2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment
On 8 April 2008, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Subsequently, the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was subsequently inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery.
The mission of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was to train to meet availability requirements as a light Field Artillery Battalion in direct support to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and, on order, deploy from Fort Carson, Colorado and provide direct support Field Artillery fires and execute stability operations and support operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
The 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was first constituted on 1 July 1916 as Battery B, 17th Field Artillery. The Battery fired its first shot in anger on 26 March 1918 in support of the 2nd Division (later redesignated as the 2nd Infantry Division) in the Rupt-Troyon sector of eastern France during World War I. The 17th Field Artillery earned 6 battle streamers, 2 French Croix de Guerre with palm, for accurate fires and a tenacious fighting spirit. On 9 December 1921, Marshall Foch, the supreme allied commander during World War I, personally decorated the 17th Field Artillery Regiment with the French Fourraggere.
With the onset of World War II, the 17th Field Artillery once again prepared for war. In July of 1941, the Regiment deployed to England, trained for battle, and then landed in North Africa that November. Throughout World War II, the 17th Field Artillery fought in 8 major campaigns to include: Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. The 17th Field Artillery earned 8 battle streamers and a third French Croix de Guerre, this one with silver gilt star, for timely and effective fires.
In the latter part of World War II, the 17th Field Artillery Regiment went through a number of transforamtions, resulting in part in the activation of the 17th Field Artillery Battalion in 1944. This unit was inactivated in April 1946 before being reactivated in August 1946. This unit served in the Korean War and the the 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry traces its lineage to this unit as Battery C, 17th Field Artillery Battalion, which deployed to Korea with the 25th Infantry Division. The 17th Field Artillery Battalion earned 10 campaign streamers and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for valor.
In 1958, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Howitzer Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, with its organic elements subsequently activated. It was subsequently redesiganted as the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery. The Battalion deployed to Vietnam in October 1965. For over 4 years, 2-17th Field Artillery fought in support of the 1st Cavalry Division in the central highlands region of Vietnam. 2-17th Field Artillery earned 13 battle streamers and added the Republic of Vietnam cross of gallantry, with palm, to its combat honors. After its service in Vietnam, the Battalion was inactivated.
In September 1972, the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division and stationed forward at Camp Pelham, Korea. There, it remained until April 1987, when it was inactivated. In August 1976, the Battalion positioned 2 batteries north of the Imjin River during the infamous Panmunjom Axe Murders, standing ready to fire on pre-planned targets in North Korea. During the 1980s, the unit also began to recieve the 155mm M198 howitzer.
The 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was reactivated for the second time as part of III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in July 1988. In September 1990, the Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia after Iraq invaded Kuwait. The 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery once again demonstrated that they were prepared for battle, supporting the 24th Infantry Division and allied forces in the liberation of Kuwait from January through March 1991. Departing Southwest Asia, the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery continued to train and prepare for war in the continental United States.
On 5 June 1996, the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, returned to the Republic of Korea. It was assigned to the Division Artillery (DIVARTY) of the 2nd Infantry Division, becoming the direct support battalion for the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. In the summer of 1997 the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery fielded the most technologically advanced howitzer system, the M109A6 Paladin. From 1996 to 2004, the Battalion served as part of the most forwardly deployed division artillery in the US Army.
On 4 August, 2004, the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The Battalion spearheaded the 2nd Brigade's counter-fire fight against a highly insidious insurgency, firing 2585 rounds while executing a total of 477 missions. The Battalion equally executed a myriad of other missions, to include base defense operations, route reconnaissance, and logistical resupply patrols. After superbly answering the call of duty in Iraq, the Battalion redeployed to Fort Carson, Colorado on 21 August 2005.
On 16 November 2005, the Battalion transformed from the Paladin M109A6 self-propelled 155mm howitzer to the towed light M119A2 105mm howitzer. It continued its direct support mission to 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. This was part of the reorganization of the 2nd Infantry Division under the Army's modular force structure. As part of the transformation, various units previously held at division level and attached only during operations were made organic to the brigades they were habitually attached to. The 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery became an organic part of the new 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
As part of a larger reorganization of US Army forces at home and abroad, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division was inactivated in April 2008 and reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. The 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery was subsequently inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery.
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