2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment
Knightmares Iron Knights
The Aviation Brigade consists of 2-501 GSAB, 1-501 Attack both at Fliegerhorst Kaserne and 1-1 Divisional Cavalry Squadron in Bundingen. The Battalion consists of HHC, A and B Flight Companies, D Company the AVUM and the 69 Chem, which is the Div Chemical Company. The Battalion is about 480 proud men and women as of mid-2002. The Battalion is smaller now after transformation took its toll. It has two companies of 8 each 1998 UH-60Ls. A GSAB fly's a variety of missions, and that is no different here. But in usual Army fashion, the mission requirement did not reduce. It is a fine fleet of well-maintained aircraft by a great group of superb crew chiefs and AVUM. The 501st Aviation Battalion was constituted 15 February 1957 in the Regular Army as the 501st Aviation Company. After it was assigned to the 1st Armored Division in Ft. Polk, Louisiana, the unit was reorganized and re-designated 3 February 1962 as HHD, 501st Aviation Battalion. The Battalion's A company was assigned to the U.S. Army Pacific in 1964 and later deployed to Vietnam where they earned the Presidential Unit Citation in 1966.
The Battalion was inactivated on 24 June 1967 and reactivated on 21 August 1972 in Germany. After serving in Germany for fifteen years the Battalion was deactivated on 16 November 1987, relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division and became a part of the United States Army Regimental System on 16 October 1988. The Battalion's companies A and B would later be activated in Korea as 1st and 2nd Battalion 501st Aviation Regiment and then deactivated on 15 January 1996. On 21 February 1997 both were activated in Germany under the 1st Armored Division.
In December 1999, 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment was notified that it would form the nucleus of an aviation task force to deploy to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian. Task Force 2-501 was formed in January 2000 from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-501st Aviation Regiment, Alpha Company, 1-501st Aviation Regiment, D Troop, 1-1Cavalry Regiment, Alpha Company, 2-501st Aviation Regiment and elements from the Aviation Unit Maintenance Company from 2-501st Aviation Regiment, 1-501st Aviation Regiment, and 1-1 Cavalry Regiment. The Task Force immediately began training for peacekeeping operations. After months of training deployments to Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, and Fort Rucker, Alabama, Task Force 2-501 deployed to Kosovo in June 2000.
Throughout the deployment, Task Force 2-501 flew over 10,000 mission hours, successfully accomplishing a multitude of tasks ranging from aerial reconnaissance and troop insertions to MEDEVAC and QRF; all of these were done simultaneously while flawlessly executing missions for a steady stream of VIP's. Task Force 2-501 has never faltered in its commitment to Task Force Falcon and KFOR, due to the professionalism of its aviators, the dedication of its operations and support personnel, and the outstanding work of its crew chiefs and maintenance personnel that kept the aircraft mission ready.
Task Force 2-501 redeployed to Central Region in December 2000 where it continued to train and execute missions as an Aviation Task Force. The Battalion was then reorganized back to its original configuration with three UH-60 Blackhawk companies, an Aviation Unit Maintenance Company, and its HHC. The Battalion fought for three weeks against the OPFOR, in order to test and validate their return to HIC proficiency.
From the beginning of FY 02 2nd Battalion continued its high operational tempo support by participating in multiple CMTC rotations, gunneries, and Warfighter exercises all in preparation for its role in High Intensity Conflict. On June 19, 2002 C Company was inactivated based on the Army Aviation Transformation plan for FY 03.
On June 19, 2002 C Company was inactivated based on the Army Aviation Transformation plan for FY 03. The Battalion is postured for success in a HIC environment with A, B, D, HHC companies as well as the 69th Chemical Company from 1st Armored Division attached in support.
In April of 2003 2nd Battalion deployed along with the entire 1st Armored Division to Baghdad Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion conducted operations from Baghdad International Airport for 12 months. In April 2004, the Division's tenure was extended in Iraq to quell a mounting insurgency. During this effort the 2nd Battalion redeployed from Kuwait and supported offensive operations in central and southern Iraq. The Battalion returned home in July 2004 after 15 months in the desert.
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