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1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment

The mission of 1-9th Field Artillery is to deploy rapidly to a contingency area by air, sea, and land and provide conventional fires in direct support of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) for mobile, combined arms offensive and defensive operations to defeat an armored heavy force.

The 9th Field Artillery Regiment was organized at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, on 3 June 1916. The Regiment was unique in that it was the first completely motorized artillery unit in the world and the only US artillery unit to have been organized overseas. This explains the Regiment's motto, "KULIA-l-KA-NUU" which, in Hawaiian means "Onward, still higher."

Assigned to the 19th Division on 9 November 1918, the Regiment was inactivated on 1 September 1921 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Regiment's 1st Battalion was active from October 1922 to September 1937 at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. The inactive Regiment was assigned to the 7th Division on 24 March 1923, the 9th Division on 15 August 1927, and the 4th Division on 1 January 1930. Assignment to the 3rd Division finally came on 1 October 1933.

The regiment was reactivated on 12 October 1939 at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and was reorganized and redesignated as the 9th Field Artillery Battalion on 1 October 1940.

As an organic unit of 3rd Division Artillery, the 9th Field Artillery landed in North Africa in the initial Division combat operation in World War II. At that time, the Battalion was equipped with self-propelled 105mm howitzers, but was later the only unit in the Division Artillery to be equipped with 155mm howitzers.

The 9th Field Artillery took part in 3rd Division campaigns throughout the rest of the war, including the infamous assaults on Sicily and Anzio in Italy. After assaulting St. Tropez and moving through Southern France, the Battalion earned the Presidential Unit Citation and the French Croix de Guerre for actions at Colmar. The Battalion entered the Rhineland in Germany during the last few days of combat, the 9th Field Artillery participated in the capture of Berchtesgaden, Adolph Hitler's mountain stronghold retreat. Following WWII, the 9th returned to Ft. Benning, Georgia, with the rest of the 3rd Infantry Division.

The 9th was relieved from assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division and shipped to Korea in August 1950. The Battalion, equipped with towed 155mm howitzers, went into action in the famed "Bowling Alley Battle" near Taegu only 3 days after arriving at Pusan. After the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the 9th moved northward with the battle through Seoul, Pyongyang, Pakchon and Unsan. At Unsan, deep inside North Korea, a massive Chinese offensive struck United Nations forces and turned their advance into a withdrawal to the south of Seoul and the Han River. The 9th Field Artillery, firing mission after mission, and moving only to go into position to fire again, provided support, which enabled other units to withdraw in good order and with minimum losses. South of Seoul on 17 January 1951, the 9th Field Artillery came back home to the 3rd Division.

During its tour of the Korean peninsula, the 9th Field Artillery was awarded the Bravery Gold Medal of Greece, as well as, 2 Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for actions in the Uijongbu Corridor and the Iron Triangle. The Battalion supported every division in Korea, including ROK divisions, with the exception of the US 7th Division.

The 9th Field Artillery Battalion remained with the 3rd Infantry Division after the Korean War and returned to the United States. The Battalion moved from Fort Benning to Germany in the late 1950's.

During the reorganization of US Army structure, the 9th Field Artillery Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 9th Artillery Regiment. On 1 April 1960, the Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Rocket Howitzer Battalion, 9th Artillery and returned its 155mm howitzers to be equipped with the nuclear capable Honest John Rocket System.

The unit was reorganized and redesignated 3 June 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery and redesignated again on 1 September 1971 as the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery. It was then inactivated on 10 July 1972 in Germany and relieved from assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division.

The 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery was reactivated on 17 January 1986 in Germany and equipped first with the Lance missile, and then with the Pershing II Missile. During its first year of active service, the Battalion received the Army Superior Unit Award for outstanding performance of duty and its rapid tactical certification on a new tactical system. The unit was then at the core of the dual track deployment of the Pershing II system and GLCM in western Europe. The signing of the INF treaty between the USA and the Soviet Union led to its inactivation on 30 June 1991 in Germany.

On 16 February 1996, the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery was reassigned to the 3rd Infantry Division and activated at Fort Stewart, Georgia where it was equipped with the M109A6 Paladin Howitzer and was in direct support of the 2nd Brigade, as part of the 3rd Infantry Division Artillery (DIVARTY).

The 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) began transformation to the US Army's modular force structure in July 2004. As part of the transformation, the relationships of many Division level support units changed, including that of the DIVARTY. The DIVARTY was inactivated, and its habitually attached units were inactivated and reactivated as organic elements of the reorganized and redesignated Brigade Combat Teams. 1st Battalion, 9th Artillery was reactivated as part of the reorganized and redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

In January 2005 the unit deployed with the remainder of the 3rd Infantry Division to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III (OIF-III), where Task Force Battleking controlled over 160 square kilometers of hostile territory in southern Baghdad. In 12 months of combat the unit conducted 15 battalion-level offensive counterinsurgency operations and numerous raids to safeguard the people of Iraq.

The Battlekings were credited with the detainment or elimination of 154 terrorists, the capture of hundreds of weapons to include 2 D30 howitzers and 3 S-60 air defense weapons, the destruction of over 10 tons of enemy ammunition caches, and the rescue of 6 hostages which were kidnapped by rebels near Salman Pak, Iraq.

Elements of the 1-9th Field Artillery deployed in mid-2007 for another tour of duty in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They remained in that country into 2008.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:19:10 ZULU