1st Battalion (Attack Reconnaissance), 1st Aviation Regiment
The 1st Aviation Regiment was constituted 15 February 1957 in the Regular Army as the 1st Aviation Company, assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and activated at Fort Riley, Kansas. The 1st Battalion was first constituted on 23 October 1963 in the Regular Army as Company A, 1st Aviation Battalion assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and activated at Fort Riley, Kansas. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 2 January 1964 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 1st Aviation Battalion, with its organic elements constituted on 23 October 1963 and activated on 2 January 1964.
1-1st Aviation became one of the first aviation units to employ helicopter gunships and reconnaissance helicopters in unison to conduct search and destroy teams, commonly referred to as "hunter/killer" teams. These and other untold operations typified the Battalion's gallantry, diligence and courage during the Vietnam Conflict. Upon return to Fort Riley, Kansas the units were inactivated on 15 April 1970.
The unit was redesignated as Aviation Company, 1st Infantry Division and activated at Fort Riley, Kansas on 21 April 1972. On 2 September 1981 the unit was reorganized and redesignated as 1st Aviation Battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas. On 16 November 1987, the 1st Aviation Regiment was relieved from assignment to the 1st Infantry Division. Its headquarters was concurrently reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Aviation, a parent regiment in the United States Army Regimental System.
On 16 November 1987, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation. It remained assigned to the 1st Infantry Division. The 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation was later reorganized and completed its AH-64 Apache unit training plan fielding on 23 April 1990. On 8 November 1991, the 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation, as part of the 1st Infantry Division, was alerted and deployed to Saudi Arabia. On 24 February 1991, the 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation helped the 1st Infantry Division spearhead the VII Corps attack into Iraq. Upon return to Fort Riley, Kansas, the unit continued training until it was inactivated 15 September 1995.
On 16 February 1996, the 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation was reactivated and restationed at Katterbach, Germany, as part of 4th Brigade (Aviation), 1st Infantry Division. On 24 December 1996, the 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation was alerted and deployed to the former Republic of Yugoslavia to conduct operations as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO) Stabilization Force (SFOR) Operational Reserve. On 31 October 1997, the 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation returned to Katterbach, Germany, where the unit provided invaluable reconnaissance and lethal attack helicopter fires for the soldiers of the Big Red One.
When the 1st Infantry Division led the first US peacekeeping forces into the Serbian province of Kosovo in June of 1999, Company A (Taz Devils) was selected as the attack helicopter company to support the initial force, KFOR-1A. Following the company's successful tour in Kosovo, in December 1999 the Battalion took the lead as the headquarters for the multi-national aviation task force in support of rotation KFOR-1B, based at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. The Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Hammers), Company B (Wolfpack), and Company D (Dawg Pound) were the nucleus of this unit. The task force included: a company of 4 Ukrainian Mi-8 "Hip" helicopters, Company B of 2nd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, Troop D of 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, one company of AH-64A Apache helicopters from the UAE, the 236th Air Ambulance Company, a detachment of Air Traffic Servicemen from 3rd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, and a detachment of Air Force Weathermen. The 7-month long deployment was a complete success, and the battalion returned home to Katterbach on 19 June 2000.
On 12 April 2012, 1-1st Aviation formally activated F Company, a new unmanned aerial system company equipped with the MQ-1C Gray Eagle. The Company initially consisted of more than 120 soldiers, representing more than 20 military occupational specialties. Following the activation of the Copmany, the 1st Infantry Division's new Gray Eagle Team was to travel to conduct the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation on the system. The upcoming tests were the next step in the process to get the Gray Eagle fully integrated into the Army's aviation brigade formations.
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