1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery Regiment (MLRS)
"Speed in Action"
1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery Regiment (MLRS), was originally constituted on 5 July 1918 in the National Army as Battery A, 39th Field Artillery, as an element of the 13th Division. The Battalion was first organized on 9 August 1918 at Camp Lewis, Washington, and was demobilized 26 February 1919 at Camp Lewis, Washington.
The Battalion was reconstituted again on 1 October 1933 in the Regular Army as Battery A, 39th Field Artillery. The Battalion was activated at Fort Lewis, Washington, on 1 October 1940, as an element of the 3rd Division (later redesignated as the 3d Infantry Division). The Battalion saw its first action in Algeria and French Morocco. It stayed with the 3rd Infantry Division through out the remainder of World War II, fighting in Italy, across southern France and into Central Europe earning a total of 10 campaign streamers.
The Battalion again fought with distinction in the Korean War where it earned another 8 campaign streamers. The Battalion was again inactivated on 1 July 1957 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and relieved from assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division. It was concurrently, redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery.
The Battalion was reactivated on 25 June 1958 in Germany and inactivated 15 April 1964 in Germany.
The Battalion next saw action in the Vietnam War when it again was reactivated and redesignated on 10 October 1969 as the 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery in Vietnam. It earned another six campaign streamers during the Vietnam War.
On 1 September 1971 the 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery was reassigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While at Fort Bragg it served during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm earning another 3 campaign streamers. The Battalion was inactivated on 15 January 1996 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The next month it was redesignated on 16 February 1996 as Battery A, 39th Field Artillery (Target Acquisition), assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, and activated at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
The Battalion was redesignated on 14 June 2000 as the 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery (MLRS), assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
The 1-39th Field Artillery deployed to Kuwait in January 2003, along with the rest of the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized). After a period of intense training in the desert of Kuwait, 1-39th Field Artillery staged near the Kuwait/Iraq border, and in the early morning hours of 20 March 2003, fired 6 missiles in support of Air Force and Army aviation pilots engaging the southern divisions of Saddam Hussein's army.
The Battalion crossed the Iraqi border later that day, following right behind the lead elements of the Division's Infantry and Armor forces. Along the long route to Baghdad, 1-39th Field Artillery fired over 600 rockets against Iraqi Regular Army, Republican Guard, Al Qud, and Saddam Fedeyeen forces. These included devastating counter-battery fires, which were tremendously successful in keeping Iraqi cannon and rocket artillery from firing accurately at friendly forces, preparation fires as Division forces drove into Baghdad to secure Saddam's palaces, and support of the historic "Thunder Run" when 3rd Infantry Division soldiers swept through the southwestern portion of the city.
Once Baghdad fell, 1-39th Field Artillery took responsibility for securing the eastern portion of Baghdad International Airport and for a large section of the suburb of Abu Ghareb, setting up checkpoints, conducting patrols, and providing security, food, water, and fuel to hundreds of Iraqi civilians. The Battalion returned to Fort Stewart, Georgia, on 2 June 2003.
In 2004, as part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, various elements of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) were reorganized, redesignated, or inactivated. The Division Artillery was redesignated and reorganized Division Fires Brigade. 1st Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery was relieved of its assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division. The reorganized Brigade consisted of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battery and the 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery. The remaining Battalions were reassigned to the Brigades they had habitually supported as organic elements of the newly reorganized and redesignated Brigade Combat Teams.
The Division Fires Brigade was inactivated in May 2006. The 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery was also inactivated.
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