2nd Battalion (Assault), 82nd Aviation Regiment
The mission of 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment is to conduct strategic deployments within 18 hours notification and provide air assault, combat support, and combat service support to the Combat Aviation Brigade in support of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The 2nd Battalion (Assault), 82nd Aviation Regiment traces its heritage back to the 82nd Aviation Company in 1957. That company enlarged to a battalion, and in 1960 had the distinction of becoming the first combat aviation battalion organic to a division-sized unit. Battlefield mobility had become a new focus in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 82nd Aviation Battalion led the way.
In 1965 the Battalion received its trial-by-fire when a company was deployed to Vietnam in support of the now famed 173rd Airborne Brigade. While in Vietnam, 82nd aviation crews conducted air assaults, combat re-supply under enemy fire and the first combat extraction of wounded soldiers from dense jungle using only a lowered rope and Swiss seats. 1965 also saw the remainder of the 82nd Aviation Battalion deployed to the Dominican Republic to fly airlift, reconnaissance, medical evacuation, leaflet drop, and loudspeaker missions in support of the 82nd Airborne Division's deployment there.
Throughout the 1970's and 80's, the Battalion underwent numerous organizational changes to meet the rapidly evolving aviation requirements of the Division. In 1979, the unit was designated the 82nd Combat Aviation Battalion and consisted of 114 aircraft, including UH-1 Hueys, AH-1 Cobras and OH-58 Kiowa observation helicopters. Highlighting this period was the arrival of the UH-60A Black Hawk in 1981.
Another first for the Battalion and Army Aviation came in 1983 during Operation Urgent Fury when the Black Hawk was used for the first time in combat. The Battalion deployed to the small Caribbean island of Grenada and led the way on a major combat air assault and numerous re-supply and air movement operations.
On 15 January 1987, to meet the still expanding aviation requirements of the Division, the 82nd Aviation Battalion was designated Company B, 82nd Aviation, an element of the 82d Airborne Division. It was reorganized and redesignated on 16 October 1989 as 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment within the newly formed 82nd Aviation Brigade. 2-82nd Aviation was comprised of a headquarters company, 3 line companies and a maintenance company.
Shortly after the new transformation, in 1988, the Battalion deployed with the Brigade to Honduras to provide support to Southern Command throughout Central America. The deployment was highlighted by SERE training, deck landing qualification, mountain training and M60D aerial gunnery live fire exercises.
Back to back combat operations during the 1989 Panama invasion and the 1991 Persian Gulf War once again put the Battalion to the test. Even upon redeployment from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the Battalion maintained an impressive operational tempo. Throughout the 1990's the Battalion participated in multiple deployments to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. The Battalion also assisted in the 1992 relief operations in Florida after Hurricane Andrew and flew in support of Operation Uphold Democracy in the Bahamas during 1994. Elements of the Battalion conducted multiple tours in Bosnia Herzegovina for Operation Joint Guard in 1997 and continued peacekeeping operations later in 2001.
The Battalion experienced over 2 years of split operations and deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
The Battalion, less A Company and part of D Company, deployed in July 2002 as a composite aviation task force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Battalion provided combat, combat support, and combat service support to the coalition partners in order to destroy or disrupt Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorist forces. Relieved by A Company and the D Company slice, the HHC, B, C and D Companies returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Missions in Afghanistan included inserting and extracting Scout and Long Range Surveillance teams in mountainous terrain at night using Night Vision Goggles, often on rock outcroppings too small to actually land a Black Hawk.
In September 2003, 2-82nd Aviation deployed with the 82nd Aviation Brigade to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. With 15 UH-60's and nearly 200 personnel, 2-82nd Aviation's mission was to support the 82nd Airborne Division in its charge to defeat non-compliant forces and neutralize destabilizing influences in Iraq. Their efforts contributed significantly to help create a secure environment for the people of Iraq and a safe governing backdrop for the Coalition Provisional Authority.
By June 2004, with the return of the Aviation Brigade from Iraq, the Battalion was once again whole, but not standing idly by. A massive helicopter reset program was initiated with the Battalion still managing to conduct aerial gunnery qualifications, progression flights, continuation flights, and aviation support for the Division and other Fort Bragg units. In October, B Company took over OPBAT rotations and was conducting reconnaissance and air movement operations in direct support of DEA operations to interdict the flow of drugs within the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands.
In January 2006 the entire 82nd Airborne Division began a transformation to the US Army's new modular force structure. 2-82nd Aviation remained with the reorganized and redesignated 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.
In late 2006, 2-82nd Aviation deployed along with other elements of the 82nd Aviation Brigade returned to Iraq for another tour of duty.
In 2007 2-82nd Aviation deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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