2nd Battalion (Airborne), 319th Field Artillery Regiment
The 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery (Airborne) was first organized at Camp Gordon, Georgia on 2 September 1917 as Battery B, 319th Field Artillery Regiment. The 2nd Battalion was an original element of the 82d Division. During World War I, the 2nd Battalion participated in the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Lorraine Campaigns, supporting the Division for 105 straight days on the French front line with its horse drawn 155mm howitzers.
During World War II, the artillerymen of the 319th Glider Field Artillery Regiment supported the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment through 37 straight days of combat. The Regiment received 6 combat streamers and 8 unit decorations for combat during World War II. Included among these decorations were 2 Presidential Unit Citations earned for operations at Chiunzi, Italy, and St. Mere-Eglise, respectively. On 17 September 1944, the invasion of the Netherlands, codenamed Operation Market Garden, afforded the unit another opportunity to execute its Airborne mission. The Battalion fired 34,423 rounds supporting combat operations in and around Nijmegen and Arnheim and was awarded a combat streamer for its actions.
The unit remained part of the 82 Airborne Division after World War II, being redesignated Battery B, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion. Transferred to the 101st Airborne Division in 1964, Battery B became the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion. The Battalion remained with the 101st Airborne Division for 8 years, providing direct support to its 3rd Brigade in Vietnam, receiving 12 campaign streamers and 7 American and Vietnamese Citations for its actions. Additionally, 2nd Battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation for combat operations in the A Shau Valley. Shortly after returning to Fort Campbell, Kentucky after the conflict 2nd Battalion was deactivated.
However, in October 1986, the Battalion was reactivated and returned to duty with the 82nd Airborne Division. On 20 December 1989, 3 years after its reactivation, 2nd Battalion conducted its first combat Airborne operation since World War II when 30 fire support specialists from Battery C participated in the parachute assault on Torrijos Airport as part of Task Force 4-325. These 30 Paratroopers aided the task force in successfully countering actions of the Panamanian forces.
Operation Desert Shield saw 2nd Battalion deploy to Saudi Arabia as part of the United States' first ground combat element in the area. At the commencement of Desert Storm, the unit moved 700 miles north from Ab Qaig, occupying attack positions near the Iraqi border, eventually becoming the first American artillery unit to enter Iraq. Awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Battalion redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in March 1991.
Demonstrating capabilities beyond its combat mission, the Battalion deployed to Florida as part of Task Force All American, supporting the Hurricane Andrew Relief Effort in August 1992. September 1994 brought 2nd Battalion to the brink of another combat mission as Battalion fire support personnel prepared for the invasion of Haiti, Operation Restore Democracy, with 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. The remainder of the Battalion stood ready and supported the outload.
In February 2003 the 2nd Battalion once again faced combat operations as Saddam Hussein defiantly faced down the United Nations as Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The Battalion supported 2nd Brigade in their push to Baghdad. Shortly after crossing the Iraqi border the Battalion participated in the battle at As Sammawah where they accurately massed over 1000 rounds in support of 2nd Brigade.
Upon declaration of completion of major combat operations, the Battalion began Stability and Support Operations in the Al Rasheed District of Baghdad. During this phase of the operation the Paratroopers of the 2nd Battalion provided counterfire coverage for First Armored Division and all of Baghdad as well as conducted MSR security on the infamous airport road. During the last 7 months of the deployment 2nd Battalion fired over 600 artillery rounds against enemy forces in and around Baghdad, conducted over 500 combat patrols and numerous raids in support of 2nd Brigade. The Battalion was awarded its fourth Presidential Unit Citation for its service during the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In December 2004, B Battery and C Battery deployed with the White (2-325th Airborne Infantry) and Blue Falcons (3-325th Airborne Infantry) to provide security for the first free, democratic elections in Iraq. Over the course of 4 months, Black Falcon Paratroopers decisively engaged the enemy while serving as rifle Batteries working directly for the maneuver battalions. Throughout the remainder of 2005, the Battalion would provide Paratroopers to support 6 more deployments with Fire Supporters deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, Firing Batteries deploying to West Point and Egypt, and the Battalion deploying to Louisiana in support of recovery operations after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall.
On 15 January 2006, the 82nd Airborne Division became part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force. Artillery support for the Division's brigades had previously been held at Division level under the Division Artillery command (DIVARTY). Under the modular force structure various previously Divisional assets were inactivated and reactivated as organic to the Division's reorganized modular Brigade Combat Teams. 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery (Airborne) was reactivated as part of the reorgnaized 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
During the latter half of 2006, elements of 2-319th Field Artillery deployed in support of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, deploying again in 2007 for another tour.
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