1st Battalion (Attack Reconnaissance), 229th Aviation Regiment
1st Battalion (Attack), 229th Aviation Regiment
The 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment is an attack reconnaissance battalion based at Fort Hood, Texas, but assigned to the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
1st Battalion (Attack Reconnaissance), 229th Aviation Regiment traces its lineage and honors to the formation of Company A, 229th Aviation Battalion. The 229th Aviation Battalion was first constituted on 18 March 1964 into the Regular Army as the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion and assigned to the 11th Air Assault Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. The unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 229th Aviation Battalion on 1 July 1965 and was concurrently reassigned to the 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile) in preparation for deployment to Vietnam.
The 229th Aviation Battalion, including A Company, fought in Vietnam for 6 years and the Battalion as a whole distinguished itself in 16 major campaigns earning 3 Presidential Unit Citations, the Valorous Unit Award, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, four awards of the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and a Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Medal. The 229th Aviation Battalion returned from Vietnam as the most decorated aviation unit in the Army, but inactivated following the war on 22 August 1972 at Fort Hood, Texas.
The 229th Aviation Battalion, less Company B, but including Company A, was reactivated on 21 September 1978 and was incorporated into the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as an attack helicopter battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 229th Aviation Battalion was again inactivated on 16 October 1987 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and relieved from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division. As the Army changed unit structures in the 1980s, it also began changing how it understood unit designations. The change to the US Army Regimental System (USARS) from the Combat Arms Regimental System meant that certain non-combat arms units experienced changes in their structure and designation. On 16 September 1989, the 229th Aviation Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 229th Aviation Regiment, a parent regiment under USARS.
In January 1992, Company A, 229th Aviation Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment and its organic units were concurrently activated. The unit was activated at Fort Hood, Texas, but quickly moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in July 1992. There the 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation, along with 3rd Battalion, 229th Aviation, were subsequently assigned to the 229th Aviation Group (Attack) (Airborne), known informally as the "229th Aviation Regiment," a part of XVIII Corps (Airborne). As of mid-2001, 1-229th Aviation was in Bosnia as part of the NATO-led Stability Force (SFOR) 8 rotation
In 2004, the 229th Aviation Group (Attack) (Airborne) was inactivated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It had initially been speculated that the 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation would be reassigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, but it was instead inactivated on 20 May 2004, and its personnel were reflagged as 3rd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment.
In 2010, elements of the 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were reflagged as the 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment, which was subsequently reactivated at Fort Hood, Texas. In July 2010, the 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment was assigned to the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, then based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Despite the new command assignment, 1-229th Aviation remained at Fort Hood. Previously, the unit had been affiliated with the 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat). This unit continued to provide administrative support to the Battalion.
1-229th deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn in March 2011. There the battalion was stationed at Contingency Operating Site Kalsu near Babil, Iraq. It had the mission of providing support to 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment as an additional asset for ground forces to counter indirect-fire attacks. COS Kalsu has historically been a hotspot for insurgent attacks and the presence of combat aviation puts pressure on those who attempt to attack the base.
On 21 June 2012, it was announced that the 1st Battalion, 229th Air Cavalry Squadron would relocate from Fort Hood, Texas to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, where it would convert to an attack reconnaissance battalion. This action was to be completed by 15 October 2012 and was part of the final phase of the activation of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.
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