2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
The mission of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, "Warhorse," is to, on order, maintain war-fighting readiness and deploy. Prior to the modular transformation, its mission had been to conduct Force XXI training and testing, and modernize and reorganize as a combat capable digitized brigade combat team.
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, "Warhorse," was first constituted on 19 November 1917, in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 7th Infantry Brigade, an element of the 4th Division. It was then organized in December 1917 at Camp Greene, North Carolina. The Brigade served during World War I and earned battlefield streamers for its participation in the Aisne-Marne, Saint Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-1918, and Lorraine-1918 Campaigns.
After its service in World War I, the unit was reorganized and redesignated in March 1921 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Infantry Brigade. The unit was inactivated on 21 September, 1921, at Camp Lewis, Washington. It was redesignated on 23 March, 1925 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Brigade, relieved on 15 August 1927, from assignment to the 4th Division, and assigned to the 7th Division. It was relieved on 1 October, 1933 from assignment to the 7th Division and assigned to the 4th Division. It was redesignated on 24 August 1936 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Infantry Brigade and disbanded on 16 October 1939.
With tensions rising in the Republic of Vietnam, the unit was reconstituted on 21 August 1963, in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and was activated on 1 October 1963 at Fort Lewis, Washington. During the Vietnam War, the 2nd Brigade received battlefield streamers for participation in 11 combat campaigns, including: Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, and Counteroffensive, Phase VII.
After the Vietnam War, the 2nd Brigade fought the rest of the Cold War while stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, until it was inactivated in 1989. Subsequently reactivated on 15 December, 1995 at Fort Hood, Texas, the Brigade led the Army's Force XXI experimentation and validation, shaping the force of the 21st Century.
In March 2003, the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The units of the Brigade crossed the border into Iraq in the early dawn hours of 14 April, 2004, leading the 4th Infantry Division north from Kuwait in its first combat operations since the Vietnam War. The Brigade moved up Highway 1 through Baghdad, Taji, and on to Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, destroying resistance from Iraqi forces. The 2nd Brigade secured and held multiple airfields, and military complexes for later use by follow-on forces, including those as far north as K2 Airfield near Bayji.
Following their return from Iraq, soldiers of 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division overcame a daunting task of resetting and balancing several standing missions, while transforming into a modular brigade unit of action. While working toward the 4th Infantry Division's effective reorganization date of 16 December 2004, 2nd Brigade's soldiers remained deployable as the Division Ready Brigade (DRB), in addition to keeping a quick reaction force on call for homeland defense.
During the transition, the Brigade also bid farewell to 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor and welcomed the arrival of a reconfigured 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, previously having served as the divisional cavalry squadron for the 4th Infantry Division. The 2nd Brigade gained new technology and capabilities with 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry and instead of having just a brigade reconnaissance troop as under the Force XXI force structure, the Brigade would have a whole squadron.
Having reached the effective date, 2nd Brigade Combat Team would be able to deploy, if needed, as a unit of action. It was one of the Army's 43 self-sufficient brigades that would be developed overall during the modularity process. The purpose of the units of action, as the modular brigades were initially referred to, was to enhance unit cohesion and enable brigades to deploy more quickly. There had been a fundamental change in fighting. Instead of taking part in division or multi-corps sized battles, the Army would fight smaller battles, and therefore would send smaller combat packages. The modular transformation allowed a brigade to be more independent, and it allowed a brigade and the Army overall to spread more combat power.
As part of the modular force structure, the reorganized and redesignated 2nd Brigade Combat Team had organic assets previously found at the division level, such as public affairs, civil military operations, and military intelligence. The Brigade also gained new software, including the Army Battlefield Command System, the Maneuver Control System, and the All Sources Analysis System. Following the transformation, the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infrantry Division became the most technically advanced brigade in the United States Army for a period.
Along with the move toward modularization, 2nd Brigade Combat Team assumed Division Ready Brigade responsibility in October 2004 and remained on DRB status until spring 2005. During that time, the Brigade could be called upon to support operations in Iraq or Korea. The reorganization had a big impact on the Brigade's Prepare to Deploy Order, which could have resulted in a possible mission to Korea, even while the brigade was still resetting equipment used in Iraq. Preparing for contingency missions, it took a lot of coordination with US-based forces in South Korea to ensure the necessary equipment would have been available if the Brigade was called upon. It required additional planning. Units in the 4th Infantry Division and on post at Fort Hood, Texas came up with a plan to where they would have what they need.
In late June 2005, 2nd Brigade Combat Team prepared for rotation at the National Training Center (NTC). The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted rail load operations in preparation for the unit's rotation to the NTC at Fort Irwin, California. The rail load was the first step in the BCT's journey to NTC, which would run from 9 July through 11 August 2005. Months of coordination at all levels in the Brigade, as well as with external agencies, went into a rail operation of this magnitude. It required constant teamwork, a working knowledge of unit movement operations and a lot of patience. All mission essential equipment and vehicles were prepared, inspected, loaded and secured to railroad cars for transport to Fort Irwin. Each maneuver battalion loaded more than 300 pieces of equipment onto the train during rail load operations.
As of 1 January 2006, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division had completed the transfer of authority at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, located in Iskandariyah Iraq, from the 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi National Guard. This was the unit's second tour of Iraq. The Brigade's mission was to train Iraqi security forces to conduct operations independent of coalition assistance. The Brigade supported Iraqi security forces in Najaf, Karbala and the northern Babil province.
Following its return from Iraq in late 2006, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division moved from Fort Hood, Texas to Fort Carson, Colorado. This was as part of larger realignment of US Army units.
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