2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry
The 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment is the Army's Opposing Force at the National Training Center, conducting battle operations in accordance with published doctrine and combat instructions. While in its role as the 32nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment, The Eaglehorse Squadron portrays a robust and determined opposing force (OPFOR) that trains US forces in the basic principles of Air-Land battle doctrines and challenges all Battlefield Operating Systems (BOS).
The 2nd SQUADRON "Eaglehorse" consists of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Troops E, F, and G, Company H, an antitank company and an air defense artillery battery. Its mission is to deploy and fight in any environment as an M2/M3 equipped armored calvary squadron and to replicate the major combat elements of a BMP-equipped Soviet Motorized Rifle Regiment. It uses M551 Sheridan tanks and M966 HMMWVs, which have been visually modified to resemble the Soviet BMP and AT-5 BRDM.
The 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment is widely considered to be one of the best trained mechanized forces in the world. Currently, the regiment trains brigade and battalion task forces during ten rotations a year at the National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, California. Additionally between rotation commitments, the Squadron conducts tough, realistic, live-fire based training focused at the platoon and Bradley crew level. The Eaglehorse continues the tradition of Lead, Train, Win while serving as the Army's premier training force, the NTC's Opposing Force.
The 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment or "Eaglehorse", has a long, proud history that spans for nearly three quarters of a century. Second Squadron military campaign geographic areas include the Philippines, Mexico, Europe, Vietnam, and support in Southwest Asia.
The 2nd Squadron was activated on 2 February 1901 at Fort Myer, Virginia. 2nd Squadron deployed with the Regiment to the Philippines to suppress insurgent forces during November 1901. This deployment was commemorated by the "bolos" becoming part of the Blackhorse Crest. The Blackhorse Regiment settled in Fort Des Moines, Iowa in 1905.
The 2nd Squadron deployed to Cuba, 16 October 1906, as part of Theodore Roosevelt's Army of Pacification. Their mission was to patrol and be a show of force. Eaglehorse joined with the General J. Pershing Expedition in a punitive action against Mexico, with orders to pursue Pancho Villa, on 12 March 1916. Major Robert L. Howze, Commander, 2nd Squadron, led the "last mounted charge" on 5 May 1916, placing the Eaglehorse Squadron action as a milestone in military history.
The Blackhorse Regiment patrolled the U.S.-Mexican border from 1919 through 1942. The Regiment received the name "Blackhorse" and a distinctive coat of arms while stationed at Presidio, Monterey.
The Regiment inactivated as a "horse regiment" on 15 July 1942 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The Headquarters and Headquarters Troop was redesignated on 19 April 1943 as the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Cavalry Group Mechanized. The former squadrons of the 11th Cavalry were sent to fight with the 10th Armored Division and the 90th Infantry Division overseas. The new HHT, 11th Cavalry Group Mechanized drew new squadrons, the 36th and 4th, and also received an Assault Gun Troop (Howitzer Battery).
After guarding the US southeastern coast from March 1944 until 1 June 1944, the Group moved to Camp Gordon, Georgia to begin training for overseas deployment, The regiment arrived in the United Kingdom on 10 October 1944. The Regiment entered France on 23 November 1944. Moving through France and Germany, the Blackhorse was assigned to the Ninth US Army and attached to XIII Corps, whose flank the Blackhorse screened during the Corps' sweep from the Roer to the Rhine.
The 11th Cavalry Group Mechanized was redesignated as the 11th Constabulary Regiment on 3 May 1946 and in 1948 was redesignated as the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and inactivated. Blackhorse was brought back into active status 1 April 1951 at Camp Carson, Colorado. In 1954, the Regiment transferred to Fort Knox, Kentucky to complete its training in fully armored tactics.
The Blackhorse Regiment rotated to Southern Germany, relieving the 6th ACR, and assumed the mission of patrolling the Germany-Czechoslovakia border, until its return to the United States in 1964.
The Blackhorse arrived in Vietnam on 7 September 1966. Second Squadron spearheaded Operation Fish Hook into Cambodia on 1 May 1970, surrounding a North Vietnamese logistics center.
The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which had the mission of patrolling the East-West German border, was redesignated the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Downs barracks. The East-West German border fell on 9 November 1989, and the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991. The Regiment's seventeen year vigil along the Iron Curtain was over.
The Blackhorse Regiment deployed an aviation task force on 10 April 1991 to Turkey for operation Provide Comfort, an operation to support the Kurdish relief effort. One month later, an aviation detachment deployed to Kuwait for Operation Positive Force, and operation to secure Kuwait so it could rebuild from the war. By October, the Regiment had completed its missions in Turkey and Kuwait and returned to Fulda. As the need for US Forces in Europe decreased, the Blackhorse Regiment was inactivated in an emotional ceremony on 15 March 1994.
Reactivated again on 26 October 1994, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment now serves as the Army's Opposing Force at the National Training Center. The Regiment portrays a determined opposing force that trains US forces in the basic principles of Army Operations and challenges all the battlefield operating systems. Many consider the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment one of the best trained mechanized forces in the world. As the 32nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment, the Squadron trains brigade and battalion task forces during ten rotations a year at the National Training Center.
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