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45th Infantry Brigade (Light) (Separate/Enhanced)

As part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, in 2005, the composition of the 35th Infantry Division was changed. The 218th Infantry Brigade stood down in the 7th Division, and stood up in the 35th Division .

On order, 45th infantry brigade mobilizes, executes post mobilization training, deploys to designated theater of operations, organizes for combat and conducts military operations, stability and support operations as directed.

The history of the 45th Infantry Brigade (Light) (Separate) can be traced back to 1890 with the formation of the Militia of the Territory of Oklahoma. That militia fought in 1898 in the Spanish-American War.

In 1916, the First Oklahoma Infantry Regiment (OKARNG) fought in the Mexican Border Conflict and in 1917 the First Oklahoma Infantry Regiment (OKARNG) fought in the final month of WWI.

In 1923, the unit was organized as a National Guard Division with units in OK, CO, NM, and AZ

In 1940 - One of four National Guard Divisions called to federal service during WWII. It remained on Active Duty for over 5 years (511 days of combat); and engaged in 8 Campaigns and 4 Amphibious Assault Landings. It was released from federal service and reorganized as a National Guard Division entirely in Oklahoma in 1945.

In 1950, it was called to federal service during the Korean Conflict, and remained in combat for over 429 days, fighting in four Major Campaigns.

In 1968, the division disbanded and was reorganized as a separate infantry brigade and two support groups.

It became affiliated for training with the First Cavalry Division in 1991, and in 1994, was selected as 1 of 15 Enhanced Brigades (E-BDEs)

In 1997, the unit was selected as Integrated Division E-BDE.

The 45th spent most of 2000 and 2001 preparing for its rotation through the JRTC in June 2002. During its rotation, the 45th performed its mission better then most active duty infantry brigades and outperformed any Army National Guard infantry brigade that has ever gone through a JRTC rotation at Fort Polk, La.

For this reason, the Arkansas Army National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade requested the 45th's assistance as it prepares for its training at the JRTC, the Army's premier light infantry collective training facility.

The 45th Infantry Brigade is a sister brigade to the 39th, both of whom are part of the Army's 7th Infantry Division headquartered at Fort Carson, Col., and the 45th's familiarity with the JRTC experience made it natural that the two units could work closely together.

The role for the 45th in the 2003 training exercise was the portrayal of the opposing force, or OPFOR, and the role of civilians on the battlefield.

In this training exercise, the brigade fielded two infantry battalions, a headquarters company, as well as, about 100 civilians on the battlefield. All of the 45th's elements worked together to create a realistic foreign deployment atmosphere in the fictitious island nation of Cortina.

The 45th provided command and control to Oklahoma's 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry and Minnesota's 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry that provided the opposing force. Like the fulltime opposing force staff at JRTC, the two battalions operated in 4 and 5-man teams instead of the usual squad and platoon size elements. The goal of the opposing force was to create difficult and harassing night attacks to disrupt the 39th brigade.

Since Fall 2003, several hundred members of the 45th have been in Afghanistan serving under Task Force Phoenix. Comprised of National Guard units from more than 20 states, along with the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, and contingents from seven different countries, the Task Force Phoenix mission is to train the Afghan National Army, which will contribute to stability of the country and help prevent the re-emergence of terrorism.

In April 2004 during a three-day span, approximately 350 soldiers from the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade, 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment headquartered in Sand Springs, Okla. made the long journey from their homes in the United States to the frontlines of the war on terrorism as part of Coalition Joint Task Force Phoenix.



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