82nd Airborne Division History
The 82nd Division was activated at Camp Gordon, Georgia, on 25 August 1917. It was one of the National Army divisions of conscript soldiers. As the Division filled, it was discovered there were soldiers from every state. Through a popular contest, the nickname "All American" was chosen to reflect the unique composition of the 82nd Division.
On 25 April 1918, the Division sailed for Europe. The 325th Infantry Regiment was chosen to parade before the King of England on 11 May 1918 to show America's commitment to the Allies. Early in June 1918 the 82nd sent small groups of officers and noncommissioned officers to the British held Somme sector of the front to gain experience in small unit operations. During one such action, Captain Jewett Wiliams of the 326th Infantry Regiment became the first 82nd Division soldier to give his life in combat.
On 16 June 1918, the 82nd Division moved by train from its location in Somme to Toul, France. Since the Division had moved into a French sector, the troops were issued French Chauchat automatic rifles and Hotchkiss 8mm machineguns, thus making resupply easier.
The Division's assignment was to relieve the 26th Division in the Lagney Sector, northeast of Toul. That section of the western front was known as the Woevre Front. The mission was conducted on 25 June 1918. Although the area was considered a defensive sector, the 82nd Division actively patrolled and conducted raids. The first large scale raid by the Division occurred on 4 August 1918 when companies K and M of the 326th Infantry Regiment, supported by the 320th Machine Gun Battalion, attacked German positions at Flirey and penetrated over 600 meters. The raid was small compared to the operations the Division would soon conduct, but it provided valuable experience. On 18 July 1918, the sector was reduced and redesignated Lucey at which time command was given to the 82nd Division. On 10 August 1918, the 82nd Division was relieved by the 89th Division, and moved to the area west of Toul.
The 82nd Division was ordered to relieve the 2nd Division in the Marbache Sector on 15 August 1918. The Division trained in this area until 11 September 1918. On 12 September 1918, the Division was committed to the St. Mihiel Offensive. After completing its mission the 82nd was once again stationed in the Marbache Sector from 17-20 September 1918. On 20 September 1918, the 82nd Division was relieved at the front and moved to Marbache to prepare for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, ending its participation in the Lorraine Campaign.
The Allies had planned 2 large offensive operations for the fall of 1918 that would reduce German pockets of resistance in France. One of these was the St. Mihiel salient, which penetrated nearly 25 kilometers into Allied lines, and severed the Verdun-Toul railroad. The French had been trying to dislodge the Germans from the salient since 1914, but had been unsuccessful. It was hoped that the arrival of the American divisions would turn the tide.
To reduce the St. Mihiel salient, the American First Army was formed with the I, IV, and V Corps, for a combined total of 665,000 troops. The 82nd Division was assigned to the I Corps, and was placed on the far right flank on the south side of the salient. Its mission was to make contact and keep pressure on the enemy. On 12 September 1918 the First Army began its attack. The main thrust of the 82nd was on the west bank of the Moselle River heading north to Norroy. Throughout 14 September 1918, the German artillery shelled the area with high explosives and mustard gas, but the 82nd Division held. On 15 September 1918, the Division continued the attack, entering Vandieres and securing Hill 128 to the north. The 82nd Division was relieved on 21 September 1918. Heavy casualties had been caused by enemy artillery. Overall casualties for the Division numbered more than 800 for the St. Mihiel offensive. Colonel Emory Pike, who died of wounds received during the operation, earned the Medal of Honor for his actions, making him the first member of the 82nd Division to be decorated with the nation's highest military award.
The second large-scale offensive planned by the Allies for the fall of 1918 was aimed at reducing German positions in the Meuse River Valley and the Argonne Forest. The key objective was the Carigan-Sedan-Mezieres railroad, which was a vital enemy supply line. On 6 October 1918, the 82nd Division was ordered to clear the east edge of the Argonne to relive pressure on the 1st Division. The following day, the 164th Brigade seized its first 2 objectives, Hill 180 and Hill 223. On 10 October 1918, the 163rd Brigade joined the fight and by evening the Division held Cornay, high ground to the north, a portion of the Decauville Railroad, and had cleared the eastern half of the Argonne Forest.
The second phase of the 82nd's operation called for the Division to fight astride the Aire River. Moving north, the 82nd Division captured St. Juvin on 14 October 1918 and defended it against a heavy counter-attack the following day. For the next few days the 82nd was involved in fighting in the Agron River Valley and the Ravin aux Pierres. By 21 October 1918 the Division had both in its possession. For the next several days the Division patrolled and manned outposts. During its service in the Meuse-Argonne, the 82nd had suffered over 7,000 casualties and had another Medal of Honor recipient, Corporal Alvin York of G Company, 328th Infantry Regiment. The 82nd Division was relieved in the Argonne on 1 November 1918, thus ending its combat participation in the Great War.
The 82nd Division was demobilized on 27 May 1919, but was reconstituted on 24 June 1921. The Division Headquarters was organized at Columbia, South Carolina, in January 1922. The 82nd formed part of the new Organized Reserves. Elements of the Division were located in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. On 30 January 1942, the 82nd Division was renamed the 82nd Infantry Division.
Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 brought the United States to war again. The 82nd Infantry Division was called to active duty on 25 March 1942 with Major General Omar Bradley as commander and Brigadier General Matthew Ridgway as assistant commander. At Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, the Division was organized as a triangular division, built around 3 infantry regiments. Alvin York was invited to visit the Division to build esprit-de-corps. A Division song was even written for the occasion. In June 1942, Ridgway succeeded Bradley in command of the 82nd Infantry Division.
Due to its high level of training, the 82nd Infantry Division was designated the US Army's first airborne division. The 82nd was reorganized and redesignated the 82nd Airborne Division on 15 August 1942. The original organization called for one parachute infantry regiment and 2 glider infantry regiments. On 1 October 1942 the 82nd moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where training continued and final organizational changes were made. The final structure contained the 504th and 505th Parachute Infantry Regiments, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 319th and 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalions, 376th and 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalions, 80th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, and various support units.
In April 1943, the 82nd departed Fort Bragg and eventually arrived at Casablanca, Morocco, on 10 May 1943. Shortly, the 82nd Airborne Division moved to Oujda where intense training was conducted for the invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky. The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel James Gavin, was chosen to spearhead the assault. The 505th Parachute Infantry was reinforced with the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. On 9 July 1943, Gavin's 505th Combat Team conducted the first American regimental combat parachute assault in the vicinity of Gela, Sicily.
The paratroopers were widely scattered, but were able to gather into small groups to harass the enemy. Colonel Gavin formed one group on Biazza Ridge where the Herman Goering Division was stopped before reaching the newly established American beachhead at Gela. On the evening of 11 July 1943, the remainder of the 504th Parachute Infantry parachuted into Sicily. Passing over the American fleet, the transports were mistaken for enemy bombers and 23 were shot down. Eighty-one troopers were killed, including the assistant division commander, Brigadier General Charles Keerans. The 82nd Airborne Division continued its fighting in Sicily by leading Patton's westward drive to Trapani and Castellmare. In 5 days, the Division moved 150 miles and took 23,000 prisoners.
On 9 September 1943, General Clark's Fifth Army launched Operation Avalanche with an amphibious landing at Salerno, Italy. Several operations had been planned for the 82nd Airborne, including a drop on Rome, but were cancelled. Within 4 days the Allied beachhead was in trouble. General Clark sent an urgent request to General Ridgway who was in Sicily with the 82nd Airborne. On 13 September 1943, Colonel Reuben Tucker led his 504th combat team (minus 3rd battalion) on a parachute assault at Paestum, south of Salerno. On 14 September 1943, the 505th Parachute Infantry jumped. The paratroopers were rushed to the front line where they engaged the enemy in the rugged hills and drove them back. On 15 September 1943, the 25th Infantry and 3/504th Parachute Infantry conducted an amphibious landing near Salerno. Throughout September and October the 82nd conducted operations in the Salerno/Naples area. The 82nd Airbrone was the first unit to enter Naples. The Division advanced north to the Volturno River, cleared the area of the enemy, and became the first unit to set sail for England, via Ireland, to prepare for the invasion of Normandy.
The 504th Parachute Infantry, meanwhile, continued fighting in the Venafro sector of Italy until being relieved on 27 December 1943. By 22 January 1944, the 504th Combat Team was back in action as part of Fifth Army's amphibious assault at Anzio during Operation Shingle. The 504th Parachute Infantry took up positions on the right flank of the beachhead along the Mussolini Canal. 3/504th Parachute Infantry was committed to fighting in the northern sector where it earned a Presidential Unit Citation for actions in the town of Aprilia. While operating along the Mussolini Canal, a German officer noted in his diary, "American parachutists -- devils in baggy pants --- are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere." The 504th Parachute Infantry encountered elements of the Herman Goering Division, the 16th SS Panzer Granadier Division, and the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division. The 504th Parachute Infantry was finally withdrawn from Anzio on 25 March 1944 and set sail for England to join the Division once again.
While the 82nd Airborne was in England, a decision was made to add a parachute regiment to the airborne divisions for the upcoming invasion of Normandy. With the 504th still in Italy, 2 regiments were needed. The 2nd Airborne Brigade, containing the 507th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments, was sent from Fort Bragg to join the Division. Early in the morning of 6 June 1944, the 505th Parachute Infantry, 507th Parachute Infantry, and 508th Parachute Infantry, along with artillery and engineers, parachuted into Normandy to being Operation Neptune, the assault phase of Overlord. The mission of the Division was to seize the town of St. Mere Eglise and crossings over the Merderet River. By dawn, the 505th Parachute Infantry had secured St. Mere Eglise and a bridge over the Merderet at La Fiere. Gliders carrying the 325th Glider Infantry and antitank guns began to arrive and join the fighting. Some of the heaviest fighting occurred on 9 June 1943 as the Division seized the causeway at La Fiere. During the action, PFC Charles DeGlopper of C Company, 325th Glider Infantry, earned the Medal of Honor. The 82nd Airborne continued fighting in Normandy for 33 days, leading the Allied advance west across the base of the Cotentin Peninsula. The Division earned the Presidential Unit Citation, 2 French Croix de Guerre, and the French Fourragere of the Croix de Guerre. The 82nd Airborne was relieved in Normany on 8 July and returned to England to prepare for future airborne operations.
On the afternoon of 17 September 1944, the 82nd conducted its fourth parachute assault, this time into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. The Division's objectives were to seize bridges over the Maas and Waal Rivers, and hold the high ground between Nijmegen and Groesbeek. The 504th Parachute Infantry was returned to the 82nd and the 507th Parachute Infantry departed. The 508th Parachute Infantry remained with the 82nd Airborne. The majority of the drops were on target and assembly was rapid. The bridge over the Maas River at Grave was captured on 17 September 1944. On 20 September 1944, the 505th Parachute Infantry launched an attack through Nijmegen to capture the south end of the bridge over the Waal River. The 504th Parachute Infantry, with C Company, 307th Engineers, launched a simultaneous attack across the river to capture the north end of the bridge. The first wave suffered 50 percent casualties, but captured its objective. On 21 September 1944, Private John Towle of C Company, 504th Parachute Infantry, single handedly broke up an enemy counter attack consisting of 100 men and 2 tanks. For his actions, Towle received the Medal of Honor. After 56 days of combat in Holland, the 82nd was relieved on 11 November 1944 and sent to rest camps near Rheims, France.
On 16 December 1944, lead elements of a German offensive broke through the American line in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium. The only reserve forces available were the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The 82nd was alerted on 17 December 1944 and by the next evening was in Webermont, Belgium, on the northern shoulder of the bulge created by the enemy attack. On the morning of 19 December 1944, the 82nd Airborne took up defensive positions along the Salm River. There, the 82nd stopped Von Runstedt's armored offensive. In the fierce fighting of the Battle of the Bulge, 1st Sergeant Leonard Funk of C Company, 508th Parachute Infantry, earned the Medal of Honor.
The 82nd was on the offensive by January 1945. The Division moved through Belgium and the Hurtgen Forest, penetrated the Seigfried Line, and arrived at the Roer River by February 1945. On 30 April 1945, the 82nd Airborne conducted its last combat operation of World War II with an assault crossing of the Elbe River near Bleckede, Germany. On 2 May 1945, Major General Gavin accepted the surrender of 150,000 troops of the German 21st Army. On the same day, troopers of the Division liberated survivors of the Woebbelin Concentration Camp. After 6 campaigns spanning 442 days in combat, the war was over for the 82nd.
From August to December 1945, the 82nd conducted occupation duty in Berlin, Germany. There, while being reviewed by General George Patton, the 82nd Airborne Division received its title "America's Guard of Honor." In January 1946, the 82nd returned to the United State aboard the Queen Mary and led the victory parade in New York City on 12 January 1946.
On 19 January 1946, the 82nd Airborne returned to Fort Bragg and began training for the uncertain Cold War years. The 82nd Airborne became a strategic deployment force as it trained for a variety of conditions and tested new airplanes with greater capacity and range. In 1948, the 82nd Airborne was allotted to the Regular Army, ensuring its active status.
In 1957, the 82nd Airborne underwent reorganization for the Pentomic structure. The Division consisted of 5 Airborne Battle Groups that were capable of independent operations on a nuclear battlefield. Fortunately, that concept did not have to be tested in a real war. In 1964, the 82nd Airborne was again reorganized under the ROAD concept, which called for 3 brigades of infantry, each with 3 battalions, and a brigade of artillery with 3 battalions, plus the usual division support elements. Life in the 82nd during the 1950s and 1960s consisted of intensive training exercises in all environments and locations to include Alaska, Panama, the Far East and the continental United States.
When President Kennedy came to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to inspect the Division for a check on its state of readiness and to get a briefing on the air-mobility tests, the Commander divided the Division into 5 groups, each group in a different uniform to show how versatile the division was to take on assignments in any part of the globe. One group was in standard fatigues, ready to fight in Europe. A second group was in jungle camouflage fatigues, ready to deploy to Vietnam. A third group was in desert camouflage fatigues, ready to go to a desert operation. A fourth group was in winter uniforms, similar to those used during the Korean War. The fifth group was dressed in white ski suits and carried skis, showing that we were ready to fight in the Arctic. It was a hot day and those dressed in jungle or desert suits were quite comfortable. However, the groups dressed in winter clothing were very uncomfortable.
In 1965 the 82nd Airborne was able to test the ROAD concept in combat. On 29 April 1965 the 3rd Brigade (1st and 2nd Battalions, 505th Parachute Infantry and 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry) was alerted for deployment to the Dominican Republic in Operation Powerpack. The Brigade arrived on 30 April 1965 and secured the Duarte Bridge over the Ozama. A link up was conducted with Marines in Santo Domingo and a corridor was established to isolate the rebel forces. An attack was launched by rebel forces on 15 June 1965, but was stopped by the 82nd after 2 days of heavy fighting. Most of the Division returned home by late summer 1965. The 1st Brigade remained to maintain order. By 21 September 1966, the last elements redeployed to Fort Bragg.
The 1960s were a turbulent decade. The 82nd Airborne sent small contingents to the Congo in 1964 and 1967. The Division also participated in several civil disturbance operations. The largest were in Detroit in 1967 and in Washington, DC, in 1968.
With the Tet Offensive in Vietnam during February 1968, additional US troops were needed in a hurry. On 14 February 1968, the 3rd Brigade deployed to Vietnam in Operation All American. The Brigade arrived at Chu Lai and moved north to Phu Bai near Hue. In March 1968, the 3rd Brigade troopers fought alongside the 101st Airborne in Operation Carentan I. The Brigade conducted combat operations for 22 months, fighting along Highway 1, the Song Bo River, Hue, and Saigon. In September 1969, the Brigade conducted its last combat operation in Vietnam, Operation Yorktown Victor, in the so-called iron triangle. The 3rd Brigade returned to Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne on 12 December 1969.
During the 1970s, the 82nd Airborne was alerted several times and Division units deployed to the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Greece for exercises in potential future battlegrounds. An antitank task force armed with the new TOW missile deployed to Vietnam in the spring of 1972. Other alerts such as the Middle East crisis of 1973, the Zaire hostage crisis of 1978, and the Iran hostage situation of 1979, did not see the 82nd Airborne deploy. The 82nd Airborne was, however, the first US Army unit to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping mission in the Sinai in March 1982.
On 25 October 1983, the combat capabilities of the 82nd were put to the test again in Operation Urgent Fury to rescue American students and prevent revolution on the Caribbean Island of Grenada. The Division conducted air-land operations at Point Salines Airfield on the south side of the island. Fighting lasted several days as the 82nd encountered the People's Revolutionary Army and Cuban forces. Using aviation assets, the 82nd Airborne rescued students on the Lance aux Epines peninsula and captured General Hudson Austin, commander of the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces. The last 82nd Airborne elements returned to Fort Bragg on 12 December 1983.
On 17 March 1988, the 1/504th Parachute Infantry airlanded in Honduras as part of Golden Pheasant, an exercise designed to ensure regional security. The 2/504th Parachute Infantry parachuted in the next day. The exercise provided a show of support for Honduras and tested the rapid deployment capabilities of the 82nd Airborne. The deployment was billed a joint training exercise, but the paratroopers were ready to fight. The deployment of armed and willing paratroopers to the Honduran countryside caused the Sandinistas to withdraw back to Nicaragua.
On 20 December 1989, the All American Division conducted its first combat parachute assault since World War II. The 82nd parachuted into Torrijos Airport, Panama, in Operation Just Cause to oust a dictator and restore a duly elected government. Armored vehicles, the M551 Sheridan, were parachuted into combat for the first time. Airmobile operations were conducted against Fort Cimmarron, Tinajitas, and Panama Viejo. The 1st Brigade Task Force was made up of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. In Panama, the paratroopers were joined on the ground by 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was already in Panama. After the night combat jump and seizure of the airport, the 82nd conducted follow-on combat air assault missions in Panama City and the surrounding areas. The Division moved to Panama City where it took part in the attack against Noriega's headquarters and his eventual surrender. The last elements of the 82nd Airborne returned home on 12 January 1990.
It was not long before the 82nd was back in combat again. On 2 August 1990, Iraqi armor and troops rolled into Kuwait. The 82nd deployed on 8 August 1990 in Operation Desert Shield. Standing across the border from the Iraqi tanks, the 82nd Airborne drew a line in the sand with its light M551 Sheridans, TOW missiles, and AH-64A Apache helicopters. The United States assembled an allied coalition of forces and committed to the largest military deployment since Vietnam. The first unit to deploy to Saudi Arabia was a task force comprising the Division's 2nd Brigade. Soon after, the rest of the Division followed. There, intensive training began in anticipation of fighting in the desert with the heavily armored Iraqi Army. The adage, or battle cry picked up by the paratroopers was, "The road home...is through Baghdad." Air strikes against Iraq began on 16 January 1991.
On 24 February 1991, the ground phase of the war, Operation Desert Storm, began. The 82nd Airborne conducted airmobile and mounted operations on the allied left flank, penetrating deep into Iraq. The vehicle mounted 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers protected the XVIII Airborne Corps flank as fast-moving armor and mechanized units moved deep inside Iraq. A 2nd Brigade Task Force was attached to the 6th French Light Armored Division becoming the far left flank of the Corps. In the short 100-hour ground war, the vehicle mounted 82nd drove deep into Iraq and captured thousands of Iraqi soldiers and tons of equipment, weapons and ammunition. With its mission complete, the 82nd Airborne began to deploy home on 7 March 1991. By April 1991, the entire Division was back at Fort Bragg.
Following the Division's return and subsequent victory parades, the troopers began to re-establish some of the systems that had become dormant during their eight months in the desert. On top of the list was the regaining of individual and unit airborne proficiency and the continuation of tough and realistic training. In August 1992, the Division was alerted to deploy a task force to the hurricane-ravaged area of South Florida and provide humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Andrew. For more than 30 days, Division troopers provided food, shelter and medical attention to a grateful Florida population, instilling a sense of hope and renewed confidence in the military.
Early in the evening of 18 September 1994, nearly 3,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division were enroute to Haiti to launch Operation Restore Democracy. Aviation elements were already deployed to the nearby island of Great Inauga. Elements of the 3/73rd Armor were waiting aboard ships off the coast. When Haitian leaders heard the 82nd Airborne Division was on the way, a peace agreement was reached, and the 82nd Airborne was recalled. From 26 September to 25 October 1994, elements of the 3/73rd Armor supported peacekeeping operations in Haiti.
82nd Airborne Division paratroopers were among the first ground troops sent into the war-torn Kosovo region of the Balkans in Summer 1999, when the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment moved in from neighboring Macedonia. They were followed shortly by the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who themselves were followed by the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment in January 2001 as part of regular peacekeeping operation rotations.
When America was attacked on 11 September 2001, President George W. Bush called upon the American military to fight global terrorism. Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to Afghanistan and the Central Command Area of Responsibility to support combat operations.
In June 2002 the 82nd Airborne's Task Force Panther, comprised of elements from the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and other 82nd units, deployed to the Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Task Force Devil, comprised of the 504th Parachute Infantry and other 82nd elements, replaced Task Force Panther in January 2003, where they maintained the Division's mission.
In February of 2003, the 2nd Brigade, deployed along with the Division Headquarters to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division was the theater reserve, available to employ deep in Iraq, specifically Baghdad. The 82nd could jump or fly into Baghdad to restore order and demonstrate a coalition presence if Saddam's government fled or imploded. In the meantime its presence in the theater gave Saddam another problem to contemplate. The Division conducted sustained combat operations throughout Iraq and the CENTCOM area of operations.
In May 2003 the Division Headquarters returned to Fort Bragg. The 2nd Brigade remained in Iraq attached to the 1st Armored Division and continued to conduct combat operations. The Division Headquarters along with the 3rd Brigade and elements of the 82nd DIVARTY, 82nd DISCOM, 82nd Aviation Brigade, and separate battalions returned to Iraq in August of 2003 to continue command and control over combat operations in and around Baghdad.
In January 2004 the 1st Brigade deployed to conduct combat operations in OIF. The 2nd Brigade redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in February 2004. The Division Headquarters was relieved by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Division in March of 2004 and the remaining 82nd forces in Iraq redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina by the end of April 2004. For the first time in 2 years all of the Division's units were returned to home station.
In September of 2004, the 82nd's DRF-1, 1-505th Parachute Infantry was deployed to support OEF 6 in support of JTF-76 and the Afghnistan elections. The TF redeployed in October 2004.
In December 2004, the 82nd's 1-17th Cavalry, TF 2-325 and TF 3-325 deployed to Iraq in support of the Iraqi national elections. They started their redeployment to Fort Bragg in March 2005.
In July of 2005, the 82nd's TF 1-325 and slice elements deployed to Afghanistan in support of the Afghanistan national elections. They started their redeployment to Fort Bragg in November of 2005.
In September 2005, the 82nd TF 2-325 and TF 3-504 deployed to Iraq in support of the Iraqi national elections.
On 15 January 2006, as part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the composition of the 82nd Airborne was changed. The most noticable changes as a product of the modular transformation were the changes in the relationship between support elements at division and brigade levels, and the addition of a 4th Brigade Combat Team to the Division's structure. The 82nd Airborne Division inactivated its Division Artillery (DIVARTY) and Division Support Command (DISCOM). DISCOM and other assets (engineer, military intelligence, military police, and signal) habitually assigned to the line brigades were activated as organic support elements either in reorganized Brigade Support Battalions or Brigade Special Troops Battalions. Additional assets were passed to the Division Special Troops Battalion and the 82nd Sustainment Brigade. The 82nd Aviation Brigade was also reorganized and redesignated as the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. The 82nd Soldier Support Battalion was also reorganized as part of the shift.
In late 2006 elements of the 82nd Airborne Division again deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with another deployment coming in January 2007.
In May 2008 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division was announced along with other units as part of a planned series of rotations to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 3rd Brigade Combat Team subsequently deployed to Iraq in late 2008.
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