31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade
"Ready and Vigilant"
The mission of the 31th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, "Ready and Vigilant," is to, on order, deploy to a theater of operations in support of the 32nd Army Air And Missile Defense Command (32nd AAMDC), conduct decisive air and missile defense operations, and redeploy.
The 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade was first constituted on 1 January 1918, in the National Army as Headquarters, 31st Heavy Artillery Brigade, Coast Artillery Corps at Key West, Florida. The unit rapidly transitioned into World War I, where the Brigade earned 4 battle streamers for participation in the Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, and Champagne 1918 campaigns. After returning from Europe, the unit was eventually demobilized at Fort Lewis, Washington on 30 June 1921 and subsequently disbanded entirely.
The unit was reconstituted on 14 October 1936 in the regular Army as Headquarters, 31st Coast Artillery Brigade and was later designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Coast Artillery Brigade. In November 1942, the Brigade was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade as part of the coastal air defense stationed at Camp Haan, California. The Brigade was later deployed to the European Theater, where it participated in and earned 3 more battle streamers for campaigns in Rome-Arno, Southern France, and the Rhineland. On 30 June 1946, the brigade was inactivated at Laned-Sebold, Germany.
This unit subsequently encountered numerous nomenclature changes, including reactivation in 1948 at Fort Bliss, Texas and a redesignation in 1958 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Artillery Brigade. The unit would be inactivated in 1960 at McChord Air Force Base, Washington and then reactivated in 1961 at Lockport Air Force Station, New York. In response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Brigade formed with 9 Hercules and HAWK battalions defending southern Florida from attack by Cuba and the Soviet Union.
The unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade on 15 March 1972, and after one final inactivation in 1979 at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida, the Brigade would be reactivated again on 1 April 1988, at Fort Hood, Texas to support III Corps. There its mission would be to, on order, deploy to a theater of Operations in support of the III Corps, conduct decisive air and missile defense operations, and redeploy.
In February, 1996, the Brigade once again received movement orders, this time to Fort Bliss, Texas. By the end of the 1990s, the Brigade consisted of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battery; the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment; the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment; the 13th Maintenance Company (attached to 1-1st Air Defense Artillery); and the 518th Maintenance Company (attached to 3-2nd Air Defense Artillery. In addition, the Brigade provided training support and guidance to the 4th Battalion, 200th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (New Mexico Army National Guard) and the 3rd Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (Florida Army National Guard). The 31st Combat Support Hospital, an element of the 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Corps Support Command provided support to the Brigade, and the 745th Medical Detachment (Forward Surgical Team) was attached to the Brigade.
The 31st Air Defense Artillery underwent a BRAC-directed move from Fort Bliss, Texas to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in July 2008. In August 2009, the Brigade deployed approximately 50 Soldiers from the Headquarters Battery to Qatar for one year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and returned its Soldiers home safely in July 2010. The Brigade also deployed 3rd Battalion 2nd Air Defense Artillery to Southwest Asia in March 2010, returning them home safely in 2011.
As of January 2013, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade consisted of a headquarters and headquarters battery and 3 assigned battalions, 2 of them deployed worldwide. 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment was deployed to Kuwait for a year, while 3-2nd Air Defense Artillery had rewritten Air Defense Artillery history by deploying to Turkey, establishing 2 Patriot missile batteries to help defend the region from possible air and missile threats that may occur as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria. 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was not deployed, remaining in garrison at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
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