2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment
In March 2009, the US Army announced that it would reflag the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division as the 170th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, as part of the modular reorganization of the 1st Armored Division and the overall restructuring of US Army forces in Germany. As part of this transformation, the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment was inactivated and reflagged as the 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the 170th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, which formally activated in August 2009.
The mission of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment had been to, on order, rapidly deploy within the EUCOM, CENTCOM, or other directed areas of vital interest to conduct combat or stability operations.
The Battalion Motto was "Remember the Regiment," the last words spoken by the then commander, Colonel Thompson, on Christmas Day, 1837 at Okee-Cho-Bee Swamp during the Seminole War. The colonel was fatally wounded. Having fallen below the swamp waters, a private from the Regiment pulled his fallen commander's head above the water so he could utter his last words. His final order to the men of the 6th Regiment: "Keep steady men, Charge the Hummock, and Remember the Regiment!"
The 6th Infantry's ceremonial punch bowl is described as follows: The 6th Infantry bowl is a hollow, half-sphere with a capacity of about six gallon. The bowl incorporates the crests of the 6th Infantry Regiment and the former Battle Group as the basic design. The top of the bowl is scalloped to signify the crossing of the Meuse River in World War I. Two alligators serve as handles for the bowl. Arthur Hoffman of Suizaerstrasse completed his work in sculpturing the bowl in July 1959 and it went on to the bronze firm of Paul Krass, located at 10 Bergfried Strasse, where it was completed in August 1959.
2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry was first constituted on 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as a company of the 11th Infantry. The unit was organized between March and May 1812 in Vermont, New Hampshire, or Connecticut.
The unit was consolidated between May and October 1815 with a company of the 25th Infantry (which had been first constituted on 26 June 1812) and a company each of the 27th, 29th, and 37th Infantry (all of which had been constituted on 29 January 1813) to form a company of the 6th Infantry. The unit was designated on 22 May 1816 as Company B, 6th Infantry. The 6th United States Infantry Regiment was born during a stormy period of American History and reached maturity on the battlefields of innumerable campaigns and 9 separate wars.
The unit was consolidated on 1 May 1869 with Company B, 42nd Infantry, Veteran Reserve Corps (first constituted on 21 September 1866), and the consolidated unit was designated as Company B, 6th Infantry. The 6th Infantry as a whole was assigned on 18 November 1917 to the 5th Division before being relieved of that assignment in August 1921. It was assigned on 24 March 1923 to the 6th Division before being relieved on 16 October 1939 from assignment to the 6th Division. The unit itself was reorganized on 15 July 1940 as Company B, 6th Infantry (Armored), an element of the 1st Armored Division. It was redesignated on 1 January 1942 as Company B, 6th Armored Infantry, an element of the 1st Armored Division.
The 6th Infantry's first Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to the 6th Regiment for the heroic actions during the beach assault at Oran, Algeria on 8 November 1942. Of the 417 soldiers who attacked the beachhead that day, only 9 remained uninjured. The second Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to the 6th Regiment for actions during the assault on Mount Porchia, Italy, on 31 December 1944.
The 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment Gators from Baumholder deployed to Grafenwoehr in July 2000 to accomplish what has not been done in USAREUR for some time: a combined arms, battalion sized live fire. The Gators deployed on July 7 to begin the trek to their culminating live fire exercise.
As with any military exercise, 2-6 Infantry started with the basics. They executed several small arms ranges and began their Operation Desert Storm Bradley qualification gunnery. Table VIII, the qualification table, was a success for the battalion as they qualified all crews including seven distinguished crews and six superior crews. The battalion Top Gun award went to the crew of Alpha 13 from Alpha 2-6 Infantry: Sgt. 1st Class Richard Morin, Pfc. Ronald Hughes, and Sgt. John Mullen. The crew shot a perfect 10 out of 10 engagements.
The top company for the battalion was Bravo 2-6 Infantry Death Dealers who earned four of the seven distinguished and two of the six superiors. The culminating exercise for the train-up was Bradley Table XII. On table XII, all four Bradleys from a platoon move, shoot, and communicate together as they fire live ammunition at simulated enemy trucks, tanks, and personnel carriers. Crews shot their TOW missiles and also called for and adjusted live mortar fire. The dismounted soldiers also got a chance to shoot live Dragon missiles at tank targets while the Scouts and Mortars executed similar exercises to become qualified in their skill area.
After completing the Bradley qualification tables, the Gators shifted to Air Assault training. As a mechanized infantry battalion, air assault training is rarely, if ever, executed. 2-6 Infantry has been designated as the Air Assault battalion for the 1st Armored Division in preparation for possible Kosovo applications. The Gators combined forces with the 501st Aviation Regiment to execute a live air assault into the Oberdachstetten MOUT Training Area. Once on the ground, each company executed an assault on a simulated Kosovo village where there were opposing forces and simulated civilians on the battlefield. The soldiers flew in on UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters while AH-64 Apache gunships provided support.
Finally, the Gators were ready for their culminating exercise, the company team live fire. This exercise was a battalion defense in which all three companies, Alpha 2-6, Bravo 1-35, Charlie 2-6, and the Scouts and Mortars were defending against a simulated enemy motorized rifle regiment. Supporting the Infantry were 4-27 Field Artillery, Bravo 40th Engineers, Air Force close air support, 1-4 ADA, and 47th FSB.
The exercise started with enemy patrols entering the battalion sector on the first night. Simulated by wooden targets shaped like personnel carriers, the targets appeared closer and closer until destroyed by the counter-recon company, Alpha 2-6.
The following morning, a full-scale enemy motorized rifle regiment entered the battalion sector. The main defensive company, Charlie 2-6, fought off waves of approaching enemy tanks, personnel carriers, BMPs, and dismounted troops. During the main battle, all weapons systems were firing simultaneously as steel rain poured upon the advancing enemy. M1 Abrams tanks fired 120mm sabot rounds alongside Bradleys firing their 25mm high explosive rounds, while live artillery from 4-27 FA pounded the ground only 750 meters to the front. As the dismounts fired their small arms at simulated approaching dismount troops, two Air Force A-10 Tank Killers appeared overhead to strafe the enemy and then drop 500 pound bombs on the enemy's main body.
After the enemy was severely beaten, the Gators launched a counter attack with their attached tank company, Bravo 1-35. Fighting alongside the tanks were Bravo 40th Engineers. The enemy had thrown in a last minute obstacle that had to be breached for a successful counter attack. The engineers brought up their live MICLIC mine destroying charge, and ripped the live mine-wire obstacle to pieces, allowing the tanks to pass and continue to defeat the remnants of the enemy's main forces. Overall, the combined arms live fire was an extreme success for the soldiers of 2-6 Infantry, both in terms of safety and motivated training. Many soldiers could be overheard saying this was... "The coolest thing they have done in the Army."
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