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1st Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery Regiment

1st Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery Regiment provides the United States Army with highly competent soldiers able to perform their critical air defense mission in the defense of this nation.

The 1st Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery traces its history to 1921 with the Organized Reserves as Battery A, 506th Artillery (Anti-Aircraft). It was inactivated in 1933 and reactivated in the Regular Army. The Battalion's history encompasses 10 major campaigns during World War II, resulting in its being awarded an Army Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Presidential Unit Citation, and the Luxembourg Croix de Guerre. The War department cited the 56th Field Artillery Battalion as a whole for its battle honors in the performance of duty 21 to 28 November 1944 in the Germany's Hurtgen Forest, while reinforcing the 121st Infantry Regiment. It reads in part, "Foot by foot and against great odds, the regiment and its attached and reinforcing units drove the enemy from Log Bunker and Pillbox, passing concentrations of artillery and mortar estimated at 3500 rounds per day at the height of operations, and finally capturing the strategically important town of Hurtgen in fierce house to house combat."

After the end of the Second World War, the unit participated in another 10 major campaigns, this time in the Korean War, including the United Nations Defensive and Offensive Campaigns.

Reorganized and redesigned at Fort Bliss, Texas on 1 September 1971 as the 1st Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery, the Battalion was integral to the basic training and the advanced individual training of soldiers entering the high to medium altitude air defense weapon system field. Originally formed with 3 basic training companies and 2 advanced individual training batteries, on 26 September 1990 the Battalion finished its basic training mission and with the addition of 3 advanced individual training batteries, and one transition battery. The unit was subsequently to the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and became the only Air Defense Artillery advanced individual training training battalion in the United States Army at the time. The Battalion was the only Initial Entry Training unit at Fort Bliss. The mission was to provide the Regular Army and the Army National Guard with soldiers who espoused the 7 Army Values; were motivated, disciplined, and physically fit; and trained in common soldier skills and in their Air Defense Artillery Military Occupational Specialty. The Battalion conducted soldierization training during Air Defense Artillery Advanced Individual Training (i.e., Army Values, physical fitness, task reinforcement, and military customs and traditions). The Battalion also provided administrative, logistical, billeting, and food service support for trainees and cadre, and executes and supports soldier and family care and community responsibilities.

Following the events of 11 September 2001, the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and its components began to experience changes. 1-56th Air Defense Artillery, which had historically directed basic training and advanced individual training, received a new mission. The new mission of 1-56th Air Defense Artillery became to train active and Reserve component lieutenants, captains and Army select battalion and brigade commanders in the Basic Officer Leaders Course, the Captains' Career Course, and the Precommand Course, respectively. Advanced individual training on the Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System (C-RAM) was assigned to 2-6th Air Defense Artillery.

In June 2009, as a result of the 2005 BRAC recommendations, the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and its subordinate units followed the Air Defense Artillery School to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In May 2012, the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade was inactivated and reflagged as the 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, which was activated in its place. 1-56th Air Defense Artillery was assigned to the newly activated brigade.

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Page last modified: 09-04-2013 17:06:22 ZULU