4th Cavalry Brigade (Training Support)
The 4th Cavalry Brigade, the "Saber Brigade" conducts numerous and diverse missions, including: organizing and training on individual training tasks, lanes training, collective unit lanes training, observer/trainer mentor (embedded trainer), and unit mobilization assistor duties. Key individual training tasks include training and administering the warrior training tasks and theater specific individual readiness training to insure individual soldier proficiency. Lanes training runs a wide spectrum from conducting platoon live fire defense to mounted land navigation lane training. Collective unit lanes training includes training a unit (normally in the post-mobilization and pre-deployment phase) on full spectrum combat operations (similar to a training center rotation). Observer/trainer mentors are embedded with units during the post-mobilization process and are full time mentors for the training unit and serve as a valuable individual and collective training resource. Finally, the unit mobilization assistor deploys to the unit home station and works with the unit throughout the mobilization process. Upon re-deployment, they also assist in the de-mobilization phase. Finally, the Brigade command staff also serve as observer/controller trainers in the execution of major unit and staff training exercises.
The 4th Cavalry Brigade was first constituted on 25 August 1942 in the Army of the United States as Headquarters, 4th Tank Destroyer Group and activated on 1 September 1942 at Camp Hood, Texas. Deployed to the European Theater of Operations during World War II, 4th Tank Destroyer Group participated in 5 campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. After the end of the war, the unit was inactivated on 26 October 1945 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. It was disbanded entirely on 5 August 1952.
The unit was reconstituted on 24 October 1997 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 4th Cavalry Brigade, and activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The 4th Cavalry Brigade assumed a role as a US Army Reserve training support brigade. The Brigade's mission was to provide pre-mobilization leader and collective training assistance and support. The Brigade's main focus was providing training support, assistance, and evaluation to client units. The Brigade also provided assistance to civilian authorities during peacetime crises and/or natural disasters.
In March 1998, the Air Defense Artillery Battery, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard had its first ever lanes training, which the Air Defense Artillery Resident Training Detachment Team set up and acted as the observer/controllers with help from the 4th Cavalry Brigade (Training Support), Fort Knox, Kentucky. The Stinger teams successfully performed collective tasks such as: Providing Air Defense for a Static Asset (44-3-4007) and Providing Air Defense for a Convoy (44-5-4015). This led to the first integrated annual training with the Regiment in May 1998 at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The Stingers provided air defense for the regimental support area, and one Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle crew maneuvered with the 3rd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
As part of the Training Support XXI program and the restructuring of continental US training elements in the First and Fifth US Armies, the 4th Cavalry Brigade was inactivated on 16 October 1999 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, South Carolina. Its personnel were reflagged as the 4th Brigade, 85th Division (Training Support).
Further changes to the structure of continental US training elements as part of the reorganization and redesignation of Fifth US Army as US Army, North (ARNORTH), led to the reactivation of the 4th Cavalry Brigade on 1 December 2006 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. There the unit assumed a role as a multi-component training brigade. The 4th Cavalry Brigade's mission was to train soldiers and units for sustained combat operations. Although the Brigade Headquarters and most of its subordinate battalions were located at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the Brigade trained soldiers throughout the continental United States. At that time it was comprised of 6 subordinate Battalions, which encompassed a wide variety of military specialties, from armor, to field artillery, to engineers, to combat service support, as well as the Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. Falling under Division East, First US Army, 4th Cavalry Brigade was one of First US Army's most valuable training resources. Within the First US Army area of responsibility, the Brigade operated out of numerous mobilization stations, including Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Dix, New Jersey; and Fort Benning, Georgia.
By January 2012, the 4th Cavalry Brigade was made up of Soldiers from the Active Component, the United States Army Reserve, the Army National Guard, and from the Operation Warrior Trainer Program (from re-deploying Army National Guard and Army Reserve Units). The Brigade's 4 subordinate training support battalions included units organized as a cavalry squadron, a artillery battalion, and 2 combat service support battalions. Almost all military occupation specialties were represented in the Brigade.
Also as of January 2012, the Brigade was training Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) deploying to Afghanistan. PRTs were like no other unit in the Department of Defense, being led by an active duty Navy or Air Force Officer with an active Army Sergeant Major as the Senior Enlisted Advisor. The PRT's staff were made up of Navy or Air Force Officers and NCOs and a US Army Reserve Civil Affairs Detachment. Each PRT also had a National Guard Security Force Platoon attached to it to provide the capability to move around their Province with organic security. Given this diverse make up of the unit and the uiqueness of the PRT mission, it was a distinct challenge to ensure the Brigade's trainer/mentors were prepared to coach, teach and mentor these outfits.
A trainer/mentor could anticipate being deployed for up to 60 days in Afghanistan during his or her assignment to the 4th Cavalry Brigade, as well as deploying, mainly to Camp Atterbury, Indiana (about 2 hours north of Fort Knox, Kentucky) for 2 PRT densities a year. Each PRT would go through a 72-day training model at Camp Atterbury under the command of First US Army, and then deploy to Afghanistan. Through the Brigade's certification and sustainment training requirements, trainer/mentors could plan on being TDY for 120-180 days each calendar year, which could include tours as Guest Trainers at the National Training Center or Joint Readiness Center, or training with the State Department at the Foreign Service Institute, or deployments to Afghanistan to the Counter Insurgency Academy, or embedded with one of the deploying PRTs.
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