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57th Field Artillery Brigade
"Iron Brigade"

The 57th Brigade is based out of Milwaukee, WI. It's subordinate organizations include the 1-126th and 1-121st Field Artillery battalions. Not to be confused with the famous "Iron Brigade" of the Civil War, the 57th Field Artillery Brigade is also known as the "Iron Brigade," a nickname traditionally given to crack artillery units in the Civil War. It was during World War I that the 57th Field Artillery Brigade earned its nickname as it spent many hours at the front and fired more artillery rounds than any brigade in the American Army.

The 32nd Division was organized under War Department orders of July 18th, 1917, from National Guard troops from Wisconsin and Michigan. Wisconsin furnished approximately 15,000 and Michigan 8,000 troops of all arms. Later 4,000 National Army troops from Wisconsin and Michigan were transferred to the Division shortly before it left for France. Brigadier General Wm. G. Haan, while acting as Division Commander, was also in command of the 57th Field Artillery Brigade. The 119th Field Artillery, composed largely of Michigan artillery and cavalry troops, was commanded by Major Chester B. McCormick, later promoted to the rank of Colonel. The 120th Field Artillery was made up almost entirely from troops of the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, and the commanding officer of the latter organization. Colonel Carl Penner, continued in command. The 1st Wisconsin Field Artillery regiment became the 121st Field Artillery, the heavy artillery regiment of the 57th Field Artillery Brigade. The Commanding Officer of the Wisconsin Artillery, Colonel Philip C. Westfahl, became Commander of the new regiment.

In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Mojave Anti-Aircraft Range, a military reservation of approximately 1000 square miles in the area of the present Fort Irwin. In 1942, the Mojave Anti-Aircraft Range was renamed Camp Irwin, in honor of MG George LeRoy Irwin, commander of the 57th Field Artillery Brigade during World War I. Two years later, Camp Irwin was deactivated and placed on surplus status.

The LITTLEJOHN was a free flight artillery rocket designed to deliver the explosive power of heavy artillery. It could carry either nuclear or conventional warheads. Designed primarily for use in airborne assault operations, the highly mobile LITTLEJOHN rocket system complemented the heavier, self-propelled HONEST JOHN systems. The LITTLEJOHN reached the field in November 1961 and remained in the Army inventory until August 1969. The Phase II LITTLEJOHN weapon system was initially deployed with the 1st Missile Battalion, 57th Field Artillery to Okinawa.

On December 30, 1967, the 32nd Infantry Division was deactivated and National Guard units realigned. Along with the 32nd Infantry Division, the 32nd Infantry Division Artillery was redesignated as the 257th Field Artillery Group. On September 30, 1978, the 257th Field Artillery Group was redesignated as the 57th Field Artillery Brigade; a designation which previously existed until the 32nd Division was triangularized in 1942 and the 32nd Division Artillery created.

About 380 Wisconsin Army National Guard personnel from the 57th Field Artillery Brigade of Milwaukee, Wis., and the 1st Battalion/126th Field Artillery of Kenosha, Wis., conducted field artillery training with the Paladin self-propelled howitzers at Fort McCoy from March 30 through April 6, 2001. The group was back in August for the second week of its split annual training (AT). The firing areas allow the units to use the Paladins throughout the post, instead of just firing from one area and becoming too familiar with that area," Durbin said. "The conventional firing points in a firing area also allow the units to fire the weapons in a degraded mode if the onboard computerized system malfunctions. This ensures the units can maximize their training time at Fort McCoy. The shortened training time proved to be popular with civilian employers because it's easier to deal with employees being gone for a week at a time rather than two weeks.



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