30th Enhanced Heavy Separate Brigade (eHSB) (Mech)
The 30th eHSB, headquartered in Clinton, is the largest brigade in the North Carolina Army National Guard. The brigade has three maneuver battalions, two infantry and one armor. The brigade also has a field artillery battalion, an engineer battalion, a support battalion, a cavalry troop, a military intelligence company, an air defense battery and a brigade headquarters and headquarters company.
The 30th eHSB is one of fifteen designated enhanced brigades with the mission of mobilizing
and deploying for combat within 90 days notice. The brigade is also part of the 24th Integrated Division in Fort Riley, Kansas. The 24th ID is led by an active duty division headquarters and staff, and consists of three National Guard enhanced brigades.
The unit also has a training associate relationship with the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).
The brigade has one battalion of M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and two battalions of M-2 Bradley
Fighting Vehicles. The 1st Bn, 113th Field Artillery made preparations in 1999 to transition to the Paladin (155 SP) artillery system.
The brigade conducted gunnery at annual training in 1999 utilizing Fort Pickett, Va and Fort Bragg, NC. The brigade and battalion staffs conducted a warfighter exercise. The brigade received a notification of
training, tasking the 1st Bn, 113th Field Artillery to provide a target acquisition battery to the Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The mission was cancelled, just weeks before scheduled
The "Old Hickory" Brigade has a federal mission much like its active Army counterpart and has received the responsibility of supporting NATO forces since 1982. The brigade has successfully accomplished task force size overseas deployments in 1983, 1986, 1988, and 1992.
The 30th Heavy Separate Brigade also has a state mission and has been called upon several times to help support the citizens of North Carolina during time of hurricanes, tornadoes, and forest fires.
On 5 June 1999, during an activation ceremony at Fort Riley, Kansas, the 30th Heavy Separate Brigade became part of the 24th Infantry Division under the new active/reserve component integrated division concept.
The 2000-2001 six-month rotation of U.S. soldiers in Bosnia was the first time that National Guard troops have patrolled the countryside in vehicles armed with automatic weapons to ensure that the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords are not violated. Although National Guard soldiers have been part of the NATO peacekeeping force from the start, presence patrols in the American sector were conducted by active Army troops until last fall. Even when the Texas Army Guard's 49th Armored Division ran the operation in the spring and summer of 2000, the line units were active Army. One hundred seventy-six infantry and armor Guard soldiers from North Carolina's enhanced 30th Infantry Brigade and 170 infantry soldiers from Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Brigade were the first to pull patrol duty with active Army soldiers. After weeks of intense training back home they joined the rotation commanded by the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Ga.
Hickory Sting - 02 is an exercise conducted in July 2002 at Fort Riley, Kansas to enable the 30th eSB the opportunity to conduct a real world deployment and exercise to facilitate success at their National Training Center rotation in FY03. The brigade planned and executed many of the same missions they will encounter at the National Training Center. The 24th Infantry Division hosted the exercise and conducted it in the same manner it does for it's AC units stationed on Fort Riley. The Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division (Mech) was committed to making the exercise the most realistic and challenging training the 30th eSB has conducted to date.
The soldiers of today's "Old Hickory" Brigade wear their unit patch with pride. This pride comes from the distinguished history of the 30th and from knowing that they are some of the best trained and equipped soldiers in the world.
Beginning the week of May 9, the Brigade will load more than 1,300 pieces of equipment including M1A1s, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, trucks and other equipment on more than 500 rail cars on eight trains bound for Ft. Irwin from Fayetteville's Ft. Bragg. The main body of soldiers will go to California at the end of the month.
On May 18, 2003 North Carolina soldiers have begun unloading trains carrying the tanks, trucks and other vehicles of the 30th Brigade Combat Team.
M1A1s, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and other armored vehicles of the 30th Brigade Combat Team
On May 20, 2003 hundreds of soldiers have begun arriving at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, Calif., as they prepare the way for the main body of the 30th Brigade Combat Team which will arrive later this month.
More than 4,500 soldiers and airmen of the North Carolina National Guard used California's Mojave Desert to train for war starting May 31, 2003. They went there for the largest battle training exercises ever held by Tarheel guardsmen during a three-week deployment to the National Training Center (NTC) at Ft. Irwin.
The Army announced on July 26, 2003 that it had alerted two U.S. Army National Guard Enhanced Separate Brigades that may participate in the Army unit rotation plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The units are the 30th Infantry Brigade from North Carolina and the 39th Infantry Brigade from Arkansas. The 30th Infantry Brigade would be augmented with an infantry battalion from the 27th Infantry Brigade of New York. This deployment would last up to one year from mobilization to demobilization. These National Guard units would provide capabilities necessary to perform the on going mission in Iraq.
In February 2004, the Brigade began its deployment to Iraq prepared to spend one year "boots on the ground" there.
In addition to the units from West Virginia and Illinois, which are normally part of the Brigade, soldiers from several other states were added to the unit for this deployment. They are the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry from New York; Company B of the 279th Signal Battalion from Alabama; Company C of the 1st Battalion, 107th Armor from Ohio; Company B, 451st Civil Affairs Battalion from Texas; Detachment 1495, 324th Psychological Operations Company from California; and soldiers, but not the entire unit, from the 682nd Engineer Battalion from Minnesota.
In all, nearly 5,000 soldiers made up the Brigade at the time of its deployment.
While deployed to Iraq, the unit disbursed the Northeastern Iraq sector where it was stationed with more than $5.7 million for security, education and water-sewer treatment projects. The 30th BCT also undertook 393 improvement projects, including the refurbishment of schools, mosques and the construction of hospitals.
30th Infantry Division
The 30th Infantry Division was created 18 July 1917 shortly after the United States became a belligerent in World War I. Although the division was new, many of it's components had long and proud histories going back in some cases to revolutionary days, in others to the Civil War and the brief war of 1898 with Spain. The troops comprising the 30th were state militia and National Guard units of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, most of which had recently seen active duty on the Mexican border.
The 30th was first assembled as a division on 3 August 1917 when it went into training at Camp Sevier, South Carolina. From the outset, the 30th was known as the "Old Hickory" Division in honor of Major General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). The division shoulder patch contains a blue H within a blue O on a red background with the Roman numeral XXX across the crossbar of the H, symbolizing "Old Hickory" and the 30th Division.
The 30th completed training at Camp Sevier on 1 May 1918 and sailed to England where it was assigned to the British Armies in northern France for training in trench warfare. The 30th entered combat on 9 July 1918 and during the next four months compiled an outstanding combat record; its most notable achievement being the cracking of the Hindenburg Line.
Following World War I and its return to the United States, the 30th was deactivated. In 1925 the War Department reactivated the 30th as a National Guard division, with troops from Georgia added to the original components. From 1925 until 1940 the history of the 30th was the usual one of annual summer encampments and peacetime maneuvers. In September 1940 the 30th was called to full-time active duty and its ranks filled to war strength by volunteers.
The 30th was not committed to combat action until 10 June 1944; however the early days of World War II were eventful ones. During the spring of 1942, the 30th was reorganized from an old-style into a triangular division of three infantry regiments, four battalions of field artillery, and divisional troops. During the times of reorganization, the 30th contributed a sizeable number of cadremen to assist in the activation of other divisions, furnished instructors for service schools, furnished staff officers for higher headquarters, activated tank destroyer battalions, and sent approximately fifteen hundred men to Officer Candidate School(OCS). On 12 February 1944, the 30th embarked from Boston and reached England 10 days later.
During its first few months in England, the 30th prepared for the ultimate reason for its existence - combat. As the spring wore on, it became obvious the long-heralded invasion of Europe was near. In early June the 30th embarked for the wars.
On June 15th an improved combat team with the 120th Infantry as a nucleus, launched an attack in the vicinity of Isigny in the direction of the Vire River. For the first time, the men of "Old Hickory" had encountered the Wehrmacht and the baffling hedgerows of Normandy. On 7 July 1944 the 30th Division engaged in its first offensive action - its objective the Vire River crossing in Normandy. The 30th sustained heavy losses - 3200 officers enlisted men killed, wounded, or missing in action. The 3rd Platoon, Company B, 105th Engineer Battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation for laying and maintaining a bridge under heavy and continuous enemy fire. From 24 July until 2 August the 30th Division toiled through the deep lanes and hedgerows of Normandy. This battle - the St. Lo breakthrough - was one of the most publicized battles of the entire war.
Following the St. Lo breakthrough, the 30th was withdrawn and assigned to a quiet sector, but had hardly gotten into position when it was struck by a German counter-offensive designed to upset the allied thrust into France. The 30th quickly organized defensive positions and for six agonizing days fought off the best the Wehrmacht had. It was the failure of this offensive that convinced the German general staff that the battle for France was lost. From 2 October until 22 October the 30th was instrumental in the encirclement of Aachen and in exploiting the gap made in the Siegfried Line by allied forces. The 30th played a vital role in the assault of the Siegfried Line.
From 16 November until 30 November the 30th distinguished itself in the allied armies drive into Germany as far as the river Roer. By this time the German commentators were beginning to refer to the "Old Hickory" Division as the "Roosevelt SS", a very high compliment since the SS Division was the elite of the German Army.
From 18 December until 25 December, the 30th contributed greatly to the halting of the German Ardennes offensive, better known as the Battle of the Bulge. By holding fast to the northern shoulder of the German salient at Malmady, Belgium, and by methodically chewing up one of the best German Divisions - the 1st Panzer SS - the 30th contributed materially to halting the final German attempt to break through the allied lines. From 13 January 1945 until 27 January 1945, the 30th participated in the St. Vith counter-offensive which drove the Germans from their Ardennes salient restored the lines to their mid-December 1945 position.
By this time the beginning of the end was evident. The once powerful Wehrmacht was beginning to falter. During the Roer Offensive (25 February - 6 March), the 30th met stiff resistance while negotiating a difficult crossing of the River Rhine. From 1 to 13 April the 30th sped across central Germany, meeting only sporadic resistance. The final episode was the reduction and occupation of the ancient city of Magdeburg on the Elbe. Here the 30th was located on VE Day - 8 May 1945.
On the 12th and 16th of August 1945, the 30th sailed for the United States. Orders for deactivation were received at Fort Jackson, SC on 16 October, and the process was completed by 25 November 1945.
The 30th Infantry Division was reorganized as part of the National Guard. The organization continued until 28 October 1954 when the 30th was again reorganized with the entire division located in North Carolina.
In January 1968 the Division became the 30th Infantry division (Mechanized) and was divided among the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The division was deactivated in 1973 and three separate infantry brigades (mechanized) were formed. The North Carolina brigade retained the lineage of the division named "Old Hickory" after President Andrew Jackson.
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list