4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
The mission of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, "Long Knife," is to, on order, deploy to an area of operations and execute full spectrum operations in support of the theater commander's objectives. It would then, on order, redeploy and prepare for future operations.
The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division was first constituted on 15 May 1971 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas. It existed only for a short period of time after the bulk of the 1st Cavalry Division had returned from Vietnam. 3rd Brigade (Special), 1st Cavalry Division remained in Vietnam, prompting the activation of a round-out brigade until it redeployed back to the United States. 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division was inactivated on 30 June 1972 at Fort Hood, Texas.
Headquarters, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was redesignated on 16 October 2005 as Headquarters, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and activated at Fort Bliss, Texas. Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division thereafter had a separate lineage. The reactivation of the 4th Brigade Combat Team followed the transformation of the 1st Cavalry Division as a whole to the US Army's modular force structure. Under this force structure the new divisional structure would be square, that is to say having 4 maneuver brigades.
The 1st Cavalry Division, which was originally activated at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1921, returned there with the activation of the 4th Brigade Combat Team in a ceremony held on 18 October 2005 at Noel Field. The 4th Brigade Combat Team was the first modular brigade combat team to activate at Fort Bliss. At that time, units assigned to the Brigade included: 1-9th Cavalry, 2-7th Cavalry, 2-12th Cavalry, 5-82nd Field Artillery, the 27th Brigade Support Battalion, and Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team. The support units contained a military intelligence company, a signal company, military police officers, medics, a headquarters company and nearly every asset needed to successfully fight and win wars.
On the one year anniversary of the unit's activation, the 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07. The 4th Brigade Combat Team assumed responsibility of Ninawa province from the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division on 9 December 2006. 2-12th Cavalry deployed to Baghdad to augment 1st Cavalry Division efforts in the capital city.
The Brigade's mission was to build capable Iraqi security forces and to conduct counter-insurgency operations to neutralize anti-Iraqi forces. The Brigade transferred authority to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in December 2007 and returned to Texas following their 14-month deployment.
In 2008, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. In March 2008, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, which was subsequently reactivated at Cooper Field, Fort Hood, Texas.
During the 4th Brigade Combat Team's train-up for deployment, the unit conducted rotations at both the National Training Center (NTC) and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). In June 2008 the Brigade deployed to 3 provinces in southern Iraq in support of Multi-National Division - South during Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-10. The Brigade Headquarters, along with 4 battalions, including a Romanian Infantry battalion, were located at Contingency Operating Base Adder in Dhi Qar Province. Another 3 battalions were located in Maysan Province at Forward Operating Base Garryowen in the north and Forward Operating Base Hunter in the south and along the Iraq-Iran border. On 4 June 2009, the Brigade transferred authority to the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division and redeployed back to Fort Hood, Texas.
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