3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized)
The mission of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was to, on order, deploy to designated contingency areas to conduct combat operations and/or stability and support operations.
The Brigade evolved through a myriad of changes since its history began on 24 May 1917 as the 1st Expeditionary Division. On 6 July 1917 the unit was redesignated as Headquarters Troop, 1st Division. The unit was quickly pressed into action upon its arrival to France and was baptized by fire in the battles of Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Muese-Argonne, Lorraine 1918 and Picardy 1918. After World War I the unit was redesignated on 13 February 1921 as Headquarters and Military Police Company (less one Military Police Platoon), 1st Division.
In August of 1942 the unit was reorganized and redesignated 1 August 1942 as Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division. During World War II the unit fought battles in Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, the invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardenne-Alsace, and other locations across Central Europe.
On 20 April 1960 the unit was disbanded at Fort Riley, Kansas. On 23 October 1963 the unit was reconstituted as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division (Forward) and activated into the Regular Army in January 1964. After its activation the unit proceeded to The Republic of Vietnam where it saw 6 long years of action earning 13 streamers and citations for its actions.
After Vietnam the unit moved to it's new home station at Goeppingen, Germany. On 21 July 1975 the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division (Forward). It it remained at its post in Germany until it was deployed to Saudi Arabia. There it participated in the Defense of Saudi Arabia and Liberation and Defense of Kuwait Campaigns, as part of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The unit was involved in the VII Corps spearhead operation into Iraq. Upon completion of Desert Storm the unit returned to Germany and was inactivated on 15 August 1991.
The unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and activated in Vilseck, Germany on 16 February 1996. From March 1996 to March 1997, 1-63rd Armor and 2-63rd Armor of the 3rD Brigade, 1st Infantry Division deployed to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as Task Force Able Sentry to stabilize the peace process in the war-torn country.
In October 1996, HHC, 3rd Brigade deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Endeavor to support national elections. In March of 1997 HHC, 3rd Brigade and 2-2nd Infantry deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina for Operation Joint Guard, where it saw action during the Brcko riots, seizure of Hill 562, and municipal elections. In October 1997 the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division redeployed to its home station of Vilseck, Germany.
In February 1999, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division again received the call to deploy to the Balkins, this time to Kosovo. The 3rd Brigade began 10 long months of training and finally deployed in November 1999, assuming its mission on 12 December 1999. The Brigade helped bring peace to the war-torn country and provided a safe and secure environment for all Kosovars regardless of their ethnicity. In June 2000 the 3rd Brigade redeployed to its home station of Vilseck, Germany.
In April 2002, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was deployed for a second time to Kosovo. The train-up time took 8 months. Through October and November 2002, the Brigade deployed to Kosovo and assumed the mission on 21 November 2002. Originally, the mission was to be a 6 month rotation, but was then extended to 8 plus months. The Brigade sustained peace again in this war-torn country, and provided a safe and secure environment for all Kosovars regardless of their ethnicity. In July 2003, the 3rd Brigade returned home Vilseck, Germany and began training again.
Only 5 months after returning from Kosovo, 3rd Brigade helped to bring peace to the people of Iraq. 3rd Brigade, and other elements of its combat team, in full partnership with Iraqi Civil and Military Authorities, secured the Area of Operations and improved conditions for continued progress towards Iraqi self-reliance. Its mission was to simultaneously neutralize Anti-Iraqi Forces and set the conditions for a successful election. They planned to return to Vilseck in early 2005, after, on order, conducting a deliberate relief in place.
In the week leading up to the Easter holiday, violence erupted throughout Iraq as coalition forces battled insurgents spurred on by 30-year-old Shi'ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr. The young cleric laid siege to this holy city, taking over government and police buildings and warning coalition forces to stay out.
In response, the US-led Combined Joint Task Force-7 quickly assembled Task Force Duke, led by elements of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and on the eve of Easter Sunday, began a large-scale move, taking the brigade-size force south to a new forward operating base 20 kilometers outside the holy city, a feat not attempted since the Vietnam War.
The task force comprised about 2,800 soldiers from units throughout the country, the majority coming from the 2-2nd Infantry, 1-14th Infantry and 5-20th Infantry. They moved from bases as far north as Mosul to a new Forward Operating Base just south of the holy city with as little as 36 hours notice, and with the expectation that they could be there for 30 to 60 days. At one point, they were told they could stay up to 6 months by Task Force Duke Commander Col. Dana J.H. Pittard of V Corps' 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. While a number of soldiers from 1-14th Infantry were flown in on CH-47 "Chinook" helicopters, the majority rolled in on convoys lasting up to 36 hours. About 325 vehicles, including 8 tanks, 25 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 77 Stryker armored wheeled vehicles transported the troops, who faced detours from blown bridges and attacks from insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades, small arms and improvised explosive devices.
Members of the Iraqi National Guard and US soldiers of the 82nd Engineer Battalion, part of 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division combat team, scanned for improvised explosive devices during a joint day patrol outside the city of Baqubah, Iraq on 23 August 2004.
In January 2005 members of the Baqubah Iraqi Police Force arrived at a gas station in Buhriz, Iraq, to take over security, transport men detained for questioning, and impound the cars of suspected criminals after a raid of the premises for known anti-coalition insurgents by Soldiers with C Battery, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
Headquarters, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was reorganized and redesignated on 16 April 2007 as Headquarters, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division as part of the transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. Headquarters Company, 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division thereafter had a separate lineage. The 3rd Brigade Combat team, 1st Infantry Division was reassigned under United States Forces Command, with stationing at Fort Hood Texas, effective 19 April 2007. As part of the transformation units previously habitually assigned from division-level elements such as the Engineer Brigade, Division Artillery, and Division Support Command, were reorganized, redesignated, and reassigned as organic elements of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Engineer elements were included as part of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, while 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery and the 201st Forward Support Battalion (reorganized and redesignated as the 201st Brigade Support Battalion) were assigned to the Brigade Combat Team.
In June 2008, elements of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan. They remained deployed into 2009.
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