1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
"To The Top"
The 87th Infantry was constituted on 15 November 1941 a Fort Lewis, Washington, and designated the 87th Infantry Mountain Regiment. The unit waas dubbed "Minnie's Ski Troop" in honor of Charles Minot Dole, President of the National Ski Patrol. Volunteers, many who were veteran skiers, mountaineers and woodsmen, arrived from Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. The 87th trained on Mount Rainier's 14,408 foot peak. The 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Mountain Regiment was the first Mountain designated unit in the United States Army, predating the 10th Mountain Division.
On 12 May 1942, the regiment was reorgannized as the 87th Moutain Infantry at Fort Lewis. The 87th joined the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colorado, and trained there during the 1942-43 on winter military operations and mountaineering.
On 29 July 1943, the regiment sailed to the Auletian Islands as part of the Amphibious Technical Force Nine. Also included in Technical Force Nine were the First Special Service and teh 13th Canadian Infantry. The Regiment conducted an amphibious assault along the Kiska coastline and quickly climbed the rock cliffs to obtain its initial objectives. During November and December 1943, the entire regiment moved to Camp Carson, Colorado and was then assigned to the 10th Division at Camp Hale to prepare for deployment to the European theater.
On 3 February 1945, the regiment deployed to Italy with the newly redesigned 10th Mountain Division and entered combat on 28 January 1945 as part of the Fifth US Army. In February 1945, after 3 days of bitter fighting, the regiment helped capture Mount Belvedere and other key mountain peaks. On 15 April 1945 they spearheaded the Northern Apennines offensive and cut the main route to the Brenner Pass. The regiment overcame every obstacle, including the Po River Valley, the old walled city of Verone and the pre-war frontier defenses of the Italian-Austrian border. German resistance in Italy ended on 2 May 1945. After the end of hostilities, the regiment performed occupation duty until its return to the US in August 1945. The unit was deactivated in November 1945 at Camp Hale, Colorado.
The 87th Infantry was again assigned to the 10th Mountain Division on 18 June 1948, reactivating at Fort Riley, Kansas. In preparation for the Korean War, 1-87th Infantry became part of three regiments that trained 123,000 men in basic training.
In January 1954, the Department of the Army announced that the 10th Division would become a combat infantry division, and be the first sent to Europe under a new rotation policy. In June 1958, the 87th Infantry Regiment was reassigned from the 10th Mountain Division to the 2nd Infantry Division as the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 87th Infantry. The battalions remained in the 2nd Infantry Division until 4 September 1963, when they were reassigned to the 8th Infantry Division in Germany. 1-87th Infantry was stationed in Jaeger Kaserne, Aschaffenburg, and was assigned to NATO land forces in central Europe. On 14 June 1958, the 10th Mountain Division was inactivated. However 1-87th and 2-87th Infantry remained on active duty in Germany until 1 October 1983 when they were inactivated.
On 22 May 1987, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry was reactivated and reunited with the 10th Mountain Division. It became part of the 1st Brigade that was activated one year earlier.
After reactivation in 1987, members of the 87th Infantry Regiment deployed all over the world conducting a variety of missions. On 26 August 1992, 2 battalions of the regiment deployed to Homestead, Florida, to conduct humanitarian relief operations following Hurricane Andrew. Soldiers from 1-87th Infantry were responsible for setting up tent city camps, distributing food, ice, water, clothing, and medical necessities.
Leading the 10th Mountain Division into Somalia, 87th Infantry Regiment members conducted the first combat operations the regiment had seen since World War II. B Company and C Company were attached to 2-14th Infantry during Operation Restore Hope and Continue Hope. On 3 October 1993, 3/C/1-87th Infantry was dispatched as a QRF to secure a crash site in a Somalian city that was a result of a daylight right conducted by Task Force Ranger in an attempt to seize a Somali Warlord.
In 1993, members of the regiment saw combat in Haiti, during operation Uphold democracy. At 0930 hours, on 19 September 1994, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, conducted the Army's first air assault from an aircraft carrier. They occupied the Port-Au-Prince International Airport and were the first US troops to set foot on Haitian soil. The Task Force's presence allowed the Haitian legislature to reopen on 28 September 1994.
In the mid-1990s, the 87th Infantry Regiment deployed soldiers to participate in several Multi-national Training events in places such as Pakistan, Panama, Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan. The 87th Infantry Regiment was also been active in keeping peace abroad by conducting the MFO mission in the Sinai. Members of the regiment also completed a deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina, in support of Operation Joint Forge.
In 1997 Task Force 1-87th Infantry participated in an XVIII Airborne Corps emergency deployment readiness exercise to Camp Blanding, Florida. This exercise tested the deployment readiness of several divisional units and the installation, while validating the training readiness of Task Force 1-87 Infantry. Alerted for this exercise only one month following their return from a 4 month security mission in Panama, Task Force 1-87 executed this readiness exercise superbly. Task Force 1-87's success was directly linked to a demanding training program, the quality of leaders and soldiers, and the standard deployment procedures in place at Fort Drum.
After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, Task Force 1-87th Infantry deployed to Karsi Khanabad Airfield, Uzbekistan on 5 October 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as one of the first conventional units in theater for OEF. The Task Force consisted of personnel from 1-87th Infantry, 3-6th Field Artillery, 3-62nd Air Defense Artillery, 110th Military Intelligence and ASOS (Air Force). During November 2001, Task Force 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan providing security and support for combat missions. The Task Force actively participated in Operation Anaconda, conducting combat operations in the Lower Shah-e-kot Valley, Afghanistan. After a highly successful deployment, Task Force 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry returned to Fort Drum, New York on 6 April, 2002.
A year later, in July 2003 the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry returned to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom IV. The Soldiers of 1-87th Infantry conducted combat and humanitarian assistance operations from frontier firebases in Gardez, Shkin, Orgun-E, and Khowst. The Battalion operated in the remote region of Paktika province, frequently patrolling at altitudes above 8,000 feet. The 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry continually worked to improve the conditions throughout the Paktika Province. The Battalion improved the security and stability in the region.
By late 2003 Task Force 1-87th operated in the central area of Afghanistan, conducting patrols and continuous offensive operations from Orgun-E and Shkin firebases. Conditions at the firebases were still austere, but had recently improved the connectivity to families via the Internet. Soldiers also installed a video teleconference (VTC) system at each firebase just in time for the holidays. The VTC systems allow families at Fort Drum to see and talk to their soldiers live on the firebases. TF 1-87 hosted "Geraldo," "60 Minutes II," and the New York Times.
The 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry returned to Fort Drum, New York in April, 2004 after destroying Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in the their area of Operation and greatly improving the security and quality of life for its people.
On 12 August, 2005, after a year of refit and training, Task Force 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry (Task Force Summit) deployed to Camp Liberty, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Task Force operated in western Baghdad consisting of the districts of Shulla, Khadra, Amariyia, Bakaria and Ghazaylia, a highly complex area consisting of dense urban terrain inhabited by over 800,000 Iraqi citizens in fewer than 30 square kilometers. The aggressive combat and humanitarian operations the Task Force conducted specifically targeted the heart of the insurgency in Baghdad and significantly reduced the number of attacks by nearly one-half within the first four months of operations. In addition to conducting training and combined operations with an Iraqi Army battalion, Task Force Summit ensured the resolute defense of the one of the most strategic sites in Iraq, Abu Ghraib Internment Facility. The 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry facilitated the successful 15 October 2005 Iraqi Constitutional referendum and the 15 December 2005 Iraqi National Election. The security provided by the Task Force resulted in the seating of the first democratically elected Iraqi government in 50 years. After a year of highly successful combat operations in western Baghdad, Task Force Summit redeployed to Fort Drum, New York in August of 2006.
Following their return 1-87th Infantry became part of the overall transformation of the 10th Mountain Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. Staying largely the same, the Battalion acquired a Forward Support Company (F Company) from the 10th Brigade Support Battalion. Under the previous force structure such support elements were held at Division level (Division Support Command or DISCOM) and habitually attached to individual brigades and their subordinate units.
In 2007 the 1-87th Infantry was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring. Following this deployment, the 1-87th Infantry returned to Iraq in late 2007 under Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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