115th Brigade Support Battalion
115th Forward Support Battalion
The mission of the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, "Muleskinner," is to provide logistical support to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The 115th Brigade Support Battalion is organized with a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, a Supply and Distribution Company, a Medical Company, a Maintenance Company, and 4 forward support companies.
The 115th Brigade Support Battalion carries the history, lineage, and colors of the 15th Supply Transport Battalion, which predates the 1st Cavalry Division itself. Organized at Camp Henry Knox, Kentucky in 1919 as the 657th Motor Transport Company, it was redesignated as the 84th Motor Transport Company on 1 December 1919. Many redesignations subsequently occurred in order to keep pace with the constant change of the United States Army.
With the post World War I demobilization, the 84th Motor Transport Company was inactivated only to reappear on the active Army rolls in 1936. Its new designation was Troop D, 16th Quartermaster Squadron, which was listed as an element of the 1st Cavalry Division. The Troop traveled with the Division throughout its World War II campaigns in the Pacific theater.
Troop D was moving with the Division when it earned its initial first designation, "First in Manila" during the campaign to retake the Philippine Islands. As the Japanese will to fight evaporated on the clouds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Troop D marched into Japan when the Division achieved its second motto, "First in Tokyo." During the occupation, the Troop became the quartermaster support unit for the 1st Cavalry Division.
In 1949, the Troop become the 15th Quartermaster Company and moved to Korea in 1950 to participate in combat supplying of the 5th, 7th, and 3rd Cavalry Regiments, Division Artillery, and Special Troops. The 15th Quartermaster Company fought with the Division north across the 38th Parallel. In the invasion of North Korea, the First Team's third accolade, "First in Pyongyang" was added to the battle honors of the Division and its Quartermaster Company.
The 15th Quartermaster Company remained in Korea after the war. With the transformation of the US Army to the ROAD force structure (Reorganization of Army Divisions) in 1963, the Company was combined with the 23rd Transportation Battalion and redesignated as the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion.
In 1965, the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion returned to Fort Benning, Georgia with the 1st Cavalry Division and was organized as a part of the Army's first airmobile division. From 1 July 1971 until the end of the year, the unit served in the Republic of Vietnam. During its tenure in Vietnam, it participated in many campaigns to include the Tet Counteroffensive. While in Vietnam, the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion received the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award, 3 Meritorious Unit Commendations, and 4 Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry.
Upon its return to the United States in 1971, the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion and the 1st Cavalry Division as a whole moved to Fort Hood, Texas under the TRICAP (Triple Capability) concept. In January 1975, the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganized, becoming the Army's newest armored division. The 15th Supply and Transport Battalion adapted itself quickly to meet the ever-changing logistical needs of the Division.
In 1984, the entire structure of the Division Support Command (DISCOM) underwent a dynamic change. Support battalions were activated, incorporating previous elements of the 15th Supply and Transport Battalion, the 15th Medical Battalion, and the 27th Maintenance Battalion. These units had previously provided brigade-level combat service support as forward area support teams. Thus was born the 1st Forward Support Battalion on 1 October 1984. The 1st Forward Support Battalion took on the mission of supporting 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
Under the initial support battalion concept, the newly formed battalions had no history and lineage and only generic colors. This problem was corrected in 1987 when the Department of the Army and the Institute of Heraldry redesignated all support battalions. The 1st Forward Support Battalion was redesignated as the 115th Support Battalion (Forward) on 15 May 1987 and given the full lineage, honors and colors of 15th Supply and Transport Battalion.
In October 1990, the 115th Forward Support Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and provided critical logistical support to the soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (not to be confused with the modular brigade combat team). During Operation Desert Storm, traversing 260 kilometers into the heart of Iraq, the 115th Forward Support Battalion met the challenge of providing continuous logistical support.
The new 115th Forward Support Battalion, with "centralized" combat service support, provided all logistical support, and tied together the entire spectrum of supplies and services for the maneuver battalions within the 1st Brigade Combat Team. It consisted of 3 forward support companies (FSCs), a brigade support company, a medical company, and a headquarters and distribution company. The Headquarters and A Company consisted of all battalion-level command and staff personnel, all battalion food service personnel, and a support operations section. Additionally, it was the supply and service company in the battalion and provides petroleum supply, ration support and general supply support to the 1st Brigade Combat Team. B Company was a maintenance company that conducted direct support repairs and services on equipment in the 1st Brigade Combat Team. The company had the capability of repairing tracked and wheeled equipment, engineer equipment, fire control equipment, and tank turrets. Additionally, the service and recovery section provided metal working support and vehicle recovery support. The company also maintained a repair parts warehouse. C Company was a medical company that had the mission of treating, holding and evacuating patients from the 1st Brigade Combat Team.
In March 2004, the 115th Forward Support Battalion deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The Battalion mastered a myriad of new tasks and challenges as it adapted to the rapidly changing environment in and around Baghdad during their year-long deployment. Continuing their lineage of excellence, the 115th Forward Support Battalion provided first-class logistical support to the 1st Brigade Combat Team during periods of intense combat in Sadr City, and during the landmark first free Iraqi election.
In 2005, the Army was moving from a division-based force structure to brigade-based force structure generally referred to as the modular force structure. The 1st Brigade Combat Team restructured as Interim Brigade Combat Team, incorporating elements of 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, 20th Engineer Battalion, 13th Signal Battalion, 1/82 Field Artillery Battalion, and 115th Forward Support Battalion.
On 12 July 2005, the 115th Forward Support Battalion was inactivated, reorganized and redesignated as the 115th Brigade Support Battalion. It was relieved from assignment to the Division Support Command (DISCOM), 1st Cavalry Division and reactivated on 15 July 2005 as the organic support battalion for the reorganized and redesignated 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. As part of the modular transformation, units previously held at division level, but habitually assigned to brigades during operations were made organic to those brigades. The 115th Brigade Support Battalion provided distribution-based, centrally-managed combat service support to 1st Brigade Combat Team to sustain its operational employment in small scale contingencies.
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