Troop E, 31st Cavalry
The Cavalry Scouts are equiped with the M-3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. It is armed with a 25mm main gun, and a 7.62 coaxale machine gun. The Bradley also carries two TOW missiles. The dismounted scouts carry M-16 Rifles, M-203 Grenade launchers, and M-60 machine guns. Scouts employ the use of various types of grenades and mines in the course of a mission. The dismount squad operates mounted with the vehicles as an extention of the platoon leader's eyes and ears. The squad can also operate as an independent reconnaissance squad.
The unit was first organized as Battery A, 464th AAA Battalion. The first commanding officer was Captain Joan Philip Roberts. The first First Sergeant was 1st SGT Andy Anderson and the first AST was Charlie Davenport. The unit was equipped with the 40 mm towed anti-aircraft gun. The unit first met at BB Comer High School until a building was built on Fort Williams Street, the site of the unit's present location. The first permanent armory that was built now servers as the maintenance section area and the motor pool.
The first camp or annual training was in 1948 at Fort Benning, Georgia with 40 men present. The unit received a Certificate of Merit from the D-Day Readiness Force for outstanding achievements in rapidly organizing, recruiting and training. In 1949 Camp was held at Ft. Stewart, Georgia with 80 men present.
On 23 Jan 1951 the unit was called to active duty for the Korean War. On 31 Jan 1951 The unit departed home station with 7 officers and 165 enlisted men for Camp Edwards, Mass. for training. The unit set a record of having the most people ever to be in Sylacuaga was set on that day. On 28 Nov 1951 The unit left Camp Edwards for Camp Roberts, California. On 2 Dec 1951 Attached to Castle AFB, California where the unit was set up around the base for Air Defense. From 6 Dec 1952 - 20 Dec 1952 the unit was transported by military troop train to Ft. McClellan, AL to be outprocessed. After serving on Active Duty for almost two years the unit was released from Active Duty.
In 1953 the unit was re-equipped with the 75mm Skysweeper. The Skysweeper carried 20 rounds in twin revolver pattern magazines in the rear of the gun, and had all fire control equipment integral with the gun mounting. It was the U.S. Army's last anti-aircraft gun development. The unit was also reorganized that year as Battery A 278th AAA Battalion. In 1954 the unit received their first National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior.
In 1956 the unit was reequipped with M-19 40mm self propelled anti-aircraft gun. On 2 April the unit was reorganized as Company B, 156th Military Police Battalion. In 1958, while at Camp Stewart, GA, the unit received the Best Unit in the Nation award. In 1959 the unit was reorganized to A Battery 464th AAA Battalion. The unit received their second National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior. In 1960 the unit received their third National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior.
In 1961 the unit switched from anti-aircraft artillery to armor and was equipped with the M-48 Patton Tank. the M-48 was armed with a 90mm main gun. The unit still held the designation A Battery 464th AAA Battalion.The unit received their fourth National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior. In 1962 the unit was organized as A Company 2nd Battalion 152nd Armor. The unit received their fifth National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior. In 1966 the unit received their sixth National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior. In 1967 the unit received the National Guard Bureau Superior Unit Award for training during 1966. In 1968 the unit was redisignated as A Company 1st Battalion 152nd Armor
In 1974 the unit reorganized to Armor Support company with the designation Support Company 2nd Battalion 152nd Armor. The unit was equipped with diverse equipment and missions. The unit was equipped with M-60 Tanks, LVLB track mounted portable bridge, track mounted 40mm anti-aircraft gun ("Duster"), the 4.2 inch track mounted mortar (M-106) and a scout platoon for reconnaissance. In 1976 the unit Maintenance section received Certificate of Merit for readiness and efficiency.
In 1978 the unit was awarded the Eisenhower Trophy for the previous year. The trophy is awarded to the most outstanding unit in the state. The unit received their seventh National Guard Bureau Award for Efficiency in Training with a rating of Superior. The unit was called to Active Duty for Public Service for two weeks because the Police and Fire Fighters Strike. Civilians set fires in various places including the Armory itself in protest. The Tank Platoons transitioned to the M-60 A1.
In 1980 the unit was reorganized and redesignated Troop E, 31st Cavalry, the current designation. Constituted 1 Nov 1973 and allotted to the Alabama National Guard as the 31st Cavalry, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System; concurrently organized to consist of Troop E, an element of the 31st Armored Brigade. Withdrawn 1 Jun 1989 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the the United States Army Regimental System.
In 1982 the Scouts received the M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier to perform armored reconnaissance. In 1983 the unit received the Draper Leadership Award. In 1987 the unit Maintenance section received awards for readiness and efficiency. Members of the unit was activated to assist in Clean-Up operations following a terrific tornado that hit the local area.
In 1989 the Tank Platoons transitioned to the M-60 A3. In 1992 the unit trained with members of the Royal Irish Horse Regiment. Members of the Royal Irish Horse participated in training with the Troop at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. In exchange members from the Troop went to Europe to train with the Royal Horse and exchange information and techniques.
On March 1993 Troop E was conducting a 3 day field exercise, and was pulled in to assist the Sylacauga Police Department in normal patrolling duties as well as assist the ambulance and recovery personnel in conducting normal operations. The state had been hit by an abnormal winter storm dubbed "Winter Storm 93", due to the extreme amounts of snowfall the city would not been able to perform its normal duties without the assistance of the Troop. Humvees were used to transport people to and from the hospital. Scouts drove Humvees, with police officers to serve as police patrol units. Recovery equipment (HEMTTs) was also provided to assist stranded motorists, who would otherwise had no way to make it in the - 0 degree weather.
In 1994 the unit received the Grey Wolf award for Espirit De Corps. The award was presented by the First Cavalry Division. The Tank Platoons transitioned to the M1 IPs. In 1995 the unit participated in the Sylacuaga Remembers World War II 50th Anniversary.
In 1997 the Scout Platoons transitioned to the M3 Bradley. This was a major change in the way that reconnaissance operations would be conducted. The Tank Platoons also transitioned to the M1 A1.
The unit is equipped with the M-1A1, M-3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle and the track mounted 120mm Mortar along with various support assets. The unit is attached to the 27th SIB NYARNG for their rotation at JRTC. The unit trained for the Summer 2001 Joint Readiness Training Center rotation. In order to prepare for this mission, the Scout platoons developed their battle drill Standard Operating Procedures. Scouts must train and coordinate both Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and the dismount squad.
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