1st Battalion (Attack), 227th Aviation Regiment
The mission of the 1st Battalion (Attack), 227th Aviation Regiment, "First Attack," is to, on order, deploy to conduct stability operations and support operations in support of the 1st Cavalry Division. I would then, on order, conduct combat operations and redeploy as directed. The 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment was the 1st Cavalry Division's AH-64D attack asset.
On the 1 February 1963, the Army began to gather helicopters into the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) to test the airmobile concept. The 31st Transportation Company became Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, with the rest of the unit's organic elements being constituted and activated. In June 1965, the 1st Cavalry Division was reflagged as the 2nd Infantry Division, which took up its post in Korea. The 11th Air Assault Division (Test) at Fort Benning, Georgia was reflagged as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
On 1 August 1965, the 1st Cavalry Division was sent to Vietnam. The 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion participated in 14 Campaigns and received 7 decorations during its 7 years of duty in Vietnam as part of the 1st Cavalry Division. The first Army aviator to win the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War was a member of the 227th Aviation Battalion.
After returning from Vietnam, the 227th Aviation Battalion was inactivated on 19 November 1974 at Fort Hood, Texas. It was subsequently redesignated as the 227th Aviation, a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System. A Comapny, 227th Aviation Battalion was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation. Between 21 May 1978 and 30 September 1983 it was formed as the first divisional Apache Attack Helicopter Battalion. 1-227th Aviation subsequently underwent an intensive 6-month unit training program and began to training for combat operations.
On 29 September 1990, the Battalion deployed overseas to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where the unit postured for combat in support Operation Desert Shield. On 25 February 1991 with the onset of Operation Desert Storm, the Battalion conducted a raid as a part of the 1st Cavalry Division's deception plan to throw Iraqi forces off guard. The Battalion served as the vanguard of the Division's movement north to cut off retreating an Iraqi Republican Guard Division at Basra. On 7 March 1991, the Battalion returned as part of the advance party back to Fort Hood, Texas.
"First Attack" was the first fielded AH-64D Apache Longbow unit. 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Riley, reported to the 21st Cavalry Brigade for this momentous undertaking on 6 April 1998. The Brigade's former commander, Colonel Winn Noyes, and his team of professionals developed a special program that helped the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation develop a new Mission Essential Task List (METL). They also provided collective instruction in all arenas of attack helicopter battalion operations and maintenance. 1-227th Aviation had previously been an AH-64A Apache battalion focused on the defeat of one enemy regiment. With the AH-64D Longbow Apache it increased this lethality to the point that the battalion has the capability of defeating an entire enemy division.
In addition to the fielding of the AH-64D, the rest of the Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division began deploying to Bosnia in August 1998, and provided support to the United Nations Stabilization Force (SFOR) until October 1999.
With the onset of Operation Enduring Freedom, the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, on 14 February 2003, arrived at Camp Udari, Kuwait, and was attached to Task Force 11th Aviation Regiment operating under the command of the V Corps. In the early hours of 24 March 2003, Apache Longbows of the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation fought a fierce battle with unit's of Iraq's Republican Guard Medina Division between the cities of Karbala and Al Hilah, about 96 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad. On 21 May 2003, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment redeployed to Fort Hood, Texas.
As a part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the 1-227th Aviation was inactivated along with the rest of the Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood on 26 May 2005. It was concurrently reorganized and reactivated assigned to the Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, a reorganized and redesignated modular divisional aviation brigade.
The Battalion returned in 2006 from another 15 month deployment to Iraq at Camp Taji in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.
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