502nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Collection)
502nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Operations)
"Freedom by Vigilance"
The 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, "Freedom by Vigilance," transitioned to a collection battalion from an operations battalion as part of the modular transformation of the 201st Military Intelligence Brigade (Battlefield Surveillance) in 2008.
Previously, the mission of the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion had been to, on order, deploy and provide intelligence and electronic warfare support to I Corps conducting Smaller Scale Contingency (SSC) or Major Theater of War (MTW) combat operations. It would then, on order, redeploy and prepare for follow-on missions.
The 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion first constituted on 30 June 1952 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 502nd Military Intelligence Service Battalion and activated on 1 September 1952 in Taegu, Korea. Consisting of 5 separate military intelligence service platoons, the Battalion was assigned to the Far East Command. The Battalion was instrumental in providing vital and timely intelligence in support of the Korean War. For its efforts in providing the United Nations forces with valuable tactical intelligence gained from interrogators, order of battle analysts, and photo interpreters, the Battalion was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. The Battalion participated in 3 campaigns in the Korean War: Korea Summer-Fall 1952, Third Korean Winter, and Korea Summer 1953. The Battalion was reorganized and redesignated on 28 March 1954 as Headquarters, 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion and was inactivated in Korea on 20 January 1955.
The Battalion was redesignated on 20 March 1961 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The Battalion was activated 25 March 1961 in Yongsan, Korea, as a field army military intelligence battalion assigned to the US Army Pacific Command and subsequently assigned to the Eighth US Army. From 1961 to 1978, the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion was the only military intelligence battalion assigned in the Republic of Korea. During this period the Battalion provided key analytical research on the developing North Korean Army. The battalion was reorganized in April 1977 and assigned to the Intelligence and Security Command. It was later inactivated in Korea on 1 January 1978.
The 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Operations) was reactivated on 1 October 1986, at Fort Lewis, Washington. The Battalion consisted of 3 companies: Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company, A Company (Operations), B Company (Communications-Electronics). In 1990-1991, the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion was recognized by the Secretary of the Army for Extraordinary Meritorious Service while in its intelligence support role of Operation Desert Storm. The 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion provided intelligence analysis in support of I Corps and Fort Lewis, Washington across the spectrum of military operations. Until October 2008, the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion was the only active duty military intelligence battalion at Fort Lewis.
In 2008, the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion was reorganized as a collection battalion as part of the transformation of the 201st Military Intelligence Brigade to a modular battlefield surveillance brigade. It was also joined by the 109th Military Intelligence Battalion.
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