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3rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Explotation)
"Winged Vigilance"

The mission of the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) is to provide timely combat information and intelligence to Warfighters through responsive SIGINT and IMINT Aerial Exploitation.

As of 2009, the Battalion and its subordinate companies had participated in a total of 31 military campaigns, covering both the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War. Battalion decorations included 3 Meritorious Unit Commendations, Vietnam; one Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palms; and the Army Superior Unit Award embroidered Korea 1985-1986. Additionally, A Company was entitled to one Meritorious Unit Commendation, Korea, and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.

The 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) was composed of 3 unit historical lineages: the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance), the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment, and the 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward).

The 704th Military Intelligence Detachment traced its history to the deployment of the OV-1 Mohawk to Korea during November 1964. The aircraft were assigned as the 2nd Aerial Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon in support of the 2nd Infantry Division, operating from Yoido, Seoul. In May 1970 the unit was redesignated as the 6th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group. In April 1971, the platoon moved to Seoul Air Base and assumed responsibility for providing aerial surveillance information to theater and national level consumers. During July 1977 the 6th Aviation Platoon (Aerial Surveillance) moved to Camp Humphreys. Concurrent with the move, the unit was redesignated the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance) and attached to the US Army Field Station Korea, 501st Military Intelligence Group.

On 7 April 1965, at Fort Meade, Maryland, the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment was activated as the 542nd Intelligence Corps Detachment. It was redesignated as the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment on 29 December 1969 and participated in several operations in Vietnam until deactivated on 19 November 1973 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

The 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward) was first activated at Long Than, Vietnam, 1 June 1966, and flew the RU-6 and RU-8 Special Electronic Mission Aircraft in support of US Forces in Vietnam. When deactivated in Vietnam on 17 February 1973, the 146th had been awarded 3 US Meritorious Unit Citations and 2 Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry with palm for service through 15 campaigns. The 146th was reactivated at Taegu Air Base, Korea on 1 July 1974 and was again tasked with a special electronic mission. The unit received the RU-21H aircraft in the Guardrail IV configuration in January 1975. The system was upgraded to the Guardrail V configuration in November 1978. At that time, the unit was moved from Taegu to Camp Humphreys, and was attached to the US Army Field Station, Korea, 501st Military Intelligence Group.

On 15 December 1979, the 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward), the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance), and the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment were consolidated as one unit and redesignated the 146th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (Provisional). A Company of the battalion continued to carry the lineage of the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance), and B Company adopted the lineage of the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment. Headquarters and Service Company, after transferring the aviation assets to B Company, continued the lineage of the 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward).

On 16 June 1983, the 146th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (Provisional) was redesignated the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation). It continued to provide intelligence collection in support of collection requirements on a daily basis. The 3dr Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) fulfilled its motto of "Winged Vigilance."




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