224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (Airborne)
The mission of the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (Airborne) is to conduct aerial collection and exploitation of communications and electronic intelligence in support of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
As a subordinate unit of the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade (Airborne), the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion provides aerial reconnaissance and surveillance support to the XVIII Airborne Corps and Corps' Major subordinate commands.
The 224th Aviation Battalion (Radio Research) was activated in Saigon, Vietnam, on 1 June 1966. The battalion and its four subordinate companies began with on 6 aircraft and 159 personnel, but quickly expanded in size. In July 1967, the battalion reached its highest strength of 1066 personnel, and within two years had 30 aircraft assigned.
On 19 May 1971, the battalion was redesignated as the 224th Army Security Agency Aviation Battalion. The battalion participated in fifteen campaigns and received three awards of the Meritorious Unit Commendation, along with the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm during its service in the Vietnam Conflict. On 3 March 1973, the colors of the battalion were transferred to Oakland, California, and the unit was formally inactivated.
On 1 June 1981, the unit was reactivated as the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation). The battalion is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, GA, and is organized with a Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company and Company B (Electronic Warfare). On 15 October 1997, Company A (Aerial Surveillance) was deactivated.
From February 1984 to January 1990, the battalion provided continuous support to the U.S. Southern Command from an OCONUS operating base, conducting aerial intelligence collection missions from its C Company (Provisional). In 1984 and in 1987, the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion won the National Security Agency 's Director's Trophy for its excellence as a tactical cryptologic unit.
As of September 2001, the unit had elements deployed in support of operations in Europe, Southwest Asia, and the Gulf of Mexico.
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