3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment
The mission of 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, "Red Dragons," is to deploy to a contingency area of operations and provide lethal and non-lethal effects in support of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's full spectrum operations.
The 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment was first constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Troops E and F, 24th Cavalry and organized on 5 June 1917 at Fort D.A. Russell, Wyoming. The units were consolidated, converted, and redesignated on 1 November 1917 as Battery C, 82nd Field Artillery, an element of the 15th Cavalry Division. The 82nd Field Artillery was relieved in May 1918 from assignment to the 15th Cavalry Division.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 9 September 1921 as Battery C, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, an element of the 1st Cavalry Division and was again reorganized and redesignated on 17 March 1930 as Battery C, 82nd Field Artillery. The unit was inactivated on 1 December 1934 at Fort Bliss, Texas
With the outbreak of World War II, the Battalion was again activated with the 1st Cavalry Division on 3 January 1941. It was concurrently redesignated again as Battery C, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion. The unit fought with the 1st Cavalry Division earning campaign streamers for New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Leyte, and Luzon. The unit remained with the 1st Cavalry Division on occupation duty in Japan and went on to fight throughout the Korean conflict earning another 7 battle streamers. Following those campaigns the unit returned to Japan where it was inactivated on 15 October 1957 and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
The unit was redesignated on 1 June 1958 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Gun Battalion, 82nd Artillery with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The Battalion was activated on 25 June 1958 in Germany and inactivated there on 20 December 1963.
The unit was redesignated on 10 September 1964 as the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Artillery and assigned to the 196th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light). It was activated on 15 September 1965 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The Battalion served in the republic of Vietnam from 1965 until returning in 1972 as the last field artillery battalion to leave. The Battalion was relieved on 15 February 1969 from assignment to the 196th Infantry Brigade and assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL). It was redesignated on 1 September 1971 as the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. The unit was relieved on 1 November 1971 from assignment to the 23rd Infantry Division and assigned to the 196th Infantry Brigade. The Red Dragons earned 13 additional battle streamers for their actions. Following its return from Vietnam, the unit was inactivated on 30 June 1972 at Oakland, California, and relieved from assignment to the 196th Infantry Brigade.
The unit was assigned on 16 June 1986 to the 1st Cavalry Division and activated at Fort Hood, Texas. This marked the return of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery to the 1st Cavalry Division and the beginning of the direct support relationship with the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. In October 1990, the Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia in Support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Once again the Red Dragons made history by firing the most artillery rounds in theater. The Battalion earned the Valorous Unit Award for its actions and returned to Fort Hood in April 1991.
The Battalion's direct support mission continued with numerous rotations to the National Training Center, deployments in 1992 and 1993 to Kuwait for operations Intrinsic Action 93-1 and Iris Gold, and a deployment in 1994 to Montana to fight wildfires.
In August 1995, the Red Dragons deployed to Kuwait for Operation Intrinsic Action 95-3 within 72 hours of notification. The Red Dragons set the standard for joint and coalition training in the desert with the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Kuwait Army.
In 1998 and 1999 the Red Dragons deployed soldiers for Operation Joint Forge peacekeeping operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Battalion set the standard for professionalism and force protection on these two deployments.
On 20 November 2001 the Battalion answered the call once again, deploying to Kuwait for Operation Enduring Freedom. The Battalion achieved the mission of defending Kuwait and deterring aggression in the region.
In January 2004, the Red Dragons deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. During the deployment, the Battalion conducted thousands of security patrols and searched hundreds of suspected enemy locations to disrupt insurgent activities. The "Red Dragons" spent countless hours building and developing a company of the new Iraqi National Guard before redeploying to Fort Hood in February 2005.
On 5 September 2005, the "Red Dragons" deployed with 72 hours notice to New Orleans, Louisiana to support the humanitarian relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina. The Battalion conducted presence patrols, distributed supplies and helped serve meals to more than 350 members of the St. Mary's Mission. The "Red Dragons" were highly successful in restoring order and providing comfort to their fellow Americans.
In late 2005, the unit became involved with the transformation of the 1st Cavalry Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. The Battalion was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment. It was relieved on 18 October 2005 from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division and assigned to the 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. As part of the modular transformation, assets that had previously been held at division level, but habitually attached to brigades during operations were made organic to those brigades. The 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment became the organic field artillery battalion for the reorganized and redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
In October 2006, the Red Dragons deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. During this deployment, the Red Dragons provided continuous security and services to the people of the Qadisiyah and Janayn Hayy's in the Karkh district of western Baghdad. In addition to the counterinsurgency mission, the Red Dragons conducted non-standard missions in support of the American embassy and 1st Cavalry Division. The Battalion executed over 2,500 combat escort missions of 60,000 contractors, Department of State personnel and senior military officers. Escort missions included the safe transportation of $13 billion throughout Baghdad. In their artillery role, they fired over 4,500 155mm artillery rounds in support of maneuver operations and counterfire. The Red Dragons safely redeployed to Fort Hood in January 2008.
The Red Dragons again deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in January of 2009. The Battalion was given authority for the volatile city of Kirkuk and bordering Kurdish areas in vicinity of the "Green Line." The mission required the Red Dragons to organize as a maneuver battalion and secure the population in the provincial capital, the largest city in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team area of operations. Kirkuk was the heart of the ethnic struggle in Iraq and widely considered the main effort of American forces in shaping a future Iraq. Partnering with Iraqi police and the Kurdish regional army, the Red Dragons reduced violent extremist activity by over 75 percent over the course of the year. The complexity of the environment required over 30 Iraqi unit partnerships and the maintenance of over 100 spheres of influence, many of which had never before partnered with American units. The Battalion led the way in both civil and information operations as well, completing the largest civil projects in Multinational Division North (MND-N). Not forsaking the artillery role, the Red Dragons were the first in MND-N to fire Excalibur munitions and followed with several missions in support of other units. Through much of the deployment, A Battery supported operations in Mosul from combat outpost power. Partnered with Iraqi army and police, A Battery played a key role in MND-N's decisive effort of securing the last major violent extremist stronghold in Iraq. A Battery returned to the Red Dragons in July of 2009 for operations in Kirkuk and the Battalion as a whole safely redeployed in December 2009.
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