123rd Main Support Battalion
In June 2007, the 123rd Main Support Battalion was inactivated as part of the transformation of the 1st Armored Division to the US Army's modular force structure and the departure of the Division from Europe to the United States. It was intended to reorganized and redesignated as the 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, the organic support battalion as part of the Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team, but by 2010, the official website of the 1st Armored Division was still showing the Brigade's support battalion as the 121st Brigade Support Battalion.
Prior to its inactivation, the 123rd Main Support Battalion provided direct support (DS) maintenance and supply, transportation and combat health support (CHS) to divisional units operating in the Division Rear Area (DRA). The Battalion also provided field services, when properly augmented and reinforcing direct support to the Forward Support Battalions and the Aviation Support Battalion.
The 123rd Main Support Battalion was originally activated on 1 January 1942 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as the 123rd Maintenance Battalion, assigned to the 1st Armored Division. In November 1942, after extensive training in the United States and Ireland, the unit landed in North Africa, beginning the famous history of the 1st Armored Division, "Old Ironsides," and the 123rd Maintenance Battalion. The Battalion participated in campaigns in Algeria, French-Morocco, and Tunisia. The Battalion continued its vital support of "Old Ironsides" as it fought its way through Italy, participating in the Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and PO Valley campaigns. It was during the Rome-Arno campaign in 1944 that the Battalion was cited for meritorious service in support of military operations, and received the meritorious unit citation.
The cessation of hostilities in 1945 found the Battalion operating in support of the 1st Armored Division in Northern Italy. From its start in North Africa through Italy, the outstanding support rendered by the 123rd Maintenance Battalion was a major factor in the many victorious battles fought by the 1st Armored Division. On 19 April 1946, after the occupation of Italy, the 123rd Maintenance Battalion was returned to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, and was inactivated along with the 1st Armored Division.
With the outbreak of the Korean Conflict in 1950 and the reactivation of the 1st Armored Division on 7 March 1951 at Fort Hood, Texas, the 123rd Maintenance Battalion was again called upon to support the Division. The Battalion continued in this role until 23 December 1957 when at Fort Polk, Louisiana, due to the reduction of the 1st Armored Division to a combat command, the Battalion was inactivated less Company B, which remained in support of the command.
On 34 February 1962, because of serious world tensions, the 1st Armored Division was again reactivated as a complete division at Fort Hood. This resulted in the 123rd Maintenance Battalion being reactivated and assigned its traditional role of maintenance support to the division. The Battalion remained at Fort Hood until the 1st Armored Division moved to Germany to replace the 4th Armored Division in the Spring of 1971, and as a consequence the 123rd Maintenance Battalion returned to Europe for the first time since World War II.
Due to reorganization of support units in the early 1980's, the 123rd Maintenance Battalion was inactivated on 15 December 1984. On 1 May 1987, the battalion was reorganized, redesignated, and reactivated as the 123rd Main Support Battalion and in December 1990, deployed and served with distinction in support of the 1st Armored Division during Desert Storm. Upon return from Southwest Asia, the Battalion inactivated on 22 November 1991 at Monteith Barracks-Feurth, Germany. On 8 January 1992, the 123rd Main Support Battalion was again reactivated.
In December 1995, the 123rd Main Support Battalion deployed to the former Yugoslavia for Operation Joint Endeavor, to support the 1st Armored Division in peace keeping operations that ended the fighting in the region. The Battalion received the superior unit citation for its world class support of the 1st Armored Division in Bosnia. The Battalion returned to Dexheim, Germany in December 1996 and continued to provide support to 1st Armored Division Units deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In the late 2000s, the 1st Armored Division began transformation to the modular force structure. As a result, various assets previously held at division level were made organic to the newly reorganized and redesignated brigade combat teams. In addition, the divisions gained a fourth brigade combat team. As a result, the Division Support Command and its subordinate units were inactivated. The 123rd Main Support Battalion was inactivated in June 2007. The intent was to reorganize, redesignate, and reactivate the unit as the 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, the brigade support battalion of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. However, as of 2010, the official website was still showing the 121st Brigade Support Battalion as the support battalion for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, indicating that the planned reflag had not occured.
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