1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division
In 2008, the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division completed its transformation to a unit of action under the US Army's new modular force structure. It was reactivated at that time at Fort Bliss, Texas, completing a permenant change of station that accompanied the reorganization. The new modular 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division consisted of maneuver units and support units previously held at division level, but organic to the new brigades. It consisted of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment; 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment; and the 501st Brigade Support Battalion.
Prior to the reorganization, the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division had been a forward deployed Armor Brigade located in the Federal Republic of Germany. It was located in the rolling hills of the German State of Hessen, in the city of Friedberg at Ray Barracks along with F Troop, 1st Cavalry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment; 501st Forward Support Battalion and elements of 55th Personnel Services Battalion, 39th Finance Battalion, 501st Military Police Company, and 284th Base Support Battalion. 1st Brigade stood ready to support any call to mission that was ordered by 1st Armored Division for soldiers or supplies no matter the destination. Its designated mission while in Germany was to stand ready to support any call to mission that was ordered by 1st Armored Division for soldiers or supplies no matter the destination.
Headquarters, 1st Brigade Combat Team first organized on 1 January 1942 in the Regular Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Combat Command A, 1st Armored Division. In December 1942, Combat Command A and the Division Headquarters joined Combat Command B in North Africa. CCA fought throughout the Tunisian Campaign and was involved in the particularly bitter fighting around Kasserine Pass. When the 1st Armored Division moved to Italy, CCA fought, first in the area of Naples, and later at the Anzio beachhead, where it remained until the breakout in May 1944. CCA lead the breakout from the beachhead and for the rest of the war, fought its way up the Italian Peninsula, sharing all the hardships of mountain combat, which at times forced its tankers to fight as infantry. It was reorganized and redesignated on 20 July 1944 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Command A, 1st Armored Division.
At the close of World War II, CCA had earned campaign streamers for action in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe and the Rhineland. Headquarters, Combat Command A was converted and redesignated on 1 May 1946 as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Constabulary Regiment, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division. It was inactivated on 20 September 1947 in Germany.
The unit was converted and redesignated on 27 February 1951 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Command A, 1st Armored Division. The 1st Armored Division as a whole was reactivated in 1951 at Fort Hood, Texas. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Command A, 1st Armored Division was activated on 7 March 1951 at Fort Hood, Texas and spent the next few years training and testing new Tables of Organization and Equipment. In 1957, the 1st Armored Division was reduced in size to just Combat Command A, which joined the Strategic Army Corps. CCA carried the name of the 1st Armored Division until 1962, when the Division returned to full strength. It was then that the name "Combat Command" was dropped. Combat Commnad A was reorganized and redesignated on 3 February 1962 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. It initially adopted the nickname the Forerunners.
On 16 August 1991, 1st Brigade, 3rd Armored Division, having returned from Operation Desert Storm was reflagged as the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. This reflagging was part of an initial drawdown of US forces in Europe, which saw the inactivation of the 3rd Armored Division. The reflagged 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division adopted the nickname of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Armored Division, "Ready First."
Subsequently, the 1st Bridge continued to train for its wartime missions, with an additional focus on Peace Operations. The 1st Brigade provided forces for the first ever Partnership for Peace Exercise in Poland. A Battalion Task Force was deployed for 6 months of peacekeeping operations to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In 1996, the 1st Brigade was called upon again, when it was sent to conduct peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and upon returning deployed an additional Task Force for peacekeeping operations in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In May 2000, the "Ready First" Brigade Combat Team was called upon to deploy to what was at the time the Serbian province of Kosovo to conduct peacekeeping operations, and returned home in December 2000 after successful completion of that mission.
1st Brigade began redeploying to Germany from 6 months in Kosovo at the beginning of December 2001. Thanks to the hard work by both the 1st and 2nd Brigades the transition was effective and seamless.
In 2007, as part of a continuing drawdown of US forces in Europe, the 1st Armored Division began both transformation to the US Army's modular force structure and redeployment of some of its brigades to the United States. Units redeploying from Iraq at that time would be redeployed to the Unitd States. Headquarters, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, was reorganized and redesignated on 16 September 2008 as Headquarters, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division thereafter separate lineage. The reorganized 1st Brigade Combat Team was formally activated during a ceremony on 27 October 2008 at Fort Bliss Texas.
During a ceremony on 11 January 2011, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division marked the beginning of their transformation from a Heavy Brigade Combat Team to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team. During the ceremony, one of the Brigade's battalion's was reflagged, and the Brigade also activated a new battalion and four separate companies as part of the transformation.
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