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4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized)
"Vanguard"

The 3rd Infantry Division activated its 4th Brigade Combat Team in a ceremony on 26 May 2004 at Fort Stewart. Colonel Edward C. Cardon assumed command of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, "Vanguard," adding a fourth brigade to the 3rd Infantry Division, the first division to reorganize under the Army's new modularity concept.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team is composed of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment; 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment; 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry; 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment; 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, and the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. The BSTB combines military intelligence, signal, and military police units under a single battalion.

The 4th Brigade was organized to combine combat and combat-service-support Soldiers under the same command, typically the way the division deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The story of the 4th Brigade Combat Team was one that epitomizes the transformation philosophy. The unit had about 21 soldiers when it was activated, and in 6 months gained approximately 1,500 Soldiers, garnered new equipment and conducted 3 major training exercises. The Army took 3 different battalions from 3 different brigades with 3 different cultures and joined together as one team.

The 4th Brigade had to be built from the ground up. About 8 months after its formation, it was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq with another brigade from the 3rd Infantry Division and a brigade from the Louisiana Army National Guard in one of the first modular deployments.

The changes mandated by transformation were especially felt among artillery Soldiers, whose battalions were integrated into all units and faced new infantry-like requirements and missions as the Army changed.

Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team coined the term "infartillery" during their rotation at JRTC to describe their new functions. While they still had traditional artillery responsibilities, they also prepared to go into towns, do security sweeps, and deal directly with the people in the country that they operate in, jobs typically reserved for other Soldiers like infantry and civil affairs.

Soldiers of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) began moving into newly constructed barracks after the facilities were handed over to the unit on 11 August 2004. The contract for the project cost $73.6 million for the design, site development and construction of the new modular barracks campus. It was put in effect 25 May 2004 to accommodate the unit, which was formed as part of the 3rd Infantry Division's reorganization.

This modular design afforded the barracks to be built quickly into temporary houses to support the Brigade. The barracks were composed of many upscale trailers pieced together. The 3rd Infantry Division was the first division in the Army to undergo the conversion to a modular structure, and part of garrison's mission was to accommodate the structures and facilities required for the new brigade.

More than a million square feet of barracks, modular office facilities, company orderly rooms, battalion headquarters, arms rooms, storage rooms and maintenance facilities were built to accommodate 3 4th Brigade Combat Team battalions. On 5 February 2004 the division found out it would be first up on the modularity concept and as a result would gain a new brigade.

After the contract was awarded on 25 May 2004, construction workers had cleared forests, installed underground utilities, and the first of the modular barracks were delivered on 30 June 2004. The 11 August 2004 initial turnover included 40 of the 142 6-man barracks and 10 of 20 operations facilities to 4th Brigade Combat Team, which were deemed ready for operations. Soldiers would continue to move into the remaining buildings as finishing touches were placed, and all facilities were to be handed over to the unit by 14 October 2004.

The new temporary facilities had more square footage and were larger and better equipped than the existing 1970 and 1980 versions of the permanent party facilities. Each barrack includes 2 living quarters and within those quarters were 3 separate rooms, a central kitchen and bathroom.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in January 2005 and assumed its mission as the MND-Baghdad main effort on 4 March 2005. After assuming responsibility for an area that had previously been occupied by 2 brigades, the Vanguard Brigade ensured the success of numerous milestone events including the seating of the first freely elected Iraqi government and more than 100 subsequent sessions of the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly; the trial of Saddam Hussein; the vote on the Constitutional Referendum; the elections for the first 4-year Iraqi Government; the activation and training of the 5th Iraqi Army Brigade, 6th Division; and security of the Iraqi strategic center of gravity within the International Zone.

The Vanguard Brigade established partnerships and conducted joint combat operations with 21 Iraqi Security Force Battalions and established a Joint Operations and Intelligence center. The Vanguard Brigade remained steadfast in its year-long mission to conduct full-spectrum counter insurgency operations in order to defeat Anti Iraq Forces, secure key terrain, support government and economic development, and develop Iraqi Security Force capability to create a security environment that facilitates the completion of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546. The Brigade returned to Fort Stewart in January 2006 to conduct reintegration, reset and regeneration operations in preparation for its next deployment.

In 2007 the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) was alerted for deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2007. The 4th Brigade Combat Team continued to serve in that country into 2008.




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