2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry deploys rapidly worldwide by air, land, or sea, occupies an ISB, and on order, conducts air assault or ground operations to destroy enemy forces, seize key terrain or facilities and control specific land areas including populations and resources.
2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry was originally constituted on 14 March 1941 in the Army of the United States as Company B, 502nd Parachute Battalion. It activated on 1 July 1941 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The unit was consolidated on 24 February 1942 with Company B, 502nd Parachute Infantry (and concurrently constituted in the Army of the United States), and the consolidated unit was designated as Company B, 502d Parachute Infantry (502nd Parachute Infantry was assigned on 15 August 1942 to the 101st Airborne Division). The unit inactivated on 30 November 1945 in France.
Redesignated on 18 June 1948 as Company B, 502d Airborne Infantry, and allotted on 25 June 1948 to the Regular Army, it activated on 6 July 1948 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. It inactivated on 1 April 1949 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky.
The unit reactivated on 25 August 1950 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, and inactivated there on 1 December 1953.
It reactivated on 15 May 1954 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 March 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Airborne Battle Group, 502nd Infantry, relieved from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division, and assigned to the 11th Airborne Division (later redesignated as the 11th Air Assault Division) (its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated). It inactivated on 1 July 1958 in Germany.
The Battalion was redesignated on 21 January 1964 as the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry, and it was concurrently relieved from assignment to the 11th Air Assault Division and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. It activated on 3 February 1964 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The unit inactivated on 21 January 1983 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and was relieved from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division.
The unit was reassigned on 5 June 1984 to the 101st Airborne Division and activated at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
In November 2000, the Strike Force Battalion deployed to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California as a part of rotation 01-03. There, under grueling conditions, the Battalion once again established its dominance as one of the best air assault battalions in the Army. Despite the desert's continual efforts to derail the Strike Force train, they flawlessly executed a variety of missions including defensive and offensive operations, as well as several live fire exercises. More importantly, the Strike Force was commended by all for their unparalleled success. They completed the one of the best rotations that the NTC Observer/Controllers, The Tarantula Team, had ever seen.
In January 2001, key leaders and staff conducted the first visit in preparation for deployment. This leader's recon gleaned pertinent information integral to mission success from the current occupation force. Upon return from the National Training Center, Strike Force remained on guard and conducted mission cycle through the holidays.
In the first week of January 2001, the battalion jumped back into training and began a demanding Individual Readiness Training Program. This program was the first stepping-stone towards the role of peacekeepers in the upcoming deployment. IRT forced soldiers and leaders alike to 'think out of the box' and learn the tools necessary to be successful in peacekeeping. A few of the things that the soldiers learned from IRT are how to search both personnel and vehicles, how to react to civil disturbances, and how to react when confronted with the eager media.
Upon completion of IRT, the skills and knowledge of the Battalion were tested during an outstanding platoon situational training exercise program. The program consisted of very fluid and dynamic situations, forcing leaders to take charge of their platoons and react appropriately. The platoons learned how to execute presence patrols, convoy operations, bomb threats, and unauthorized training to name a few. Immediately following platoon STX, the Battalion began week one of the two-week marksmanship cycle. This marksmanship program was designed to allow soldiers to do one of the things they do best: put lead down range.
In 2003 the 2-502nd Infantry deployed to Iraq with other elements of the 101st Airbrone Division under Operation Iraqi Freedom. It returned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 2004 as part of the transition of the entire Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. It returned to Iraq with other elements of the reformed 2nd Brigade Combat Team in 2005, and served in that country through 2008.
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