1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
The mission of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division is to train and maintain to always be ready to "fight tonight" to deter aggression on the Korean peninsula and if deterrence fails, to defeat any aggressor against the ROK-US alliance.
Prior to the modular reorganization, the 1st Brigade, "Iron Brigade," 2nd Infantry Division's mission had been to, on order, transitions to crisis and/or war and deploys to initial positions. On order it would defend or counterattack to destroy North Korean People's Army forces that had crossed the former MDL, and on order would conduct offensive operations to complete the destruction of those nKPA forces. It was prepared to conduct force protection operations in support of the division.
The 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team headquarters traces its lineage to the original Headquarters Troop, 2nd Infantry Division, originally organized in 1917 at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, by details from the 2nd Cavalry. This unit fought through all the major campaigns of World War I with the 2nd Division (later 2nd Infantry Division). After the war and a tour of occupation duty, it returned to the US in 1919 to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The Headquarters Troop was redesignated Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Division when the Division was reorganized under the triangular concept.
When the Division was ordered into combat in World War II, this newly designated company was often called on to drop its administrative duties and participate as infantry, earning 5 battle streamers and several foreign decorations. When the war ended in Europe, the Division returned to Camp Swift, Texas and remained there until the unit was transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington in April 1946.
The Headquarters Company's next assignment came on 9 July 1950, when the Division was alerted for movement to Korea. With the termination of hostilities, the unit remained in Korea until it returned to the United States in October 1954.
The Department of the Army inactivated the unit in 1957 and it was disbanded on 2 May 1960 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The unit was reconstituted on 25 January 1963 in the Regular Army and concurrently redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. On 16 April 1963 it was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia.
On 1 July 1965, with the redesignation of the 1st Cavalry Division, the unit returned to Korea. At the start of 1966, 1st Brigade consisted of 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment; and the 16th Turkish Armed Forces Company.
1st Brigade became an armor brigade on 16 October 1978 when the 2nd Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment rejoined 1st Brigade, replacing the 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment (Mechanized).
On 16 August 1986, the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) was reflagged as the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized).
On 16 August 1992, the Brigade became a Triple Threat Heavy-Light Force when the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the Brigade.
On 1 January 1994, the 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment replaced 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment to make the "Iron Brigade" a Triple-Threat Heavy Force.
In 2005, the 1st Brigade began to transform as part of a larger transformation of the 2nd Infantry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. Also at work was the reorganization of US Forces in Korea. As a result, 1st Brigade was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry (Mechanized) and 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor remained assigned to the Brigade. 2nd Battalion, 72nd Armor was inactivated. The Brigade also gained the 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery and the 302nd Forward Support Battalion. These units had previously been assigned at division level, attached to the Brigade during operations. As part of the modular restructuring, these units became organic to the Brigade. In addition, other support assets previously held at Division level were grouped into a Brigade Special Troops Battalion. Each modular maneuver brigade also recieved a cavalry troop. 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry was reorganized and assigned to the 1st Brigade.
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