forcible Entry exercise in January and a Brigade Combined Arms Live-Fire exercise in May to prepare for their next Rendezvous with Destiny.
3RD BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM UNITS
Headquarters and Headquarters Company “Samurai Rakkasans”
1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment “Leader Rakkasans”
2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment “White Currahee Rakkasans”
3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment “Iron Rakkasans”
1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, “War Rakkasans”
21st Brigade Engineer Battalion “Rak Solid Rakkasans”
626th Brigade Support Battalion “Assurgam Rakkasans”
101st Airborne Division Artillery (Divarty) “Guns Of Glory”
7148 Apache Trail
The 101st Division Artillery (DIVARTY) has served as a part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) since the division’s activation at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, in August 1942. DIVARTY was constituted June 24, 1921, in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 176th Field Artillery Brigade. In January 1942, it was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 101st Airborne Division Artillery. On Aug. 15, 1942, the unit was reconstituted as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 101st Airborne Division Artillery and activated at Camp Claiborne along with the rest of the newly formed division.
The 101st DIVARTY participated in numerous campaigns during World War II, including Normandy, the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. The unit was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for actions in Normandy and the Presidential Unit Citation and Belgian Croix de Guerre with Palm for actions in and around Bastogne. It was at Bastogne that Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, the DIVARTY commander and acting Division commander, refused the German demand for surrender with his now legendary answer “Nuts!” The 101st DIVARTY was inactivated with the division headquarters in France on Nov. 30, 1945.
Over the course of the next 12 years, the 101st DIVARTY was activated and inactivated several times and finally reorganized and redesignated April 25, 1957. In 1965, the 101st DIVARTY would again answer the nation’s call and deploy in support of combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam. From 1965 through 1971, the division artillery participated in 12 campaigns, receiving the Valorous Unit Award, two Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry with Palm and two Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor medals, First Class.
In 1990, DIVARTY deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. While supporting the division, DIVARTY participated in the largest air assault operation to date, helped establish FOB Cobra and provided direct support to the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat teams as they positioned to envelope the retreating Iraqi forces. For actions in support of the division during the Desert Storm campaign, the 101st DIVARTY received the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
In 2003, DIVARTY deployed again to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and participated in the initial invasion of Iraq, moving by both air assault and ground assault convoy. During the initial phase of the operation, units from DIVARTY coordinated over 200 close air support sorties and fired over 230 missions totaling over 3,500 artillery rounds and 100 Army Tactical Missile Systems in support of the division’s combat operations. These missions destroyed over 50 enemy artillery pieces, 25 air defense artillery systems, eight mortar systems, 450 enemy combatants and five tanks. In 2005, DIVARTY inactivated once again as part of the Army’s modular transformation.
During DIVARTY’s inactive period, the four battalions of the 320th Field Artillery Regiment continued to deploy in direct support of their respective brigade combat teams. In Iraq and Afghanistan, each of the battalions provided effective fire support to their supported maneuver formations and tirelessly worked to train and develop host nation forces.
The 101st DIVARTY reactivated on Oct. 16, 2014 and resumed its role as the division’s Force Fires Headquarters. In the year following reactivation, the 101st DIVARTY has taken charge of the division’s three field artillery battalions, standardized fires training and implementation across the division, and mastered the ability to plan, integrate and execute fires at the division level.
Today, the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division Artillery (Air Assault) continue to write the next chapter of this unit’s history and stand ready to provide devastating artillery fires in support of the Division’s next rendezvous with destiny.
Members of the 101st DIVARTY staff deployed as the Force Field Artillery (FFA) Headquarters in March 2018 in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) based in Afghanistan. As the FFA HQ, the 101st DIVARTY coordinates, synchronizes, and integrates fires in support of all OFS operations in Afghanistan.
101ST DIVARTY UNITS
Headquarters and Headquarters
Battery, 101st DIVARTY “Headhunters”
1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery “Top Guns”
2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery “Proud Americans”
3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery “Red Knight Rakkasans”
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade “Lifeliners”
6741 Airborne St.
Staff Duty Office
The 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade was activated July 1, 1956, at Fort Campbell as the Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Company, 101st Airborne Division Support Group. The support group was composed of the 326th Airborne Medical Company, the 426th Airborne Quartermaster Company, the 101st Parachute Support and Maintenance Company, the Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment and the Division Band.
On April 25, 1957, the 101st Airborne Division Support Group was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Support Group, 101st Airborne Division. The 426th Airborne Quartermaster Company became the 426th Supply and Transport Company. The 101st Parachute Support and Maintenance Company separated from the group, and the 101st Administration Company and Company B, 313th Army Security Agency Battalion were added to the group. On Dec. 15, 1958, it was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Support Group, 101st Airborne Division.
On Feb. 3, 1964, the support group was reorganized and redesignated as the Headquarters, Headquarters Company and Band (activated Sept. 15, 1942), 101st Airborne Division Support Command (DISCOM). Subordinate units were the 326th Medical Battalion, the 426th Supply and Transport Company, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the Division Band, the 101st Administration Company and the 101st Air Equipment Support Company.
Aug. 19, 1965 marked the Lifeliners’ reorganization when General Order #255 withdrew both Soldiers and equipment from all DISCOM units to support the division’s First Airborne Brigade on its deployment to Vietnam. Now consisting of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, the 101st Administration Company, the 426th Quartermaster Company (Air Equipment), 426th Supply and Transportation Battalion, the 501st Supply Company, 801st Maintenance Battalion, and 326th Medical Battalion, the DISCOM faithfully executed its mission of provided supply support, field maintenance, medical support, and a host of miscellaneous services for all of the division’s assigned and attached elements. Elements of the 801st Maintenance Battalion deployed to South Vietnam in spring 1966 to support the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Infantry Brigade.
In 1967, the DISCOM deployed to Vietnam with the rest of the division, where it provided critical support to the division during 12 of the conflict’s 17 campaigns. While the 101st Airborne Division relinquished its jump status in 1969, elements of the 426th Supply and Services Battalion maintained their jump status until 1974.
On Sept. 21, 1973, the brigade was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st Airborne Division Support Command (band element withdrawn).
The Lifeliners’ next rendezvous with destiny came on Sept. 14, 1990 when the DISCOM deployed with the division to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. The Lifeliners performed the critical task of establishing a helicopter rearm and refuel point at FOB Cobra in Iraq, in preparation for air assault missions into the Euphrates River Valley. The DISCOM’s ingenuity led to an innovative rigging procedure that sent 10,000-gallon collapsible fuel tanks forward, establishing a 40-point fuel system within six hours of landing on the objective. The DISCOM facilitated one of the 101st Airborne’s Division’s greatest achievements when it supported the largest air assault in history, landing on the objective only two minutes after the initial entry forces. The Lifeliners’ refueling and sling load operations directly supported thousands of helicopter sorties from FOB Cobra and ensured that forward brigade received hundreds of thousands of gallons of critical fuel and water. The DISCOM continued to provide critical sustainment support until redeploying to Fort Campbell on April 11, 1991.
In October 1992, the division support command was provisionally reorganized into three forward support battalions, one main support battalion, the 101st Personnel Service Company, the 101st Finance Battalion, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company and the Division Band. On April 16, 1994, the DISCOM consisted of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 63rd Chemical Company, the 426th Forward Support Battalion, the 526th Forward Support Battalion, the 626th Forward Support Battalion, the 801st Main Support Battalion and the 8th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (AVIM).
The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, signaled another chapter in the DISCOM history. The 626th Forward Support Battalion along with elements from the 801st Main Support Battalion, 8-101st Aviation Battalion and DISCOM Headquarters all deployed to Afghanistan where they supported Task Force Rakkasan (3/101 AA) during Operation Enduring Freedom. In February 2003, the division support command deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing combat service support to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
On Sept. 16, 2004, the 101st Airborne Division Support Command was reorganized and redesignated as the 101st Support Brigade. On April 21, 2005, the brigade again redesignated as the 101st Sustainment Brigade and deployed to Iraq in its new capacity.
On Jan. 20, 2008, the brigade deployed to Afghanistan a second time as part of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Joint Logistics Command — Afghanistan and supported more than 55,000 U.S. personnel, coalition forces and civilians spread over the entire Combined Joint Operations Area — Afghanistan.
On Nov. 16, 2010, the brigade headquarters returned for a third time to Afghanistan to provide sustainment support to Regional Commands East, North and Capital in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Lifeliners supported modular forces will all classes of supply, delivery over 24 million pounds to two of the regional commands by sling load and aerial delivery. The brigade furthermore successfully completed five Joint Precision Airdrop System operations, delivering more than 16 million pounds of commodities. Lifeliners additionally completed Afghanistan’s first heavy drop since 2009, and delivered more than 5.7 million pounds of assorted supplies throughout the Afghanistan Taskforce.
On March 17, 2012, the brigade was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade.
On June 8, 2013, the brigade headquarters returned for a fourth time to Afghanistan to provide sustainment support to Regional commands (RC) East, North and Capital. On Nov. 28, 2013, the brigade assumed responsibilities as the sole sustainment brigade, providing sustainment support for the Combined Joint Operations Area – Afghanistan, incorporating Regional commands South, Southwest and West. During 1,200 sling load mission, the brigade delivered more than 30 million pounds in support of RC – East, and spearheaded the delivery of tires for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protective Vehicle via sling load, dramatically reducing the replacement timeline for these critical materiel assets.
On Oct. 27, 2014, the 101st Sustainment Brigade cased their colors again as it set off on a new “rendezvous with destiny.” The brigade deployed Soldiers from three of its battalions — the 101st Brigade Troops Battalion-Sustainers, the 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and the 716th Military Police Battalion — to carry out logistical support to the U.S. Agency for International Development-led comprehensive U.S. government response to the Ebola pandemic in West Africa, known as Operation United Assistance.
Upon return from West Africa, the 101st Sustainment Brigade was redesignated once again as the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade and redonned the “Old Abe” patch, on July 30, 2015.
The Lifeliners continue to demonstrate its ability to support and accomplish its mission with both strength and pride, confidently reflecting upon its illustrious history and continuing to make history as the U.S. Army’s premier sustainment brigade.
The 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in July 2018 in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. This is the brigade’s fifth rotation there since 2001.
101ST SUSTAINMENT BRIGADE UNITS
101st Special Troops Battalion
129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
2-44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
716th Military Police Battalion
101st Combat Aviation Brigade “Wings Of Destiny”
7910 Thunder Blvd.
Staff Duty Office
The 101st Aviation Brigade was constituted as the 4th Aviation Section (Light) on Dec. 7, 1950, under the Eighth U.S. Army Korea. The unit saw several activations and deactivations over the next several years.
On July 1, 1968, Camp Eagle, Republic of Vietnam, the 160th Aviation Group was constituted of elements of the 17th Cavalry Regiment and 101st, 158th and 159th Assault Helicopter battalions.
On June 25, 1969, the 160th was redesignated as the 101st Aviation Group. With the air mobility concept added to the organic capabilities of the 101st Airborne Division, the bravest and most talked about Soldiers in the world were delivered to the battlefield by the helicopters of the 101st Aviation Group.
On Aug. 15, 1986, the 101st Aviation Group was redesignated as the Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The aviation brigade was alerted Aug. 7, 1990, to deploy to Saudi Arabia following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
In recent years, the brigade deployed forces to Somalia, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and Honduras to defend democracy and assist recovery from the hurricanes.
On Oct. 9, 1997, the largest aviation brigade split nine battalions into two brigades, the 101st Aviation Brigade (Attack) and the 159th Aviation Brigade (Assault).
Beginning in January 2002, the brigade responded to the call of arms in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, fighting Taliban and al-Qaida forces in support of Task Force Rakkasan.
In February 2003, the brigade was alerted to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The brigade crossed the berm into Iraq on March 21, 2003, to launch deep attacks, as well as guard the V Corps’ western flank. The brigade facilitated the liberation of three major cities and the coalition force’s march on Baghdad.
After its redeployment from Operation Iraqi Freedom in spring 2004, the brigade transformed in an effort to create a self-sustaining combat aviation brigade.
Completely transformed, the brigade once again answered the nation’s call in August 2005. The 101st Aviation Brigade began its second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Headquartered out of Contingency Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit, the brigade provided full-spectrum aviation support to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), consisting of five brigade combat teams arrayed across 131,000 square kilometers of Band of Brothers’ area of operation.
In December 2007, the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Destiny, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Headquartered in Bagram Airbase, the brigade task force provided full-spectrum aviation support to CJTF-82, CJTF-101, CJSOTF, and International Security and Assistance Forces (ISAF) arrayed across an area of responsibility the size of Texas.
In March 2010, the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Destiny, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom X. Headquartered in Kandahar Airbase, the brigade task force provided full-spectrum aviation support to CJTF-6 and CJTF-10, spread across Regional Command-South, an area of responsibility larger than Nebraska.
In June 2012, the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Destiny, deployed C Company, 6th Battalion, 101st CAB, Shadow Dustoff, a medevac unit; the rest of TF Destiny would deploy in August 2010. Task Force Destiny deployed as the Army’s first full-spectrum combat aviation brigade after gaining a company of unmanned aerial vehicle operators. Headquartered in Bagram Airbase, the brigade task force provided full-spectrum aviation support to CJTF-1, CJTF-101, CJSOTF and ISAF arrayed across Regional Command-East.
After returning from Afghanistan in May of 2013, the brigade went into reset. During the reset, the brigade underwent a change of command in preparation for its next rendezvous with destiny.
In 2014, the brigade was tasked with conducting a flyover for Super Bowl XLVIII. On Feb. 2, 2014, three AH-64 Apache, three UH-60M Black Hawk and three CH-47 Chinook helicopters flew over MetLife Stadium at the conclusion of the national anthem.
In May 2014, the Wings of Destiny participated in exercise Golden Eagle. The exercise, which was a brigade-level air assault, was designed to update air-assault tactics techniques and procedures in The Gold Book, the manual which governs air-assault operations. In June of that year, the brigade participated in exercise Dark Eagle which further refined the lessons learned in Golden Eagle.
All throughout 2014, the brigade supported multiple rotations to the Joint Readiness Training Center in preparation for deployment.
In December 2014, four AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters represented the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at the Army-Navy Classic football game with a precision formation flyover.
In April 2015, the brigade deployed to Afghanistan to support Train Advise and Assist Command – East and South with aviation assets.
During 2015, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment concluded the process of shutting down as the division’s last OH-58D Kiowa Warrior unit. On March 31, 2015, 2-17th CAV conducted their final flight as a bittersweet sendoff to an aircraft that had come to define the squadron.
On July 17, 2015, 2-17th CAV inactivated, paving the way for a reactivation later.
On Sept. 10, 2015, 3rd Battalion, 101st CAB inactivated, and in the same ceremony activated as 2-17th CAV, updating the squadron’s firepower from the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior to AH-64 Apache helicopter.
Task Force Destiny redeployed in late 2015.
The Destiny Brigade cased the colors for one of the three remaining Pathfinder companies in the U.S. Army arsenal during an inactivation ceremony for Fox Co (Pathfinders) 5-101 “Eagle Assault” Aug. 2, 2016.
In August 2017 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
The 101st CAB cased its colors in May 2018 for its fifth deployment to Afganistan as part of a regular rotation of forces to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade is continually at the forefront of Army aviation. Honor, duty and innovation are the hallmarks of the Soldiers who continue the proud tradition of the Wings of Destiny.
101ST COMBAT AVIATION BRIGADE “WINGS OF DESTINY” UNITS
1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment “No Mercy”
2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment “Saber”
5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment “Eagle Assault”
6th Battalion, 101st General Aviation Support Battalion “Shadow of the Eagle”
96th Aviation Support Battalion “Troubleshooter”
HHC Brigade, 101st Aviation Regiment “Hellcats”