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4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
"Dragon Brigade"

In 2006, the 4th Brigade Combat Team was activated. It was one of 3 new kinds of brigade's the Army was forming. The 4th Brigade Combat Team is a light infantry brigade combat team. The Army also was creating a Stryker brigade combat team and heavy brigade combat team. The 4th Brigade Combat was self-sustaining, unlike previous brigades, because of its support battalion and because it has its own reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition unit. Brigade's had previously been supported in the latter role from seperate cavalry troops or from reconnaissance elements in their maneuver battalions. Support elements had previously been held in Division Support Commands, attached to brigades during combat operations.

On 12 January 2006, the 4th Brigade Combat Team held its activation ceremony. The activation was part of the transformation of the US Army to a new modular force structure. Under the new force structure, all divisions would activate a fourth maneuver brigade and otherwise reorganize their other assets. Formations representing the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry; 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry; 2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry; 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery; 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion; and 610th Brigade Support Battalion, participated in the ceremony, which signified the transfer of the brigade from inactive to active status. The brigade was expected to be combat ready in 12 months after its activation. When the brigade was fully functioning, 3,500 Soldiers and 1,700 family members were expected to call Fort Riley, Kansas home.

The stand up of the "Dragon Brigade" was a step in the transformation to widen the Army's capabilities. The brigade would be able to operate at the low end of the military spectrum, including humanitarian relief efforts, to the high end, such as high intensity combat missions. It was an organization that could operate in complex terrains, be it cities or mountains or forests or jungles. It was trained, organized and equipped to operate dismounted, or it could be motorized with trucks to make it mobile or helicopters to allow air assaults.

In 2007, 2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry and the 610th Brigade Support Battalion were reflagged as the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry and the 701st Brigade Support Battalion respectively. The 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed from Fort Riley to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in February 2007.




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