1st Battalion (Attack), 4th Aviation Regiment
The mission of 1st Battalion (Attack), 4th Aviation Regiment, "Dragons," was to, on order, deploy and conduct attack helicopter, aerial reconnaissance, and security operations in support of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), or designated headquarters, to fight and win divisional contingency operations.
The 1st Battalion (Attack), 4th Aviation Regiment was constituted on 21 August 1963 in the Regular Army as Company A, 4th Aviation Battalion, an element of the 4th Infantry Division. The unit was activated on 1 October 1963 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The Company A was deployed to Vietnam separate from the rest of the 4th Aviation Battalion and then inactivated there on 25 April 1966. On 1 September 1966, the unit was reactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington and returned to Vietnam with the rest of the Battalion and the 4th Infantry Division. The unit saw extensive action in the Vietnam conflict. The unit had campaign participation credit for Defense, Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, and and Counteroffensive Phase VII. In addition to these campaigns, the unit earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation (streamer embroidered "Vietnam 1967-1968") and was awarded 2 Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry with Palm (streamers embroidered "Vietnam 1966-1969" and "Vietnam 1969-1970"). Finally, the unit received the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class.
Following participation in the Vietnam conflict, the unit was inactivated on 4 December 1970 at Fort Lewis, Washington. After a 12 year absence, the unit was activated again on 17 March 1982 at Fort Carson, Colorado. On 16 August 1987, A Company, 4th Aviation Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation, an element of the 4th Infantry Division. Its organic elements were concurrently constituted and activated. The unit was inactivated on 15 December 1995 at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The Battalion was reactivated 16 January 1996 at Fort Hood, Texas as 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment. The Dragon Battalion was made up of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Stallions), A Company (Vipers), B Company (Reapers), C Company (Sidewinders), and D Company (Dawgs).
During 1999, the Battalion was a key player in the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Battalion (-) deployed with 16 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Comanche Base, Bosnia. In Bosnia, the unit participated in day and night NATO operations in order to promote peace and to deter any threat between the warring factions. Later in the year the Battalion conducted an Aerial Gunnery and participated in a division level JANUS exercise, which validated concepts essential to the growth of the Army into the 21st century.
On 2 April 2002, the Battalion began the Longbow Unit Fielding and Training Program and completed the the training on 5 November 2002. With the AH-64D Apache Longbow's impressive array of fire power, mobility and night fighting capability, 1-4th Aviation remained a lethal and deadly organization within the 4th Infantry Division.
In March 2003, the Battalion deployed to southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where it conducted sustained combat operations for one year. The Battalion redeployed in March 2004. After returning from Iraq in 2004, the 4th Brigade (Aviation), 4th Infantry Division was reorganized and redesignated as Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. This transformation was part of the reorganization of the 4th Infantry Division to the US Army's modular force structure. 1st Battalion (Attack), 4th Aviation Regiment remained assigned to the reorganized and redesignated Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. On 15 September 2004, the Battalion received its first AH-64D Longbow Apache Lot 8 aircraft, making it the most technologically advanced attack battalion in the world.
As of December 2005, the 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, a part of the Combat Aviation Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, was operating out of Camp Taji, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In July 2009, the remainder of the 4th Infantry Division, less the Combat Aviation Brigade, moved to join other elements of the Division at Fort Carson Colorado. Instead of joining them, the Combat Aviation, 4th Infantry Division, including 1-4th Aviation, prepared to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force. The Brigade and its units were expected to complete a move to Fort Carson, Colorado upon its return from Afghanistan.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|