1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment
The mission of the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment is to conduct independent reconnaissance and security missions in support of 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division operations.
The 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment officially activated on 13 October 2005 at Buckner Fitness Center as part of the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, then one of the Army's newest brigade combat teams. The 360-paratrooper "Denali" Squadron was the fourth of the 6 battalions in the brigade to be activated, closing in on becoming the largest airborne presence in the Pacific in 30 years.
The unit was the first ever airborne reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, or RSTA, squadron. The Squadron was tasked to perform information gathering and intelligence processing, painting a picture of the battlefield allowing the brigade commander to make timely tactical decisions. Unique to this unit is the marriage of light infantry airborne and armor and scout operations.
The Squadron faced the challenge of preparing for war in a short amount of time as the military did in World War II and Korean War. The difference was the great number of competent junior and senior non-commissioned leaders in the Squadron. When activated, the Squadron had only half of its authorized soldiers assigned to it and signed for its first 2 rifles on the day of activation. In terms of technical and tactical competence, the NCOs in the formation were peerless in the history of the military.
The 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment instituted a somewhat different approach to the physical fitness test that made it unique to be a cavalry soldier. The test was only one of the 3 components of the unit's physical fitness program. The physical fitness test consisted of 5 events: bench press, 40-yard dash, 10-mile run, obstacle course and 440-yard dash. This inherently recognized that each individual had different strengths and weaknesses. The objective for the test was that at least 30 percent of the organization, not 100 percent, could meet the objectives. The optimum requirements for 5 events were 300 pounds or greater in the bench press, a 40-yard dash time of 5 seconds or less, a 10-mile run time of 70 minutes or less, obstacle course completion within 5 minutes or less and the 440-yard dash in 90 seconds or less. Just to make things a little more interesting, the obstacle course and 440-yard dash were to completed wearing combat equipment, individual body armor and carrying a weapon. The other 2 components of the Calvary Fitness Program were Table II and III, both of which had to be completed by the entire organization. Table II had a four-mile run to be finished in 36 minutes or less and a 1.5-mile snowshoe march to be finished with in 90 minutes or less. Table III was a 25-mile road march that was to be completed with an average of 17 minutes and 30 seconds per mile.
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