3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment
The mission of the 3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment is to deploy worldwide within 36 hours, and destroy enemy forces with aerial firepower, mobility, and shock effect as an integrated maneuver element of an air assault combined arms team. The unit is one of three attack helicopter battalions supporting the 101st Airborne Division's 36 hour, worldwide deployment mission.
On 18 March 1964, the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion was created as a component of the regular army and assigned to the 11th Air Assault Division (Test).
The unit was activated for deployment to Vietnam 1 July 1965 and was concurrently redesignated the 229th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter) and assigned to the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Over the next seven years, the 229th provided reconnaissance, courier service, artillery adjustment, aeromedical evacuation, troop assault, armed escort and clandestine operations in 15 major campaigns until it returned from Vietnam and was inactivated at Fort Hood, Texas on 22 August 1972.
The battalion was reactivated on 12 September 1978 and was incorporated into the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where it served as the 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion. On 11 October 1981, Company D was activated at Fort Rucker, Alabama under the operational control of the 1st Aviation Brigade to complement the Battalion's rapid deployment capability.
On 16 September 1986, the Battalion was reorganized under the Army of Excellence structure. A Company became the 55th Attack Helicopter Company, B Company remained the 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion and C Company became the 309th Aviation Regiment, Camp Page, Korea, and the unit took the proud history of the 101st Aviation Battalion, and was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment.
The unit was organized as part of the regimental system. A Company, B Company, and C Company provided the unit's destructive firepower and maneuver. D Company provided the battalion with logistics and ground repair resources. The Headquarters and Headquarters Company was the backbone of the battalion. The HHC provided the battalion with ammunition, fuel, administration, logistics, and the command group.
On 8 September 1990, the battalion was deployed with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The 3-101st Aviation Regiment participated in the largest air assault mission in history. The Battalion returned to Fort Campbell on 7 April 1991.
In February 1992, the battalion deployed to Fort Hood, Texas, to undergo a transition to AH-64A Apaches. Since returning to Fort Campbell in August of that same year, the battalion continued the air assault rapid deployment mission, the most recent example of which was, at the time, the Battalion's short notice deployment in July 1998 to Kuwait in support of operation southern watch. In 2000 the Battalion deployed to NTC and IBTC GATEX and executed aerial gunnery.
In May 2001, B Company, 3-101st Aviation deployed as part of Task Force Sabre in support of Operation Joint Guardian to provide aerial overwatch to UN Peacekeepers in the battle torn country of Kosovo. Their return in November of that year marked completion of their six-month KFOR Mission.
Following the tragic events of 11 September 2001, elements of A Company and D Company, 3-101st Aviation deployed to Afghanistan on 16 January 2002 as part of Task Force Talon, where they conducted combat operations and provided critical mobile firepower for a complex array of missions and forces. After A Company delivered withering fires against formidable formations of enemy soldiers in Operation Anaconda at the Shah-e-Khot valley, the remainder of the Battalion was alerted and joined the Task Force in the first days of March 2002, engaging in combat operations just 96 hours after receiving their deployment order. The rapid deployment of the Battalion to Afghanistan had an immediate and demoralizing effect on all Taliban and Al Qaeda forces in theater, and was a precursor to the Battalion's participation in the Global War on Terrorism. The Battalion provided robust, responsive and flexible attack helicopter firepower to nearly every mission in theatre for the next six months. The Battalion returned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in August 2002, and immediately stood ready to be on point for the nation.
Six months later, on 27 February 2003, the 3-101st Aviation was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In Iraq, the battalion contributed to the overwhelming combat success of both the 101st Aviation Brigade and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and to the accomplishment of overall V Corps tactical, operational, and strategic objectives. The Battalion had a devastating effect on Iraqi Republican Guard, Regular Army and Paramilitary Forces, by destroying numerous key weapon systems and personnel along with causing some enemy forces to capitulate. The Battalion was instrumental in assisting 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) ground forces in the clearance of urban centers at An Najaf, Karbala, Al Hillah and Southern Baghdad, as well as assisting in securing key V Corps lines of communication, which ultimately led to the seizure of Baghdad, the eventual collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the subsequent defeat of the Iraqi Army. From May 2003 to February 2004 the battalion conducted Stability and Support Operations in Northern Iraq, managing a civil-military operations center in the town of Makhmur while simultaneously supporting combat missions with the 1st Infantry Brigade, 101st Airborne Division ("Bastogne"). On 10 February 2004, 3-101st Aviation officially returned to Fort Campbell and began preparing for the AH-64D Apache Longbow Unit Fielding and Training Program. The 3-101st subsequently deployed to Fort Hood, Texas, attached to the 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat) for the conversion training.
Also in FY04, as part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the 3-101st Aviation stood down from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, and was stood up with the newly formed 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, also part of the 101st Airborne Division.
After completing the conversion training the 3-101st Aviation was deployed again to Iraq in 2005, returning to Fort Campbell in 2006.
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