101st Aviation Brigade
"Wings of Destiny"
The 101st Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) can deploy within 36 hours worldwide as part of a joint, multinational or unilateral task force to destroy enemy forces or seize and retain terrain, to control land, people, and resources.
The 101st Aviation Brigade (Wings of Destiny), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky is composed of a brigade Headquarters company and four aviation regiments, one cavalry unit, and a support unit. These units were the 1st Aviation Battalion (Expect No Mercy), 2nd Aviation Battalion (Eagle Warrior), 5th Aviation Battalion (Eagle Assault), 6th Aviation Battalion (Shadow of the Eagle), 2-17th Cavalry (Out Front), and the 96th Aviation Support Battalion. The 101st Aviation Brigade initially contained the Headquarters, Headquarters Company (Hellcats), three aviation battalions, 1st Battalion (Expect No Mercy), 2nd Battalion (Eagle Warrior), and 3rd Battalion (Eagle Attack), the Divison's general support battalion, 6th Battalion (Shadow of the Eagle) and the Division's cavalry squadron 2-17 Cavalry, "Out Front."
On 1 July 1968, at Camp Eagle in the Republic of Vietnam, the 160th Aviation Group was constituted. On 25 June 1969, the 160th was redesignated as the 101st Aviation Group. With the air mobility concept added to the organic capabilities of the 101st Airborne Division, the bravest and most talked about soldiers in the world were delivered to the battlefield by the helicopters of the 101st Aviation Group. In battle after battle, from the Delta to the DMZ and from the east coast to Cambodia and Laos, the 101st Aviation Group served with one desire, to add the prestige and standing of the finest combat division in the history of warfare. In October 1970, the 101st Airborne Division was presented the Outstanding Aviation Unit of the Year Award for 1969-1970 at the Army Aviation Association of America Convention in Washington, DC. In 1972, the 101st Aviation Group returned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the other units of the 101st Airborne Division. The Aviation Group and the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division proved to the world that Army Aviation and the Air Assault concept were indeed up to the challenges faced on the modern battlefield.
On 15 August 1986, the 101st Aviation Group was redesignated as the Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The Aviation Brigade deployed its units throughout the United Sates, from the deserts of the National Training Center to the flood ravaged valleys of the Appalachians. The Brigade also deployed overseas, with a contribution to exercise Bright Star in Egypt in 1980, 1983, 1985, and 1987. The Brigade supported operations in Puerto Rico, Grenada and elsewhere in the Carribean. The Brigade supported the Ahuas Tara exercises in Honduras and has self-deployed CH-47s from the states to Honduras to support Joint Task Force Bravo.
The Aviation Brigade was alerted on 7 August 1990 to deploy to Saudi Arabia following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Brigade began arriving in Saudi Arabia on 18 August 1990. The Aviation Brigade fired the first shots of Operation Desert Storm when elements of 1-101 Aviation Regiment attacked and destroyed a major early warning radar installation in Southwest Iraq on 17 January 1991. During the war, the Aviation Brigade validated the doctrinal use of divisional aviation as a fourth maneuver brigade. Maneuvering over 300 miles into enemy territory, over the course of 4 days, the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) successfully turned the flank of the Iraqi Army. Enveloping the enemy vertically, as well as, laterally, with the lightning speed of air assault forces, the 101st created a "shock effect" similar to the "Blitzkrieg" of World War II.
The Aviation Brigade deployed forces to Somalia to defend democracy and Florida to assist recovery from Hurricane Andrew. Additionally, the Brigade deployed a cavalry troop to support operations in Bosnia and a small aviation package to support recent operations in Kuwait. The Brigade supported rotations at both the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.
On 9 October 1997, the Aviation Brigade split into two brigades, the 101st Aviation Brigade and the 159th Aviation Brigade. The 101st Aviation Brigade continued to support missions after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, deploying elements in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. With the creation of Combined Joint Task Force 101 as the lead US element in Afghanistan and headed by by the 101st Airborne Division in 2007, the 101st Aviation Brigade deployed elements in support of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan once again.
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