Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
"4th Brigade (Aviation), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)"
Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
The mission of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, "Iron Eagles," is to maintains balanced readiness and, on order, deploys, fights to shape division battle space, and set the conditions for decisive victory. It would then sustain the Brigade to facilitate rapid transition into the next operation.
The Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was first constituted on 1 September, 1986, in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado.
In 1995 the 2nd Armor Division was reflagged as the 4th Infantry Division and the 4th Aviation Brigade, along with the rest of the 4th Infantry Division relocated to Fort Hood, Texas. On 15 March 1996, the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry was activated at Fort Hood, Texas. Though designated as the divisional cavalry squadron, 1-10th Cavalry was placed under the operational control of the Aviation Brigade.
By 2000, the Brigade, sometimes referred to as 4th Brigade (Aviation), 4th Infantry Division, consisted of 1-4th Aviation (Attack), 2-4th Aviation (General Support), and 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry. It recieved support on operations from the 404th Aviation Support Battalion, technically assigned to the 4th Infantry Division Support Command (DISCOM).
As of mid-November 2001, the Division's Aviation Brigade had returned from a rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. This rotation was unique because the 4th Brigade served as the primary maneuver headquarters for an armor-heavy task force, an artillery task force, an engineer task force, and its own division cavalry squadron and attack helicopter heavy aviation task force. Overall the rotation was successful and many useful lessons were learned. This was expected to lead to important improvements in tactics and aviation's role as a maneuver force.
On 16 December 2004, the 4th Infantry Division formally moved into a new era of organization and effectiveness when it officially became the Army's newest "modular" division. Major additions to the Division included nearly doubling the Aviation Brigade, which was expanded to include a new attack helicopter battalion and an assault helicopter battalion. The aviation brigade increased from 16 AH-64D Apache helicopters in one attack battalion to 48 Apaches in 2 battalions. As part of the modular transformation, the 404th Aviation Support Battalion was inactivated, reorganized, and reactivated as an organic element of the new Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. 2-4th Aviation was also reorganized. Seven CH-47 helicopters from C/7-101st Aviation at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, deployed to Hood Army Airfield, Fort Hood, Texas on 18 November 2004. The helicopters were to become part of 2-4th Aviation. It had been 30 years since Chinooks were assigned to the Division. 1-10th Cavalry was also inactivated and reactivated as the brigade reconnaissance squadron for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
As of December 2005, the Combat Aviation Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division was operating out of Camp Taji, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Combat Aviation Brigade was assigned to support the 4th Infantry Division in a wide array of combat and logistical operations during its deployment.
On 1 September 2011, the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas was inactivated and its units and personnel reflagged as the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, which, along with its subordinate units, was subsequently reactivated at Fort Bliss, Texas. The decision was subsequently made in 2012 to reform the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division as a heavy combat aviation brigade, built to maintain balanced readiness and on order deploy, fight too shape division battle space, and set conditions for decisive victory. The unit would be reactivated beginning in 2013 with the same order of battle as before. The Brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and 2-4th Aviation were to be reactivated on 16 April 2013. 1-4th Aviation, 3-4th Aviation, 4-4th Aviation, and the 404th Aviation Support Battalion would follow on 16 April 2014.
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