1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment
The mission of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, "Dragons," is to, on order, deploy and execute fire support to enable 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division to conduct full spectrum combat operations.
The 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery Regiment was first constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Troops A and B, 24th Cavalry and organized on 5 June 1917 at Fort D.A. Russell, Wyoming. The unit was consolidated, converted, and redesignated on 1 November 1917 as Battery A, 82nd Field Artillery, an element of the 15th Cavalry Division. The unit first saw action in operations across the Rio Grande River. The 82nd Field Artillery as a whole was relieved in May 1918 from assignment to the 15th Cavalry Division.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 9 September 1921 as Battery A, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 1st Cavalry Division. It became the sole artillery regiment assigned to the newly organized 1st Cavalry Division. The Dragons became known as the "Flying Horse Artillery" during service with the 1st Cavalry Division in the American Southwest along the border with Mexico. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 17 March 1930 as Battery A, 82nd Field Artillery and again on 3 January 1941 as Battery A, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion.
The unit deployed to the Pacific Theater in World War II with the 1st Cavalry Division and saw action in New Guinea, the Bismark Archipelago, Leyte and Luzon. Following World War II, the Battalion performed occupational duty in Japan and was one of the first units to arrive in Korea in 1950. The unit was credited with 7 campaign streamers in the Korean War. On 15 October 1957, it was deactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
The unit was redesignated on 1 June 1958 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Missile Battalion, 82nd Artillery with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The Battalion was activated on 24 June 1958 in Italy and inactivated there on 20 April 1964.
The Battalion was redesignated on 31 October 1967 as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery. It was assigned 10 January 1968 to the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL) and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington. The unit was later sent to Vietnam in October 1968. There it participated in 8 campaigns: Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII, and Consolidation I.
Following its service in Vietnam, the Battalion was redesignated on 1 September 1971 as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and relieved on 30 November 1971 from assignment to the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL). The 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery was reorganized at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 30 November 1971, by Headquarters, Third United States Army and was attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery. The Battalion underwent another reorganization during the summer of 1972 when it converted from a self-propelled to a towed 155mm M114A1 howitzer battalion.
The Battalion was assigned on 21 June 1975 to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. As a result, it was requipped as a self-propelled 155mm howitzer battalion with the M109A1.
In mid-October 1990, the Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and subsequently Operation Desert Storm. The Battalion supported 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in Iraq. The Battalion redeployed to Fort Hood, Texas in March of 1991.
On 30 August 1998, the Battalion deployed and performed peacekeeping operations in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In early March of 2004, the unit deployed to eastern Baghdad, Iraq to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom II. For the next year, the Dragons conducted combat patrols, humanitarian missions, counter fire missions, and camp mayor duties at Camp Cuervo and Camp Eagle. The Battalion redeployed to Fort Hood, Texas in early March of 2005.
The Soldiers from Battery C of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment are familiar with Paladin Howitzers. Firing them was their main mission, until they arrived at Camp War Eagle in March 2004. Here they found themselves in the midst of a dynamic battlefield. For the 1-82 FA this means less field artillery, and more light infantry. To support the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division in the dangerous Al Thawra District of Baghdad, the 1-82 FA has begun conducting dismounted foot patrols in a area the Soldiers call "Squaretown." From Squaretown, insurgent forces have launched mortar attacks and the Soldiers are concerned about weapons being transported through the area near the outskirts of Camp War Eagle. The patrols and traffic control points Charlie Rock conducts in the area will deter insurgent activity. The infantry tactics used on foot patrols might make some Soldiers recall their days in basic training. But for the Iraqi National Guard (ING) troops who are with them, it's their first exposure to many infantry tactics. The 'Charlie Rock' Soldiers always bring ING Soldiers with them on dismounted patrols and other combat missions.
On 15 July 2005, as a part of the Army Modularity Plan, C Battery 1-82nd Field Artillery was inactivated. Also as part of the transformation, the rest of the Battalion was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment and relieved on 18 October 2005 from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division and assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. There it became the organic field artillery battalion for the 1st Brigade Combat Team. In addition, G Company (Forward Support), 115th Brigade Support Battalion was attached to provide organic combat service support to the Battalion. Previously, field artillery had been held in a division level Division Artillery formation (DIVARTY), but habitually attached to brigades during operations.
On 7 March 2006, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery deployed as the lead element of Task Force 1-82nd in preparation for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom V. In addition, D Troop was organized from elements of 1-82nd Field Artillery, 1-7th Cavalry, 2-5th Cavalry, 2-8th Cavalry, and HHC, 1st Brigade Combat Team to provide maneuver capabilities on the battlefield. On 28 October 2006, Task Force 1-82nd Field Artillery deployed to Northern Baghdad at Camp Taji in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.
For the next 15 months, the Dragon Battalion's primary mission was to secure and defend Camp Taji as the Base Defense Operation Center (BDOC). The Battalion also provided accurate, lethal, and timely artillery fires to multiple combat formations, including: Multi-National Division - North and Multi-National Division - Baghdad; 3 Brigade Combat Teams; and 7 separate Maneuver Task Forces. The Battalion was credited for the first-ever combat fielding of the Modular Artillery Charge System (MACS) and the Excalibur precision guided munition. The Battalion also processed over 11,000 radar acquisitions and 1,400 fire missions for a total of over 6,000 rounds, the most in the Iraqi Theater of Operations for Rotation 06-08.
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