2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment
The 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 3 May 1861 in the Regular Army as Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry and organized on 8 July 1861 at Fort Trumbull, Connecticut. The unit was redesignated on 30 April 1862 as Company C, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry and reorganized and redesignated on 21 September 1866 as Company B, 23rd Infantry.
The 23rd Infantry Regiment was assigned on 22 September 1917 to the 2d Division (later redesignated as the 2nd Infantry Division. Company B, 23rd Infantry was inactivated on 20 June 1957 at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and relieved from assignment to the 2d Infantry Division. It was concurrently redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battle Group, 23rd Infantry with its organic elements constituted 4 March 1958. The Battle Group was assigned on 17 March 1958 to the 2nd Infantry Division and activated on 14 June 1958 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 1 February 1963 as the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry before being inactivated on 21 June 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington. It was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division.
The unit was assigned on 21 January 1983 to the 9th Infantry Division and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington. It was inactivated on 28 September 1990 at Fort Lewis, Washington, and relieved from assignment to the 9th Infantry Division.
The unit was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment and assigned on 1 June 2006 to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington.
A long wait for Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS) crews of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division ended in July 2006. The 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry received its complement of MGS vehicles after more than a year of waiting. They were the first vehicles to be fielded in the Army. It gave the infantry a whole new dimension of what they could do. Armor and infantry had kept each other at arm's length for years and years. Each infantry company received 3 vehicles, though crews did not expect to operate together except on rare occasions.
The vehicles carried crews of 3, and were equipped with an 105mm main gun and a state-of-the-art fire control system. The MGS also had an onboard coaxial machine gun that was linked to the fire control system. The 105mm gun was capable of firing 4 types of rounds: Sabot, a depleted-uranium armor-piercing round; HEAT, high-explosive anti-tank; HEP, high-explosive plastic; and a canister round. The rounds were loaded using a hydraulic auto-loader in the rear of the vehicle.
The HEP and canister rounds gave Stryker units new capabilities, especially in urban areas. The HEP could blow holes in reinforced concrete walls, but unlike the rounds from an Abrams, would not continue through the target and into surrounding buildings. The canister provided as effective anti-personnel capability. The vehicle's basic role was to support the infantry. It was not there to take on tanks or go toe-to-toe in the wide-open desert like the Abrams. Its primary function was blowing a hole in the wall or blowing up bunkers.
The MGS also came equipped with training software that allowed Soldiers to train on various engagements in their own vehicles, instead of going to a simulator somewhere else. Once the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team completed training, instructors from General Dynamics Land Systems moved on to equip and train Soldiers in Hawaii and Pennsylvania. Training for those units was to be in part based on lessons learned by the initial deployment to the 2-23rd Infantry. However, the vehicle itself was expected to remain mostly unchanged.
In 2009, the 202nd Brigade Support Battalion was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 702nd Brigade Support Battalion, which was subsequently reactivated assigned to the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
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