Military


75th Division (Mission Command Training)
75th Division (Training Support)
75th Division (Exercise)

The mission of the 75th Division (Mission Command Training) is to conduct Mission Command and Staff Training for Army component forces and foreign militaries.

The history of the 75th Division extends back to the Second World War. The 75th Division was first constituted on 24 December 1942 in the Army of the United States as Headquarters, 75th Infantry Division. On 15 April 1943, the unit activated as the 75th Infantry Division at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri with an authorized strength of 15,514. In April 1944, the 4th Army Commander recognized the Division with a better than satisfactory rating for their performance in the Louisiana Field Maneuvers. In November 1944 the 75th Infantry Division deployed by sea to England.

In December 1944, the Division moved from England to France and found itself a part of the Ardennes Campaign or the "Battle of the Bulge" as it is more commonly known. The 75th Infantry Division's baptism by fire began on Christmas Eve, 1944. In the forested area known as the Ardennes, the Division was committed to some of the toughest fighting of the war in Western Europe. By the end of January 1945, the Division was busily engaged in driving the retreating German forces from Alsace-Lorraine. As a result of its heroic actions in the Battle of the Bulge during December 1944, the Division became known as the "Bulge Busters."

Also in January 1945, units of the 75th Infantry Division attached to 3rd Armor Division made contact with the enemy near Ocquier, Belgium. On 15 January 1945, the Division had its bloodiest day of combat, and during the month there were 465 killed and 1,707 wounded in action. In February 1945, the 75th Infantry Division was assigned to the Seventh Army and boarded trains for Alsace, France. The Division secured the North and East flank of the city, and was part of the effort to finally push the Germans out of France. Later in February 1945, the 75th Infantry Division deployed to Holland as part of the VIII Corps of the Second British Army. The Division was in 3 countries and assigned to 4 Army Groups in a short 10 week period. The battle of the Ruhr would last from 31 March to 15 April 1945.

After Victory in Europe (VE) Day on 8 May 1945, the 75th Infantry Division assumed security and military government duties in Westphalia, Germany. For its participation in World War II, unit members received 4 Distinguished Service Crosses, 193 Silver Stars, 7 Legion of Merits, 30 Soldier's Medals, and 1,321 Bronze Star Medals. The unit was awarded campaign streamers for participation in 3 campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. The Division suffered numerous casualties, including 817 soldiers killed in action, 3,314 wounded in action, and 111 who died from their wounds. On 14 November 1945, the 75th Infantry Division was inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia.

The 75th Infantry Division was allotted on 21 February 1952 to the Organized Reserve Corps and activated on 1 March 1952 at Houston, Texas. The organized Reserve Corps was redesignated on 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve, and the 75th Infantry Division remained a part of this organization. The 75th Infantry Division was inactivated 15 February 1957 at Houston, Texas. Its headquarters elements were folded into the 75th Maneuver Area Command, which had a pre-mobilization training mission.

In late 1993, The 75th Maneuver Area Command was inactivated. The 75th Infantry Division was redesignated on 1 October 1993 as Headquarters, 75th Division (Exercise), and activated at Houston, Texas to take its place. The mission of the 75th Division (Exercise) and its 5 subordinate brigades remained training. While the Division continued to conduct computer simulations, it also added LANES training to its repertoire of exercise capabilities. To better serve its client units, the 75th Division (Exercise) had brigades located in Houston Texas; Dallas Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Kansas City, Missouri. The Division provided simulations exercises, and command and staff training for all Reserve Component battalion and higher headquarters in its area of operation. The Division also assumed the responsibility for LANES training exercises for Combat Service Support and selected Combat and Combat Support units. In 1995 the Division won its second Army Communities of Excellence award.

The Training Support XXI program continued to provide units suitably located to train and evaluate Reserve Component units on a prioritized basis. It consolidated all Active Component and Reserve Component soldiers into combat arms and CS/CSS battalions organized into a training support brigade under the command of a continental US army. The training support battalions would fall under the administrative control of training support divisions, initially called exercise divisions.

Basically the reorganization took the 2 separate training support structures (Active Component and Reserve Component) and integrated them into one. The Active Component structure was continental US armies with training support brigades and their training support battalions, while the Reserve Component structure was the exercise divisions with field exercise brigades and their field exercise battalions. Training Support XXI organized the continental US armies' training support brigades under the administrative control of the training support divisions. Except for unit name changes, the reorganization was to be transparent for the user unit.

Effective 16 October 1999, the existing training support brigades/field exercise brigades and trainings support battalions/field exercise battalions would merge into tri-component (Active Component, ARNG, USAR) organizations called training support brigades that would change their unit designations in accordance with USAR lineage. Regardless, the training support brigades would continue to support their same priority units. In the continental US, the training support battalions would still be the single-source provider for METL development, yearly training program assistance, inactive duty training/annual training lane training support, post-mobilization training program/post-mobilization training and support requirement assistance, mobilization assistance, and branch/functional area assistance.

On 17 October 1999, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters, 75th Division (Training Support). This change integrated Active Component and Reserve Component soldiers into one unit as part of the Training Support XXI program. The 75th Division (Training Support) became an integrated organization with an authorized strength of: 799 Active Component soldiers, 2,265 Reserve Component soldiers, 35 Army National Guard soldiers, and 80 civilians. Operational command and control headquarters of the division was the Fifth United States Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The mission of the Division changed to align with the Training Support XXI plan. This established a more formal relationship between the division and its client units.

The mission of the 75th Division (Training Support) was to plan, prepare, synchronize, support, and execute LANES training and Battle Command Staff Training for designated units in the Fifth United States Army area to enhance their readiness. By the early 2000s, the Division structure included the Headquarters, 75th Division; 1st Brigade located in Houston, Texas; 2d Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; 3rd Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas; and 4th Brigade at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

As an Active/Reserve component training support division headquartered in Houston, Texas, the 75th Division provided vital support during the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Mobilized for the first time since World War II in January of 2003, soldiers from the 75th Division mobilized 1,617 Reserve Component Soldiers during the initial 2003 mobilization. The 75th Division subsequently executed missions in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, the 75th Division sent soldiers to 6 Power Projection Platforms and trained nearly 40,000 soldiers from 998 National Guard and Reserve units. The Soldiers mobilized and trained units at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, Fort Sill, Fort Polk, Fort Riley, and Fort Leonard Wood.

More than 30 observer/controllers from the 75th Division (Training Support) spent 6 months in late 2003 near Kabul, Afghanistan training members of the Afghan National Army. They worked with Coalition Joint Task Force 180, headed by the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). Upon arrival at Camp Phoenix, the soldiers separated into sections focusing on finance, light infantry, and installation operations. The 75th Division soldiers worked closely with Afghan soldiers to teach advance infantry tactics, organizational skills and leadership, for instance. They also served as examples of how professional Soldiers look and act.

During the deployment, the unit also assisted other coalition forces with helping the Afghan Army develop officer and non-commissioned officer corps. One of the points they stressed was that the Afghan officers should train their own soldiers, with the US and other coalition members offering training and advisement to the officers. The 75th Division was to continue to have a presence in Afghanistan when soldiers from its 2nd Brigade accompanied Oklahoma Army National Guard soldiers when they deploy, along with members of the Army National Guard from New England, to continue the mission of training the Afghan Army.

During 2004, the 75th Division supported the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I) with 50 soldiers that made up 5 separate Coalition Military Assistance Training Teams. Two Purple Hearts were awarded to 1st Brigade, 75th Division officers during this mission with the Iraqi Army. In 2004, the Division trained 27,532 Soldiers from 571 reserve-component units. The 75th Division managed and conducted post-mobilization training at Fort Hood for the 39th Brigade Combat Team (Arkansas Army National Guard), 256th Brigade Combat Team (Louisiana Army National Guard) , and 56th Brigade Combat Team (Texas Army National Guard). All 3 brigade combat teams subsequently deployed to Iraq in support of various multi-national force missions.

In 2005, over 150 Soldiers, primarily from the 2nd Brigade, 75th Division deployed to Iraq to undertake the specialized task of training the Iraqi Special Police. Both groups, with the assistance of other coalition forces, helped the Afghan and Iraqi forces develop their own officer and non-commissioned officer corps.

The Army's transformation in the 2000s necessitated restructuring the roles and missions of First US Army and Fifth US Army to support reserve component modularity and the Army Force Generation process known as Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN). First US Army's training mission expanded on 16 January 2006 to include training, readiness oversight and mobilization for US Army Reserve and National Guard units throughout the continental United States and two US territories. The transition of the expanded geographic mission began in mid-December 2005 with the transfer of authority between First US Army and Fifth US Army for the Western United States. Previously, First Army trained, mobilized and deployed US Army Reserve and National Guard units in the eastern United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. By 2006, the 75th Division was assigned directly to US Army Reserve Command as a training command.

In 2006, the 75th Division stood up a full Division Forward headquarters at Fort Hood to support the post-mobilization training of the Texas-based 36th Combat Aviation Brigade. During this same timeframe, the 75th Division trained the multi-service Iraqi Assistance Group teams and units deploying in support of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission in the Balkans.

In November 2007, the 75th Division was reorganized as a battle command training division. The Division became headquarters of a coast-to-coast operation involved in planning, supporting, and coordinating the missions of its nationwide battle command training brigades. To support this, the former 1st Brigade, 91st Division (Training Support) at Camp Parks, California was reflagged the 5th Brigade, 75th Division in October 2006, with Battle Simulation Training units from the 78th, 85th, and 87th divisions joining the 75th Division in 2007. The title of the Division was subsequently changed to mission command training, though the subordinate brigades remained tasked with battle command training.

In December 2008, members of the 75th Division Headquarters along with 1st Brigade, 75th Division Headquarters and the 1st and 2nd Battle Command Training Groups of that Brigade relocated into a newly constructed 173,000 square foot Armed Forces Reserve Center located at Ellington Field in south Houston, Texas. Phase II construction saw the completion of a 40,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Battle Projection Center at Ellington Field.

Also in 2008, the MNSTC-I had tasked the Division to augment their forces with 130 Soldiers. On 16 October 2009, the first of 6 detachments departed from Fort Benning, Georgia to serve within the Iraqi theatre of operations. In October 2010, those deployed began their return with no injuries or casualties. During 2010, over 170 battalion and brigade size elements were exercised at military installations across the United States by elements of the Division.




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