3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
The 17th Cavalry Regiment was constituted on 1 July 1916 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Regiment remained in the United States during World War I and was inactivated in 1921.
The Regiment was reactivated and redesignated as the 7th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) and participated in the breakout from Normandy in 1944. After World War II, the Squadron was redesignated as the 17th Armored Cavalry Group and inactivated on 9 March 1951. Six years later, on 1 March 1957, the troop was reconstituted in the Regular Army as Troop C (Reconnaissance) (Airborne), 17th Cavalry. Concurrently, the unit was consolidated with the 11th Airborne Reconnaissance Troop and assigned to the 11th Airborne Division in Europe. On 1 July 1958 the unit was relived from assignment to the 11th Airborne Division. Shortly thereafter, on 15 November 1958, Troop C, 17th Cavalry was inactivated in Europe.
Once again the unit was activated 15 March 1962 as Troop C (Air), 17th Cavalry, at Fort Knox, Kentucky the home of Armor and Cavalry. The unit was inactivated on 16 January 1963 and subsequently reactivated on 15 February, 1963 as HHT, 3rd squadron, 17th Cavalry, as part of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) and took part in the initial training of air assault/ air mobility tactics and operations. Troop B (Air) was activated 7 February 1963 at Fort Rucker, Alabama and the rest of the Squadron was activated on 19 March 1964 at Fort Benning Georgia.
The Squadron deployed to Vietnam in 1967 and was assigned to the 12th Aviation Group. It was cited for action during the initial stages of the Tet Offensive in 1968. In 1970 the Squadron was cited for its performance during the invasion of Cambodia. The Squadron redeployed to the United States in April 1972 and was inactivated.
The squadron was reactivated in June 1988 as the Cavalry Squadron of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Griffis AFB. Following a move to Fort Drum's Wheeler Sack Army Airfield, the Squadron deployed to Florida as part of the relief efforts following the disastrous Hurricane Andrew in 1992. A few months later, the Squadron deployed to East Africa as part of Operation "Restore Hope" in Somalia. There the Squadron conducted reconnaissance and security operations to assist in restoring order to the famine stricken country.
The Squadron supported Operation "Uphold Democracy" in Haiti by deploying Alpha Troop to perform security operations for the Brigade Headquarters and performing duties as the Brigade Rear Headquarters during the deployment.
The Squadron deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in October 2003, as Task Force Lighthorse, attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which was the Army's first Stryker brigade on its initial operational deployment. The Task Force was comprised of Redhorse Troop (HHT/3-17), Blackjack Troop (B/3-17), Crazyhorse Troop (C/3-17), Blue Tiger Troop (D/3-17), Voodoo Company (A/2-10 AVN), Diamondback Company (C/1-10 AVN), and Viking Company (C/10 AVN, AVIM). The Task Force and its Troops were vital in the successes of daily ground missions, providing aerial reconnaissance and security throughout AO North, as well as the successes of Operation Cyclone, Operation Blizzard, Operation Mayfield, Operation Valiant Saber, and Operation Resolute Sword. After a highly successful deployment, the Task Force redeployed back to Fort Drum in December 2004.
In early 2004 the newly formed Task Force Olympia (TFO) Scout Platoon of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 10th Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, played a critical role in providing reconnaissance for TFO. The scouts provide route reconnaissance and ground support for air reconnaissance. They also conducted counter-mortar missions and function as an early warning security system for the ground infantry. The Army's "trained and ready" motto was exemplified by the Task Force Scout Platoon. Nightly, the soldiers rehearse battle drills.
They understand the drills would increase their ability to save each other's lives. The squad leaders teach the classes, ranging from weapon skills to land navigation, under the careful supervision of the platoon sergeant. The platoon's first exercise as a Task Force Scout Platoon was to reconnoiter a route and set up site security for an Iraqi detainment camp. The site selected for the camp was in an area that had been harboring Iraqi fugitives, and coalition forces were developing a plan to detain them. The Scout Platoon conducted route reconnaissance with tactical vehicles and night vision goggles to survey the area and identify a route that could be easily navigated by larger vehicles.
As an element of the 10th Mountain Division, the Squadron's mission had been to, on order, deploy worldwide and provide security and reconnaissance operations in support of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). There the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment was comprised of 5 Troops: one headquarters troop, one ground reconnaissance troop, two air reconnaissance troops, and one aircraft maintenance troop. These were as follows:
- Headquarters and Headquarters Troop (Redhorse) provides communication, medical, ground maintenance, logistical support and command and control for A, B, C and D Troops.
- A Troop (Silver Spurs) operates highly mobile military wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) equipped with anti-tank / anti-personnel weapons systems to provide ground security and reconnaissance for the Squadron and Division.
- B (Blackjack) and C (Crazyhorse) Troops operates OH-58D Kiowa Warriors equipped with a variety of weapons and surveillance systems to provide air security and reconnaissance for the Squadron and Division.
- D Troop (Blue Tigers) provides safe, fully-mission capable maintenance operations on OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aircrafts; to include airframe, armament, avionics, and electrical systems; downed aircraft recovery and repair; and technical supply operations.
- E Troop (Sabre) deploys worldwide to conduct ground sustainment operations in support the squadron or Task Force during combat operations.
In 2008, as part of a restructuring of the Combat Aviation Brigades of both the 10th Mountain Division and the 3rd Infantry Division, the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry was relieved from assignment to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division and reassigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. There, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment was inactivated and reflagged as the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment.
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