563rd Aviation Support Battalion
"Keep Them Fighting"
On 19 May 2004, 9th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment was deactivated. At the time its personnel were reflagged as the 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, part of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade. In accordance with the Army's modular unit transformation concept, 9th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment was again reactivated on 16 September 2004 as 9th Battalion (Support), 101st Aviation Regiment. On 26 September 2005, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, 9th Battalion (Support), 101st Aviation Regiment, the aviation support battalion of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade was reflagged the 563rd Support Battalion (Aviation; activated 17 September 2004), as part of the United States Army's Transformation initiative and in accordance to the directive of 21 June 2005. All organic elements were concurrently redesignated, to include the Headquarters Support Company, the Alpha (Distribution) Company, the Bravo (Aviation Support) Company, and the Charlie (Network Support) Company.
The mission of the 563rd Aviation Support Battalion is to on order deploy to a theater area of operations and moves tactically from APOD/SPOD to operating areas establishes a Brigade Support Area BSA defends BSA against area threats provides CSCSS to the 159th Aviation Unit of Action.
The 563rd Support Battalion (Aviation) traces lineage and honors dating back to when it was first constituted by the Army of the United States on 25 February 1943 as the 563rd Quartermaster Service Battalion. Activated on 1 May 1943, the "Keep Them Fighting" battalion members received their initial training at Fort Lewis, Washington, as a segregated unit. It was re-organized on 20 September 1943 into a headquarters company and four line companies, thereafter known as the 3220th, 3221st, 3222d, and the 3223d Quartermaster Service companies, just prior to deployment to Great Britain.
Arriving to Great Britain in February 1944, the 563rd Quartermaster Service Battalion was divided into its separate companies and headquartered in several locations in preparation for the support of the military actions that would be known as Operation Overlord, or the invasion of Normandy, initiated on 6 June 1944. The battalion and its companies supported the military operations of a variety of American and Allied divisions, earning campaign credit from Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace (to include the Battle of the Bulge), and Central Europe. On 8 October 1945, the still segregated remnants of the 563rd Quartermaster Service Battalion departed France for return to the United States and inactivated exactly one month later, on 8 November 1945 at Fort Francis E. Warren, Wyoming.
On 5 September 1966, the 563rd "Keep Them Fighting" Battalion was re-activated at Fort Lee, Virginia, allotted to the Regular Army, and redesignated as the 563rd Supply and Service Battalion (Direct Support), consisting of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 248th Supply Company (Repair Parts), the 540th Supply Company (Heavy Materiel), and the 578th Supply Company (Heavy Materiel). The unit arrived for service in Vietnam on 29 April 1967, participating in all the major military operations of that period, such as the Counteroffensives (Phases II through VI) and the Tet Counteroffensive, earning the Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967 and the Meritorious Unit Commendation (First Oak Leaf Cluster). The 563rd "Keep Them Fighting" Battalion inactivated 6 November 1968, last casing its Colors while still in Vietnam.
On 26 September 2005, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the aviation support battalion of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade (activated 17 September 2004), was redesignated from the 9th Battalion (Support), 101st Aviation Regiment, to the 563rd Support Battalion (Aviation). The battalion deployed to Kuwait and Iraq on 5 October 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom IV, and subsequently served at FOB Anaconda (Balad), Iraq.
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