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2nd Battalion (General Support), 3rd Aviation Regiment

The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment was originally constituted on 18 April 1963, in the Regular Army as Company B, 3rd Aviation Battalion an element of the 3rd Infantry Division. The Battalion was activated on 15 July 1963, in the Federal Republic of Germany where it served with honor through 5 June 1967, and later from 21 August 1978 to 16 August 1987.

On 16 August 1987, the unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, an element of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). Following the end of the Gulf War, the Battalion was reorganized as an attack helicopter battalion and equipped with the AH-64 Apache helicopter. On 15 July 1993, the Battalion was inactivated during the Army wide drawdown.

The Battalion was reactivated on 16 February 1996, as a General Support Aviation Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield as part of the reflagging of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).

The unit was at the forefront of Army Aviation. 2-3rd Aviation supported Operation Bahamas, Turks, and Caicos (OPBAT), USSOUTHCOM counter narcotics mission in the Caribbean from 1998 through 2001. It deployed to Bosnia Herzegovina in support of Stabilization Force (SFOR) 8 and 9. It also participated in Exercises Bright Star '97 and '99 in Egypt. The unit returned to the Middle East for Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. It also served in 2 Operations Weedeater counter-drug deployments to Trinidad and Tobago. The 2-3rd Aviation also made numerous rotations to the National Training Center.

In August 2002, 2-3rd Aviation deployed 4 UH-60s to Kuwait to support Operation Desert Spring, the rest of the Battalion followed in January 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Knighthawks played an integral part of 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized)'s attack into Iraq in March 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From June to August 2003, Task Force Knighthawk was formed utilizing 2 OH-58D air troops from 3-7th Cavalry and a UH-60 Blackhawk company to support 2nd Brigade's combat operations in Al Fallujah, Iraq.

In 2004 the 3rd Infantry Division began transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. 2-3rd Aviation was reorganized, but remained with the reorganized and redesignated 3rd Combat Aviation Battalion.

In January 2005, 2-3rd Aviation deployed again to Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The Battalion's missions included VIP support, combat assaults, MEDEVAC, heavy and medium lift support, aircraft recovery, and the daily movement needs of the Divisional command group and staff. The Battalion was the primary movement support unit for the Iraqi government and routinely moved the Prime Minister, President, and key Cabinet Members throughout the combat theater. The Battalion relentlessly dedicated itself to the mission and the needs of the Division. The Battalion flew 11,265 combat hours, transported 101,837 passengers, moved over 10 million pounds of equipment, conducted 23 combat assaults resulting in the capture of over 50 insurgent leaders, and completed 4,127 missions without the loss of one soldier or piece of equipment. The Battalion redeployed in January 2006.

In 2007 the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade was alerted for deployment to Iraq. This included elements of all of its units except for the 3-3rd Aviation, which remained in the United States.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:23:30 ZULU