411th Civil Affairs Battalion
"Assistance, Victory, Peace"
The 411th Civil Affairs Battalion hails from Danbury, CT but it's augmentee soldiers come from all over the country. As of early January 2005, the unit coordinated important programs to help involve the people back home help the Iraqi citizens, including Operation ICAN (the Iraqi Children Assistance Network at www.operationican.com). It was helping coordinate and manage the reconstruction projects in Central Iraq, and organize Iraq's first free democratic elections in three decades. The 411th also provides direct support Tactical Civil Affairs Support Teams to Multi-National Force Iraq, plus general support in areas such as Public Health, Public Works and Utilities, Public Safety, and Public Education. The unit also hosts conferences for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who are helping rebuild Iraq.
The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 15 March 1993, consisting of a shield blazoned: Argent, a pile Purpure bearing a torch Or, overall two scimitars saltirewise of the like. Attached around the sides and base of the shield a red scroll inscribed "ASSISTANCE VICTORY PEACE" in gold. Purple and white are the colors traditionally associated with Civil Affairs units. The torch represents leadership and guidance. The swords recall the unit's baptism of fire during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
The history of what is now the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion begins in 1945 with the establishment of the 399th Civil Affairs Group, which served in the Pacific Theatre. It was later transferred to the Army Reserve and located in Danbury, Connecticut.
The 411th Military Government Company was established in 1949 and located in West Hartford Connecticut. In 1959 the unit was re-designated as the 411th Civil Affairs Company and transferred to Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1978, with the drawdown of CA forces after the Vietnam War, the 399th was deactivated and its personnel assigned to the newly created Detachment 1 of the 411th CA Company, still located in Danbury
In 1991, the 411th was reconstituted as a battalion and consolidated in Danbury the following year.
In 1989, individuals from the 411th volunteered for service in Operations Just Cause and Promote Liberty in Panama. In December 1990 teams were mobilized and deployed to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in support of the storied 3rd Armored Division, which was part of the VII Corps effort to liberate Kuwait.Several 411th operators also participated in Operation Provide Comfort to support humanitarian operations in "Kurdistan" (northern Iraq and neighboring Turkey).
Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti during 1994 saw individuals supporting Special Forces in humanitarian operations. The following year, 34 soldiers from the 411th deployed to Cuba in support of humanitarian efforts for Cuban refugees as part of a Presidential Selected Reserve Call Up. Operation Sea Signal foretold the growing demand for civil affairs operators worldwide.
From December 1995 to January 1997, the 411th provided teams for peace implementation in Bosnia-Herzegovina called Operation Joint Endeavor. This was followed up by peacekeeping operations from 1997 through 1999 in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Operations Joint Guard and Joint Forge). This support for peacekeeping operations set the trend for future CA support of international efforts to aid war-torn countries, exemplified by the 411th s participation in Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo from 1999 through 2000.
Immediately following the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City, members of the battalion volunteered to assist in recovery efforts at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. This small volunteer effort marked the beginning of the 411th CA s contributions to the Global War on Terrorism as part of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.
The Battalion, as of January 2005, was deployed on Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the 353rd Civil Affairs Brigade as 411/HHC, 411/Alpha Co., 411/Bravo Co., augmented by the 358th, 426th, and 407th Civil Affairs Companies. Headquartered at FOB Danger in Tikrit, they currently support Task Force Danger[soon to be Task Force Liberty] and Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT). They operate four PCMOCs (Provincial Civil-Military Operations Centers), a CMCC (Civil-Military Coordination Center), a CIMIC (Civil-Military Information Center), an Information Operations Cell, an Election Operations Cell, a division Civil-Military Planning cell, a Projects Coordination Cell, the Ministries (including Water, Public Works, and Electricity), and the RROC (Regional Reconstruction Operations Center). The 411th is supported from home by Rear Detachment 411/HHD, 411/Alpha Det., and 411/Bravo Det. Many of these soldiers were, deployed on the first Iraqi Freedom rotation.
For Operation Iraqi Freedom in February 2003, the 411th CAB provided two DS detachments in support of numerous units including the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd Infantry Division, 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, 2 nd and 3 rd Armored Cavalry Regiments, 1st Armored Division and the Coalition Provisional Authority. Both detachments moved into Iraq on 5 April 2003 in support of combat operations, remaining until March 2004.
Summary of military operations supported by 411th Civil Affairs Battalion operators:
- Operation Just Cause 1989 (Panama)
- Operation Promote Liberty 1990 (Panama)
- Operation Desert Shield 1990-91 (SW Asia)
- Operation Desert Storm 1991 (SW Asia)
- Operation Provide Comfort 1991 ("Kurdistan")
- Operation Uphold Democracy 1994 (Haiti)
- Operation Sea Signal 1995 (Cuba)
- Operation Joint Endeavor 1995-97 (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
- Operation Joint Guard 1997-98 (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
- Operation Joint Forge 1998-99 (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
- Operation Joint Guardian 1999-2000 (Kosovo)
- Operations Noble Eagle / Enduring Freedom 2001 - 2003 (USA / Afghanistan)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom I, II & III 2003 - present (Kuwait / Iraq)
A Detachment accomplishments up to January 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom:
- At Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, detachment personnel worked closely with BG Kern (352nd CACOM commander) and his staff in developing the final OIF Civil Affairs plan.
- At Najaf, the Detachment was quickly reconstituted and immediately deployed teams in support of ongoing 2nd ACR field missions in villages surrounding the city. This included establishing a mobile Civil-Military Operations Center.
- Developed and implemented a plan for the 2nd ACR Commander to establish contact with the local civilian leadership in villages surrounding An Najaf. Integrated the individual teams in support of each Troop in the 2nd Squadron. The five teams rapidly established communication with the civilian hierarchy and performed hasty assessments on war damage to the villages to determine the immediate medical and humanitarian needs of the local populace.
- Upon arrival in Baghdad on 11 April 2003, A/411th CAB coordinated the Civil-Military handoff from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to the 2nd ACR. The Detachment assumed responsibility for Civil-Military Operations for eastern Baghdad with a population in excess of 2.5 million.
- On April 22, 2003, the Detachment established the first Civil-Military Operations Center (CMOC) in Baghdad, located immediately behind the UN compound. The Detachment coordinated the development of detailed procedures to address issues raised by the local Iraqi population, including establishing lines of communication with the remaining Iraqi government representatives and local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the area in order to address issues of the local populace. Between its opening on 22 April 2003 and its handover to Iraqi personnel in September, the 'UN CMOC' had over 5,800 visitors and handled over 3,900 reports. Reported issues included reports on UXOs, looting, missing persons, requests for assistance, security, and a whole gamut of other topics.
- The Detachment coordinated the five Direct Support teams' efforts in support of the 2nd ACR in identifying and removing a huge quantity of UXOs and weapons from schools, houses, and other public buildings. This effort took almost a month with the regiment supported by the Civil Affairs teams working full time.
- The Detachment conducted assessments of the infrastructure in the 2nd ACR Area of Operations including the Baghdad neighborhoods of Adamiya, Sadr City, Saba Nissan and Karadah. A/411th Civil Affairs operators assessed over 500 fixed sites in their AO.
- Based upon the assessments, the Detachment developed detailed determinations of work required and secured the funding for over 150 public works projects to address deficiencies in the local infrastructure. Over $1 million in Commander's discretionary funds were allocated to pay for these projects.
- The Detachment generated over 125 humanitarian projects to address the needs of the local populace, including the delivery of 30 tons of food, over 100,000 humanitarian rations, over 5 million litres of water, 8 tons of medical supplies and 8 tons of school supplies.
- A/411th CAB took the lead in establishing Baghdad's first IDP relocation area (known as Hillsdale). The Detachment coordinated the 1st ID's IDP program, including the development of the plans to address IDPs located in various Ministry buildings. This included overseeing the construction of 56 housing units for the relocation of over 50 families to Hillsdale from the ministries.
- On 19 August 2003, during the terrorist attack on the United Nations compound in Baghdad Alpha Detachment, even though suffering damage to its building and having six soldiers wounded, immediately reacted to the attack and deployed its personnel to repel a potential second attack as well as to provide aid to the wounded. A/411th personnel were first to arrive at the scene and were instrumental in establishing order out of chaos early at the scene of the attack. Command of the entire operation was the responsibility of A/411th until the later arrival of follow-on units. The actions of detachment personnel were personally recognized by President George W. Bush, GEN Richard Myers (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), LTG James Helmly (Chief, Army Reserve) and Kofi Annan (Secretary General, United Nations).
- The 34 members of A/411th suffered six (6) WIA with three (3) Purple Hearts awarded during the period from March 2003 through March 2004. Numerous personnel were recommended for valor awards (Soldier's Medals, Bronze Stars and ARCOMs) for bravery. A/411th was recommended for award of the Meritorious Unit Citation.
B Detachment accomplishments during Operation Iraqi Freedom:
- Unit arrived in Kuwait by mid-March and crossed over into Iraq on 5 April to link up with the 3rd Infantry Division and 82nd Airborne Division already conducting combat operations inside Iraq.
- While traveling north with the 3rd ID and the 82nd Division, B/411 conducted CA operations in ten major Iraqi cities including Najaf, Hilla and Karbala. The unit was also part of the first U.S. forces to enter Falujah and Ramadi, before settling into Baghdad.
- Once inside Baghdad, members of B/411, along with the 82nd Airborne's 325th Falcons, re-established and stabilized the city's long neglected infrastructure in their sector.
- B/411 completed over 1,000 projects in southern, western and central Iraq worth in excess of $32 million.
- Detachment personnel helped save the 2003 summer crop of the basket of Baghdad by instituting a $2 million irrigation project that tied CPA, Engineer, and USAID assets together.
- he unit was also instrumental in removing over 2,000 war hulks, cleaning city streets of trash and sewage while employing thousands of laborers and distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to civic employees.
The two detachments redeployed after 13 months, returning in March 2004. The 411th CA also provided 11 trained civil affairs operators for OIF-2.
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