Military


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

The mission of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, "Iron Brigade," is to maintain balanced readiness and, on order, deploy to a contingency area of operations, complete Reception, Staging, Onward-movement and Integration, conduct combat operations and win. It would then, on order, redeploy.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was first constituted on 19 November 1917 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 8th Infantry Brigade, an element of the 4th Division. It was organized in December 1917 at Camp Greene, North Carolina. During the First World War, the unit participated in 5 campaigns: Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Champagne 1918, and Lorraine 1918.

During the interwar period, the unit was reorganized and redesignated in March 1921 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Infantry Brigade. It was redesignated on 23 March 1925 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Brigade and on 23 August 1936 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Infantry Brigade. It was disbanded on 1 July 1940 at Fort McPherson, Georgia.

The unit was reconstituted on 21 August 1963 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. It was activated on 1 October 1963 at Fort Lewis, Washington. With the 4th Infantry Division, the 3rd Brigade participated in 9 campaigns in Vietnam: Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, and Winter-Spring 1970. After returning from Vietnam it was inactivated on 10 April 1970 at Fort Lewis, Washington.

The unit was reactivated on 15 December 1970 at Fort Carson, Colorado. Although stationed at Fort Carson, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (not to be confused with the modular brigade combat team) was a mechanized infantry brigade of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas. It was one of 3 brigades of the 4th Infantry Division. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team was the only brigade located on Fort Carson, Colorado. The other 2 brigades were collocated at Fort Hood, Texas with the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters. As a result of the geographical location of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team had 2 General officer Commanders, one at Fort Hood and the other at Fort Carson.

After its activation at Fort Carson, the Brigade actively deployed soldiers on a variety of missions around the world. They worked extensively with the 116th Cavalry Brigade, a National Guard unit stationed in Boise, Idaho. The Brigade routinely sent soldiers to serve as observer/controllers during their annual training. They trained soldiers on techniques of fire fighting and deployed them to Washington during Summer 1997 to assist in the fighting of forest fires. The Brigade had a highly successful National Training Center rotation in July 1997. Between September and December 1997, the 3rd Brigade deployed for a 90 day training exercise to Kuwait, where it sent Task Force 1-12th Infantry, with all supporting elements, to conduct multi-national coalition training. In 1998, the Brigade was in the process of gearing up for training at Pinon Canyon, followed by another tour to the National Training Center in Fall 1998. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team played a large role in the 4th Infantry Division's Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE), where it was exposed to the Army's most advanced computerized systems that allowed it to fight a digitized 3-dimensional battle.

By 1999, the Brigade existed at Fort Carson as self contained, combat ready force of 3,800 soldiers, detached from the rest of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. It was assigned 6 battalions and 5 separate companies. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team consisted of 2 mechanized infantry battalions (1-8th and 1-12th Infantry), a tank battalion (1-68th Armor), a combat engineer battalion (4th Engineer Battalion), a field artillery battalion (3-29th Field Artillery), and a forward support battalion (64th Forward Support Battalion. In addition, the brigade was supported by a reconnaissance troop (B/9th Cavalry), an air defense battery (C/1-44th Air Defense Artillery), a military intelligence company (C/104th Military Intelligence Battalion), and a signal company (534th Signal Company), the Brigade Headquarters Company, and Chemical, Military police, and Finance platoons. C/1-44th Air Defense Artillery, C/104th Military Intelligence Battalion, and 534th Signal Company were technically assigned to parent battalions based at Fort Hood, Texas with the rest of the 4th Infantry Division.

As of mid-2001, recent operations included Cooperative Nugget, a NATO sponsored Partnership for Peace Exercise, 2 rotations to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana; the 4th Infantry Division Warfighter Exercise (WFX), and 2 very successful rotations to the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. The Brigade was also scheduled to, in the coming months, prepare for and assume Division Ready Brigade (DRB) status in conjunction with the 4th Infantry Division support to the Division Capstone Exercise (DCX) II at Fort Hood, Texas and to prepare a task force for deployment to Southwest Asia.

In March 2003, while on deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 4,000 troops in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, had 9 forward operating bases (FOBs) spread across 1,500 square miles of Iraq north of Baghdad, from Samarra to Taji. The headquarters was at Logistics Support Area Anaconda, a logistics support area about 12 miles from FOB Eagle.

Headquarters, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was reorganized and redesignated on 16 December 2004 as Headquarters, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division thereafter had a separate lineage.

As of 1 January 2006 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the larger Task Force Band of Brothers, which was led by 101st Airborne Division commanding general, Major General Thomas Turner. The Brigade's mission included training the Iraqi Security Forces, assisting in the rebuilding of the Diyala Province infrastructure, as well as continuing to root out the anti-Iraqi forces that inhabit the region.




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