2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
The 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division was originally constituted on 5 August 1917 in the National Army as Headquarters, 168th Infantry Brigade, as an organic element of the 84th Division. It was organized on 25 August 1917 at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky. It was demobilized there in February 1919.
The unit was reconstituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 168th Infantry Brigade, as an organic element of the 84th Division (Redesignated as the 84th Infantry Division in 1942, as the 84th Airborne Division in 1948, and as the 84th Division in 1952). It was organized in November 1921 in Northern Indiana.
It was redesignated on 23 February 1942 as the 3rd Platoon, 84th Reconnaissance Troop, 84th Division. Concurrently Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 167th Infantry Brigade was redesignated as the 84th Recon Troop, 84th Division (less 3rd Platoon). It was ordered into active military service on 15 October 1942 and reorganized at Camp Howze, Texas, at which point it was concurrently redesignated as the 84th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 12 August 1943 as the 84th Recon Troop, Mechanized. It was inactivated on 24 January 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
The unit was redesignated on 19 December 1946 as the 84th Mechanized Reconnaissance Platoon and activated on 11 June 1947 at Madison, Wisconsin. It was reorganized and redesignated on 6 April 1948 as the Reconnaissance Platoon, 84th Airborne Division. The Organized Reserves were redesignated in 1948 as Organized Reserve Corps and again in 1952 as the Army Reserves.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 29 March 1951 as the 84th Airborne Reconnaissance Company. On 1 March 1952 it was again reorganized and redesignated as the 84th Reconnaissance Company and concurrently relocated to Appleton, Wisconsin. This location changed on 18 May 1953 to Wausau, Wisconsin. There the unit was disbanded on 18 May 1959.
The unit was reconstituted on 29 April 1963, withdrawn from Army Reserve, allotted to the Regular Army, and relieved from assignment to the 84th Infantry Division, which converted with the 3rd Platoon redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 168th Infantry Brigade. Concurrently, the 84th Reconnaissance Company (less 3rd Platoon) was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 167th Infantry Brigade (thereafter having a separate lineage). The unit was redesignated on 21 June 1963 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. It was activated on 26 August 1963 in Hawaii.
In July 2001 the Army announced that the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate), with elements at Forts Wainwright and Richardson, both in Alaska, and the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii were among the next locations for the stationing of Interim Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) as a part of Army Transformation. The brigade transformations were conditional upon the outcome of an Army Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) that was completed in the fall of 2001.
The Interim Force, which would include the Alaska and Hawaii IBCTs, was to be fielded with the Interim Armored Vehicle (IAV), a General Motors Light Armored Vehicle. The IAV, which weighed 19 tons and had 8 wheels, would be C-130 transportable and would normally be able to operate without any further logistical support for 3 days once on the ground.
The IBCTs would feature significantly different organizations from the Army's existing brigade and brigade combat team configurations. Each would consist primarily of 3 infantry battalions, an artillery battalion, and a reconnaissance battalion. The reconnaissance battalion, known as the RSTA Squadron (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition), would significantly increase the intelligence gathering capability of the brigade.
The new brigades would also include organic engineer, military intelligence and signal companies. Another significant change was that the companies of the infantry battalions would be combined arms teams, consisting primarily of infantry, mobile gun systems and mortars. Previously, Army companies and battalions were organized as pure tank or infantry units, then task organized based on mission requirements. Eventually, this brigade organization would become the basis for the transformation of the entire US Army to what became known as the modular force structure. When the IAV became known as the Stryker, the units equipped with them became known as Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT).
By October 2003 about 4,000 Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team; Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, and the 45th Corps Support Group (Forward) were in Kuwait preparing for their year-long Operation Iraqi Freedom II rotation.
Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (not to be confused with the modular brigade combat team), 25th Infantry Division (Light) convoyed more than 500 miles in a 4 day period before arriving at their command posts in Northern Iraq in February 2004. The convoys, dubbed Operation Koa (the Hawaiian word for "Warrior," which was the 2nd Brigade's motto), included about 600 vehicles in the journey from Kuwait to Kirkuk. Task Force Gimlet, comprised of units from 1-21st Infantry, 2-11th Field Artillery, 125th Signal Battalion, 125th Military Intelligence Battalion, 25th Military Police Company, 225th Forward Support Battalion, 1-62nd Air Defense Artillery, 556th Personnel Service Battalion, 65th Engineer Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Detachment (Target Acquisition), and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, began their convoy to Kirkuk Air Base 3 February 2004.
Located just outside the city of Kirkuk, about 140 miles north of Baghdad, Kirkuk Air Base was situated in the center of 2nd Brigade Combat Team's area of operations. To many Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom II it was home. Task Force 1-21st Infantry and support elements from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, including the Brigade's headquarters were stationed there, where they conduct operations here and inside Kirkuk. When their duty day was completed, they rest and sleep in 4-person containers.
The Army approved a Stryker Brigade Combat Team for Hawaii in June 2004, putting to end 3 years of speculation, environmental studies and debate. When it returned from its Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (Light) would begin the transformation into a more lethal fighting force, capable of deploying anywhere in the world in 96 hours. Lieutenant General James Campbell, commander of US Army Pacific, made the official announcement at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He said he signed the final record of decision to transform the 2nd Brigade into a SBCT after reviewing the final Environmental Impact Statement, reading 2,000 concerns from the citizens of Hawaii who voiced their opinion during the public comment period, ensuring that the proper mitigation measures are in place or were planned, and then weighing the added effectiveness, readiness and protection for Soldiers the SBCT will bring to the Army. Hawaii's SBCT would be the fifth of 6 planned SBCTs. The first 2 are based at Fort Lewis, Washington. There would also be one each in Louisiana, Alaska and Pennsylvania.
In 2006, the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division completed its transformation to the modular force structure, being inactivated, reorganized and redesignated as the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, before being reactivated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
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