1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment
The mission of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, "Black Knights," is to, on order deploy to a theater of operations to conduct offensive, defensive, stability, and/or support operations to allow establishment of a secure environment.
The 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment was originally formed in 1855. From its inception, it was an elite unit, with the Secretary of War Jefferson Davis hand-picking its members from a dozen states. In the subsequent 144 years, the Battalion participated in 9 wars and was awarded 62 campaign streamers. 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry and it's companies had been awarded over 20 unit citations and boasted 45 members who have received the nation's highest award for bravery, the Medal of Honor.
The Black Knights transitioned from horseback in the 1940s, and eventually to Bradley Fighting Vehicles, after serving valiantly in the Second World War, Korea, and Vietnam. In 1986, as the US Army's only combined arms balanced Task Force, Task Force 1-5th Cavalry combined the sheer guts of the Infantry, the rapid firepower of the 25mm Bushmaster, and the awesome firepower of the M1 Abrams tank. The test of the Combined Arms Mechanized Battalion organization came in 1990, when the Black Knights deployed to Saudi Arabia and prepared to battle the Iraqi Army. 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry was the first unit to conduct a ground attack on the Iraqi Army on 20 February 1991, and went on to win more awards for valor than any other unit in the 1st Cavalry Division.
1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry received the 1st Cavalry Division order to deploy to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge. The Black Knights trained and prepared for this mission assignment. The Battalion participated in several training events, including gunnery, platoon and company STX, and culminated with a 2 week Mission Readiness Exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. This was done while the Battalion continued to support the no notice deployment requirement of the 1st Cavalry Division.
On 7 October 1998, the 1st Cavalry Division assumed authority of the Multi-National Division (North) area of operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina from the 1st Armored Division. The Division was the first CONUS based division to assume this mission. As part of the 1st Cavalry Division, 1-5th Cavalry's mission was to conduct operations to enforce the military provisions set forth by the Dayton Accords.
Task Force 1-5th Cavalry in Bosnia consisted of a Headquarters Company, 2 mechanized infantry companies, 3 armor companies, a military intelligence company, an engineer company, and numerous slice elements and attachments. The Task Force patrolled its sector of Multi-National Division (North) as a part of Stabilization Force 5 (SFOR 5) from 20 March 1999 to 20 September 1999.
In order to conduct successful peace missions while in theater, soldiers were extensively trained on mine awareness, country and cultural customs and checkpoint and convoy operations. Training was conducted on all levels including individual readiness training, leader/staff training, and a Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRE). During the 6 months, squads and platoons from the 1st Cavalry Division conducted over 9,000 combat patrols and escorted over 1000 convoy movements over some of the most rugged terrain and austere conditions. The soldiers conducted hundreds of weapons storage site inspections, established vehicle checkpoints designed to monitor and control movement and often conducted searches for and seizures of illegal contraband and weapons.
1-5th Cavalry soldiers served at Both Camp Dobol (home of Task Force 1-5th Cavalry) and Camp Demi (home of Task Force 2-12th Cavalry). Significant events of the rotation included a Serbian Air Attack (2 aircraft downed by US Air Force), a hand grenade thrown at a patrol, a rocket attack against US personnel and several demonstrations. Through all of this TF 1-5th Cavalry's soldiers performed professionally and safely, exchanged experiences with both locals and other NATO forces and helped foster a safe and healing environment for this war torn country.
In 2004, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
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