2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
As of 2008, the 2nd Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment was an Air Cavalry unit dedicated to air reconnaissance in support of the 101st Airborne Division Infantry soldiers. The 2-17 CAV was comprised of three Flight Troops and three support Troops. The primary aircraft of the unit was the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter.
The 17th Cavalry Regiment was organized at Fort Bliss, Texas, on 1 July 1916. During World War I, the Regiment served on the Mexican Border. In 1918, it was combined with two other cavalry regiments, the 1st and the 15th, to form the 3rd Cavalry Brigade. The unit planned to join the AEF in France. However, the Armistice was signed before the Brigade could be deployed. The original regiment was inactivated at the Presidio of Monterey, California, in September 1921.
In 1943, the Regiment became part of Headquarters, 17th Armored Group at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The 17th Armored Group landed in France on 5 August 1944, and fought its way through Northern France, the Ardennes, and the Rhineland into central Europe. Following VE Day, the 17th Armored Group moved to Ghent, Belgium, where it was inactivated on 30 April 1946. The unit disbanded on 9 March 1951, but was reconstituted on 25 April 1957 in the Regular Army and consolidated with the 101st Airborne Reconnaissance Troop (active). The consolidated unit was designated as Troop B, 17th Cavalry, an element of the 101st Airborne Division.
Another ancestor of the Squadron, the 57th Cavalry Recon (Mech) Troop was activated at Fort McIntosh, Texas, on 12 May 1944. This Troop spent most of its life on the inactive rolls of the Army and underwent its final inactivation at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on 2 June 1948. On 10 August 1950, it was redesignated as the 101st Airborne Reconnaissance Company and was activated two weeks later at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky. On 25 April 1957, the unit was redesignated Troop B (Reconnaissance) (Airborne), 17th Cavalry, and continued as such until 1964. On 3 February 1964, the unit was consolidated with elements of the command and control battalion of the 101st Airborne to form the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry.
In July 1965, A Troop, along with supporting personnel from Headquarters Troop, departed Fort Campbell as part of the 1st Brigade Task Force, 101st Airborne Division, for the Republic of Vietnam. In December 1967, the remainder of the Squadron deployed to Vietnam, and operated for four years in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. During its service in the Republic of Vietnam, the Squadron had three members receive the nation's highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor: SP4 Michael Fitzmaurice, SP4 Joseph G. Lapointe, and SGT Robert Patterson.
In January 1972, the Squadron redeployed with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
From August to September 1990 the Squadron deployed for Operation Desert Shield serving as a deterrent force until initiation of Operation Desert Storm on 17 January 1991. On 25 February 1991, after three days of reconnaissance missions across the Iraqi border, the Squadron screened the Division's front on its historic air assault deep into Iraqi territory. The Squadron served as one of the northern most deployed elements of the United States Army.
In February 2003, the Squadron deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Squadron led the Division's aviation forces across the border securing the Division's initial objectives. Soon thereafter, the Squadron became the Aviation force of choice for the Division Commander for the urban fight during the seizures of An Najaf, Karbala, Al Hillah, Southern Baghdad, Mosul, and terrorist training camps in central Iraq. It was in Mosul, Iraq that the Squadron spent the remainder of it deployment providing reconnaissance and security to Division elements in the city.
In September 2005, the Squadron once again deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Squadron provided reconnaissance, security, and close combat attacks from FOB McKenzie to elements of TF Liberty for the Iraqi National Referendum. In November 2005, the Squadron moved to FOB Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq and assumed operational control of a platoon of UH-60s in support of 1st BCT, Task Force Band of Brothers. The Squadron also supported TF Freedom in Mosul, Iraq, as well as 159th Combat Aviation Brigade with one Air Cavalry Troop at LSA Anaconda as part of an AH-64 Bn Task Force. In March 2006, the Squadron assumed operational control of C/1-327th Infantry "Cold Steel" and was assigned AO Saber within the 1st BCT Battle Space in support of combat operations for TF Bastogne.
The Squadron redeployed to Ft. Campbell in August 2006 for refit and retraining and in 2007 was deployed as part of Combined Joint Task Force 101, the new lead element for US forces deployed on Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force. 2-17 Cavalry became the lead element for Task Force Out Front deployed in Regional Command East.
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