1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment
The 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment is located on Kadena Air Base, co-located with the US Air Force's 18th Wing, the "Shoguns." Its mission is to provide air and missile defense within the United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) and the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) areas of operations.
The 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery was originally constituted in the Regular Army on 27 April 1798 as a company in the 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. It was organized in May 1798 as Captain Lemuel Gate's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers. The unit was reorganized several times throughout its early history. The unit first saw action in the War of 1812 as Captain John Walbach's Company, 1st Regiment of Artillery, receiving campaign credits in Canada. The 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment as a whole was first constituted on 1 June 1821 in the Regular Army as the 1st Regiment of Artillery, and organized from existing units with Headquarters at Fort Independence, Massachusetts. Later, the unit saw action during the Indian Wars as Company I, 1st Regiment of Artillery.
The unit saw action during the Mexican War, receiving campaign credits from, among other campaigns, Palo Alto, Monterey, Vera Cruz, and Chapultepec. During the Civil War, the Battalion received campaign credits for participation at Sumter, Bull Run, the Peninsula Campaign, Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness Campaign, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Shenandoah, and Appomattox.
The 1st Regiment of Artillery was broken up 13 February 1901 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as separate numbered companies and batteries of Artillery Corps. The Regiment was then reconstituted on 1 July 1924 in the Regular Army as the 1st Coast Artillery and partially organized with Headquarters at Fort de Lesseps, Canal Zone.
The Regiment was broken up on 1 November 1944 and its elements were reorganized and redesignated. Headquarters and Headquarters Battery was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Coast Artillery Group, while the remainder of Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Coast Artillery Battalion. The unit was reorganized and redesignated as Battery A, 1st Coast Artillery Battalion.
During World War II, the unit received campaign credits in the American Theater for defense of the Panama Canal Zone as Battery A, 1st Coast Artillery Battalion. It also received campaign credits for the participation of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons Group in Tunisia, Sicily, Rome-Arno, and the Rhineland. After the Second World War, the 1st Coast Artillery Battalion, including Battery A, was disbanded on 1 February 1946 at Fort Sherman, Canal Zone.
The 1st Coast Artillery was reconstituted on 21 June 1950 in the Regular Army as the 1st Coast Artillery to consist of the 1st and 2nd Battalions. 1st and 2nd Battalions were concurrently redesignated as the 1st and 54th Antiaircraft Battalions, respectively. The unit was similarly reconstituted on 21 June 1950 in the Regular Army as Battery A, 1st Coast Artillery and was concurrently redesignated as Battery A, 1st Antiaircraft Battalion. The unit was redesignated in 1955 as Battery A, 1st Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalion.
Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Antiaircraft Artillery Group, and the 1st and 54th Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalions were consolidated on 19 March 1959 with the 1st Field Artillery Battalion (first organized in 1907) and the consolidated unit reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. The unit that had been Battery A, 1st Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalion went through numerous changes during the same period before being redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Howitzer Battalion, 1st Artillery.
The 1st Artillery (less former 1st Field Artillery Battalion) was reorganized and redesignated on 1 September 1971 as the 1st Air Defense Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. The former 1st Field Artillery Battalion being concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Field Artillery, and thereafter had a separate lineage. The 1st Howitzer Battaion, 1st Artillery was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery. The former 1st Howitzer Battalion, 1st Artillery was concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 1st Field Artillery and thereafter had a separate lineage.
Through a number of inactivations and reactivations, the Battalion was reactivated at Fort Hood, Texas on 4 May 1996. Shortly thereafter, the Battalion was restationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. Originally organized with 4 firing batteries and a Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, the Battalion was rounded out in July 1996 with the addition of its Echo Company, the Battalion's maintenance company. Previously this role had been performed by the 518th Maintenance Company attached to the Battalion. This company was reflagged to active E Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment. At Fort Bliss, Texas the mission of the 1-1st Air Defense Artillery was to strategically deploy to a contingency theater to conduct air and missile defense operations for III Corps critical assets.
Deployed to Kuwait as of March 2001, Battery C, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery soldiers armed Patriot missiles during "ready for action" drills at Ali Al Salem Air Base. The drills were performed every day to maintain the air defense artillery soldiers' focus, readiness and reaction time to any airborne threats. With Iraq's ability to attack Kuwait, being ready at all times was crucial to the success of the Patriot missiles. During every drill, all steps are performed as if it was a real-world situation. The launcher had to be thoroughly checked for power, proper grounding, and operational status. All commands, equipment checks, and communication had to be done over the thundering noise of the launcher's generator. Keeping the Patriot missiles poised for action was a continuing mission. All air defense artillery soldiers worked long shifts on a rotating schedule. This assured that within 2 minutes of a Scud warning, there would be soldiers ready to fire the first Patriot missile in response. The daily drills, real-world environment, and live missiles gave Battery C soldiers the experience they could not get anywhere else.
From February 2003 to May 2003, the Battalion served in support of operation Iraqi freedom. A and B Batteries deployed to provide air defense for the Kingdom of Bahrain, while the balance of the battalion deployed to Kuwait in support of operation there.
In February of 2006, the Battalion was informed that they would deploy to Okinawa, Japan, to provide Air Defense for key assets in the Pacific region. The 1-1st Air Defense Artillery was restationed to Kadena Airbase on 30 November 2006, under the operational control of the 10th Support Group, US Army Japan. The unit was technically under the command of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, US Army Pacific based at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
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