3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment
3rd Airborne Battalion Combat Team, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment
The mission of the 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment was to alert, marshal and deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours, execute a forced-entry parachute assault, and attack to decisively defeat any enemy, in any terrain.
The 3-325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team's (ABCT) main Army mission revolved around rapidly deploying, then seizing and securing land in a hostile environment. The unit was made up of 5 companies with one attached artillery battery, D Battery, 319th Field Artillery (Airborne, Europe's only airborne field artillery battery. The Battalion fell under the command of the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), and was designated as the European Command (EUCOM) rapid reaction force.
The 3-325th infantrymen began arriving in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina on 18 December 1995, to set up perimeter security, which completed the first in a series of steps paving the way for the arrival of thousands of NATO troops. 3-325th ABCT was the lead element for Task Force Eagle, part of Operation Joint Endeavor.
After serving as the primary protection force for Eagle Base, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina since mid-December 1995, members of the 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry (Airborne Combat Team), began to return to their home base of Vicenza, Italy.
The first contingent of about 80 soldiers, began leaving 31 January 1996. They included soldiers in D Battery, 319th Airborne Field Artillery.
More than 800 members of the 3-325th ABCT landed on Bosnian soil, bringing with them artillery, engineers, transportation and cooks that all helped prepare Eagle Base, Tuzla, for the onslaught of soldiers moving through the base and into the US sector.
During its stay, Company A temporarily operated an observation point in the Russian sector on the zone of separation. From here the unit kept watch, monitoring for possible illegal troop movement in the zone.
The 3-325th Airborne Infantry had slowly been turning their operation over to the 1st Armored Division and other units. Company A's observation point was to be turned over to the Russian Army.
Following their redeployment back to Italy, a company of 3rd Airborne Battalion Combat Team, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment acting as the units Initial Ready Company, deployed with Special Operations elements as part of Operation Assured Response, a non-combatant evactionation operation in Liberia. The Operation began in April 1996 and officially ended in August 1996.
With the reactivation of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in June 2000, the 3-325th Airborne Infantry was inactivated and relieved of its assignment to SETAF. The unit was subsequently reactivated, returning to the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne, also the headquarters of its parent regiment, the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment.
From February 2003 to February 2004 the 3-325th Airborne Infantry was deployed to the middle east during the buildup for Operation Iraqi Freedom, invasion of Iraq, and immediate post-invasion period. It returned for a second tour, attached to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in late 2004. This deployment lasted into 2005.
In January 2006, the 3-325th Airborne Infantry was inactivated as part of the transformation of the 82nd Airborne Division as whole to the US Army's new modular force structure. The personnel of 3-325th Airborne Infantry were reflagged as 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team, itself activated as part of the modular transformation.
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