1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
The mission of 1st Brigade, the core element of "Task Force Warrior," is to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world and be able to fight and win upon arrival. Prior to the transformation of the entire 10th Mountain Division to the US Army's new modular force structure, 1st Brigade was one of 5 major subordinate commands within the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). It had 3 light infantry battalions and a headquarters company permanently assigned, along with various attachments from Division assets. The 3 organic battalions were the 1-32nd Infantry, 1-87th Infantry, and 2-22nd Infantry.
The brigade served as the nucleus for Task Force Warrior that is habitually task organized with divisional combat, combat support and combat service support units that bring the task force strength to approximately 3,200 soldiers. The principal units that have been assigned to TF Warrior during Division Ready Brigade missions, off post deployments, and major exercises have been the 3-6th Field Artillery, 10th Forward Support Battalion, A/3-62nd Air Defense Artillery, A/41st Engineer, A/110th Military Intelligence, A/10th Signal Battalion, and 1-10th Military Police Company.
The organization of the Brigade provided the flexibility to accomplish global missions on different types of terrain and against a variety of threats. Light infantry brigades differed from other infantry brigades in both design and concept of employment. The light infantry brigade was one of the most rapid and strategically deployable brigade of the various types of infantry and armor brigades. Although employed as a unit, the brigade was trained to disperse widely throughout a large area and conduct synchronized operations, primarily at night or during periods of limited visibility. It achieved mass through the combined effects of small unit operations with integrated indirect fires rather than through the physical concentration of forces on the battlefield.
Limitations of the brigade include a lack of heavy weapons, motorized mobility, and the means to conduct long term sustained operations. Normally, an aviation task force with lift and attack helicopters was assigned to Task Force Warrior adding to the brigade's combat power and mobility.
After the transformation, the reconstituted 1st Brigade Combat Team acquired a Brigade Special Troops Battalion, providing various assets previously assigned to the Brigade from Divisional support units, 10th Brigade Support Battalion (previously 10th Forward Support Battalion, an element of the Division Support Command, which was inactivated as part of the transformation), an organic Field Artillery Battalion (previously part of the inactivated Division Artillery), and a Cavalry Squadron. 1-32nd Infantry was inactivated and reassigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
The First Brigade had a key role in the 10th Mountain Division's history. 1st Brigade was activated on 11 April 1986, at Fort Drum, New York. The 1st Brigade was the Command and Control Headquarters for Task Force Warrior, consisting of its organic battalions 1-32nd Infantry, 1-87th Infantry, and 2-22nd Infantry.
Task Force units from the brigade deployed in exercises both overseas and throughout the country to include Honduras, Panama, the National Training Center (Fort Erwin, California), the Joint Readiness Training Center (Fort Polk, LA), Reforger 88 and 90. The Brigade also participated in Desert Storm and routinely sends a battalion to the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in December 1992, TF Warrior deployed to southern Florida where it conducted disaster relief operations. Shortly following its return to Fort Drum, the Task Force deployed to Somalia, Africa where it participated in humanitarian relief and combat operations in support of Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope.
In early August 1994, political rhetoric was stiffening against the outlaw government of Haiti. In a Fort Drum, New York, training area, preparations for forced-entry operations were accelerating for the 1st Brigade (Warrior Brigade), 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). On 13 September 1994, the Warrior Brigade assault package, consisting of 2 light infantry battalions, the 10th FSB, and elements of the 10th Aviation Brigade deployed to Haiti aboard the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower (the "Ike").
The Brigade led the Division into Operation Uphold Democracy, air assaulting from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower into Port-Au-Prince, Haiti in order to participate in peacekeeping operations from September 1994 to January 1995. The National Command Authority designated 19 September 1994 as D-day. Last-minute negotiations transformed the intervention in Haiti from nonpermissive entry to permissive entry operations.
The Brigade spent most of spring 1997 conducting individual training, marksmanship, squad live fire exercises and preparing to support cadet summer training at the United States Military Academy. The Brigade also conducted expert infantry and field medical testing while training and certifying 3 rifle companies for deployment to Bosnia, Pakistan, and Germany. It also executed live fire support coordination exercises which integrated close air support, artillery, and attack helicopters in April 1997, and conducted convoy live fire exercises for all headquarters companies. The training ensured the brigade maintained its live fire focus and proficiency.
Summer 1997 training highlights included training assistance support to the United States Military Academy at West Point and a special rotation of one company team preparing for Bosnia to the Joint Readiness Training Center. Most of the Brigade enjoyed a 2 week block leave period in July. The Brigade and battalion tactical operation centers conducted command post exercises with embedded squad and platoon field training (multi-echelon training) throughout the summer in preparation for Task Force Warrior's main field training exercise (Warrior Peak) in September 1997.
Warrior Peak was a highly productive training exercise that focused on day and night platoon live fire exercises, and blank and live fire exercises in a Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) environment. Each battalion conducted an air assault operation to maintain the brigade's proficiency using army aircraft for tactical mobility. In October and November 1997, the Brigade supported the division's field training exercise (Mountain Peak) with opposing forces and observers/controllers.
Additionally, the Brigade participated in the United States Atlantic Command's joint training exercise (Unified Endeavor), which the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) served as the Army Forces headquarters. In November 1997, the brigade executed company level combined day and night live fire training (CALFEX) and platoon external evaluations. These CALFEXs integrated every combat system within the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). This was a tremendous exercise conducted non-stop over two weeks. Each company in the Brigade conducted an air assault, employed Air Force close air support and reconnaissance, artillery, mortars and attack helicopters, culminating the exercise with a live fire MOUT attack. December 1997 began with a Task Force Warrior command post exercise to prepare us for an upcoming joint field training exercise (Purple Dragon) in January 1998.
The Brigade returned from leave on 4 January 1998 and were faced with disaster relief operations from 8 January to mid-February 1998 due to a major ice storm devastating northern New York. In a combined Division and installation staff effort, the remainder of the Division (less 2d Bde, already deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center) was fully committed to support relief operations in northern New York. Described as the worst natural disaster to hit northern New York in 65 years, President Clinton declared a federal state of emergency in the 3 counties that surround Fort Drum. At the peak of operations, the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum provided: 161 generators of various sizes, 15 water trailers, 77 cargo trucks, 93 heaters, over 125,000 sandbags, 9 mobile kitchens, 26 chainsaws, 2 forklifts, and over 2,500 soldiers (over 600,000 man hours) in a myriad of relief activities ranging from volunteer work to medical support (27 teams) to liaison support in various county and state emergency operations centers.
A readiness assessment of 1st Brigade, using data as of 1 March 1998, indicates that while the Brigade was ready to deploy and conduct its wartime mission, personnel shortages had affected the brigade's overall readiness. Shortages of infantry sergeants and captains had a major impact on training readiness. Shortages in low density support military occupational skills degraded the brigade's logistical, food service, maintenance, and communication capabilities. A third of the infantry squads and all of the company anti-tank sections were unmanned. Although the Brigade had begun re-forming the third squads in some platoons and had trained infantrymen in the operation of the Dragon anti-tank weapon, certainly these shortages affected the ability to effectively maneuver at platoon level and anti-armor capability. Additionally, the reorganization of 2-22nd Infantry to fill one of its companies to full personnel strength for deployment to Bosnia, significantly affected the readiness of this Battalion. Over 60 percent of the company was reassigned to bring the unit up to authorized strength and to meet deployability criteria. While the brigade could still accomplish its wartime mission, personnel shortages have the largest negative impact on readiness.
The Brigade's equipment was fully mission capable and well maintained as of March 1998. Some equipment shortages within the brigade had a slight affect on readiness. The shortage of 18 squad radios restricted communication within platoons. Shortages of 3/4 ton trailers degraded cargo transportation capability, and shortages of infrared aiming lights hampered night fighting capability. Additionally, equipment sent with Alpha Company to Bosnia impacted on the equipment readiness of the 2-22nd Infantry Battalion. The shortages of infrared aiming lights and squad radios were corrected by the summer of 1999.
The brigade had supported operations in the Balkans since October 1997 and was scheduled to continue doing so through 2002 with varying missions.
The Brigade participated in the Army's Joint Contingency Force Advanced Warfighting Experiment (JCF AWE). The 10 month period from January-October 2000 culminated in a Joint Readiness Center Rotation where Task Force Warrior tested numerous "digital" concepts and items of equipment to help pave the way into the future for the Light Infantry.
The JCF AWE equiped and trained a Digitized Light Infantry Brigade Task Force, centered on the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, with XVIII Corps and 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) components, to execute forced and early entry operations. Four main "fights" were executed: forced and early entry using EMPRS; the digitized brigade fight with the bulk of information technology enablers; the dismounted digital fight centered around ABCS, dismounted FBCB2, and Land Warrior; and the overarching joint execution of Millennium Challenge. Each fight provided the environment-working systems, trained soldiers, and a tactically realistic scenario-to support a credible assessment of each system's operational impact.
Following execution of the forced entry using the EMPRS, the 3-325th Infantry executed a battle handover to the 1st Brigade Task Force, which executed a typical series of JRTC engagements to allow for baseline comparison. This included search and attack, defend, low-intensity conflict, and MOUT, including Land Warrior participation in several phases. Using a cost-efficient architecture, only 9 of the tactical operations centers (TOCs) involved were functioning as rolling, tactical TOCs. The balance operated from fixed sites or from buildings, providing the surrogate capability to examine the effects of information technology enablers while minimizing the development and infrastructure costs for the experiment.
Task Force Warrior, composed of units from the 1st Brigade Combat Team began deploying to Afghanistan for combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in June 2003. The 4,000 members of TF Warrior, led by Colonel Burke Garrett and Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe, replaced over the summer months, units of the 82nd Airborne Division. The Task Force led the coalition effort to defeat al Qaeda, Taliban and other hostile forces in order to establish conditions for stability and reconstruction.
In preparation for this challenging mission, soldiers of TF Warrior began training intensively on the critical individual and collective skills needed to ensure they can accomplish the mission. Daily operations included everything from helicopter-borne raids and long-range foot patrols to armed convoy escort. They conducted these operations over the inhospitable terrain and widely varying extremes of temperature and altitude that mark the desolate landscape of Afghanistan, a country the size of Texas.
The Brigade received support during their mission from A Company, 10th Military Police Battalion; A Company, 41st Engineer Battalion; A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 62d Air Defense Artillery; A Company, 10th Signal Battalion; A Company, 110th Military Intelligence Battalion; and the 110th MI Battalion's Long Range Surveillance Detachment. Small in number but high in demand, these soldiers typically operated across Afghanistan-performing difficult tasks in very demanding situations. Their skills and contributions are invaluable and much appreciated by everyone. Likewise, the soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade continue to apply their many talents to keep the whole operation moving forward.
Family members and friends filled the bleachers of Magrath Gym during welcome home ceremonies for more than 1,400 Soldiers returning to Fort Drum from Afghanistan in mid-May 2004. Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment; 1st Infantry Brigade; 10th Military Police Battalion; 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, and the 10th Signal Battalion received a rousing welcome from onlookers as they entered the gym to the victory theme from "Rocky," played by the 10th Mountain Division Band. The weekend was filled with reunions, as Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment and 41st Engineer Battalion received a welcome home with the other units in six ceremonies throughout the weekend. Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Brigade; 10th Forward Support Battalion; 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment; 110th Military Intelligence Battalion; 41st Engineer Battalion, and 10th Soldier Support Battalion, reunited with family members, fellow Soldiers and friends during a ceremony welcoming them home from a nine-month deployment.
Although home for the break, the 10th Mountain Division 1st Brigade eventually arrived back in Iraq at Camp Liberty in late summer 2005. This was after several days of training and acclimatization in Kuwait. After spending another year in Iraq, the 1st Brigade returned to Fort Drum as part of the transformation of the entire 10th Mountain Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. Elements of the reorganized 1st Brigade Combat Team redeployed to Iraq in 2007, where it served through 2008.
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