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626th Brigade Support Battalion
626th Forward Support Battalion
"We Rise Up"

As part of the Army's transformation towards a modular force, the 626th Forward Support Battalion was inactivated from the 101st Airborne Division Support Command and reactivated with the 3rd Brigade as the 626th Brigade Support Battalion in 2005.

Three FSBs were organic to the 101st Division Support Command (DISCOM) prior to the transformation beginning in 2004 of the 101st Airborne Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. Each FSB consisted of an HSC, medical company, and arid maintenance company. The Headquarters and Service Company doubled also doubled as the Supply Company. The FSB provided DS-level logistics and HSS to a light infantry brigade and other division units in the brigade AO. The FSB was the single point of contact for support in the brigade AO. Specifically, it supported the brigade by providing or coordinating to provide Class I, II, III, IV, VII, and IX items as well as maintenance, health services, field services, and transportation support. It provided support in the amounts and at the times specified in the brigade service support annex and the FSB SOP. It operated an ATP in the BSA. It replenished its supported units' basic loads of supplies. It replenished prescribed loads of maintenance-significant Class II and IV items and repair parts. It maintained equipment at prescribed operational levels or passes it to the maintenance company in the DSA. It coordinated transportation needs identified by the brigade with the MCO. It provides HSS and coordinates medical evacuation and treatment operations with the brigade. It planned and conducted security and terrain management in the BSA.

Following the transformation to the modular system the Brigade Support Battalion's orginization consisted of the HHC and 3 integral companies (Supply, Maintenance, and Medical), as well as individual forward support companies assigned to the Brigades other battalions. G Company is assigned to 3-320th Field Artillery.

The 626th Forward Support Battalion was initially constituted 23 July 1918 as the 326th Sanitary Train, an element of the 101st Division, National Army. It was demobilized 11 December 1918, then reconstituted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 24 June 1921 as the 326th Medical Regiment, again as part of the 101st Division, but allotted to the organized reserves. On 30 January 1942, the Regiment was redesignated the 326th Medical Battalion, 101st Division. On 15 August 1942, the battalion was withdrawn from the organized reserve and allotted to the Army of the United States, reorganized and redesignated as the 326th Airborne Medical Company.

The unit was activated at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, as element of the newly organized 101st Airborne Division. The 326th deployed with the Division in 1943, in preparation for the invasion of Europe in 1944. On 18 December 1944, the Division was hastily transported to Bastogne, Belgium, to help stop the German Ardennes Offensive, "Battle of the Bulge." The 326th provided medical support throughout the Division's magnificent defense of Bastogne against four German Divisions and elements of three others. Afterward, the 326th supported the Division during the remainder of the conflict in Europe, until it was inactivated on 30 November 1945 at Auxerre, France. The unit was redesignated 18 June 1948 as HHC 501st Airborne Medical Battalion, and underwent several activations and inactivations until 1 July 1956, when it was again redesignated the 326th Airborne Medical Company.

The unit was finally redesignated the 326th Medical Battalion and activated as an organic battalion to the 101st Airborne Division, 3 February 1964. Since that time the 326th supported the Division during the Vietnam War and at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 326th again deployed with the 101st Airborne Division in 1990 in Support of Operations in the Persian Gulf. During Operation Desert Shield, the 326th supported the division in Camp Eagle II and FOBs Bastogne and Oasis. Operation Desert Storm saw the 326th was expanding its support into the Euphrates River Valley. Following the conflict, the Battalion redeployed to Fort Campbell.

The giant task of supporting the 3rd Brigade fell under the 626th Forward Support Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Whether in garrison, in the field or deployed, the 626 FSB was an integral part of the 3rd Brigade. 626th FSB soldiers normally worked 18 hours a day keeping the airport's runway clear while downloading supplies from incoming Air Mobility Command's C-17s and then distributing the supplies among the different units inside the compound. The forklift is integral in getting as much supplies on the ground to complete the mission. As of late January 2002 there was a constant flow of food, water, ammunition, barrier material and medication into the airfield. 626th FSB also intended to have laundry services and hot meals for the soldiers soon thereafter.

Within hours of the fateful events of 11 September 2001, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Rakkasans) was designated the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) "ready" brigade. As its habitual support battalion, the 626th Forward Support Battalion (FSB) began to prepare itself, while assisting the other Brigade elements for overseas deployment and combat operations. As the scope of the Rakkasan mission grew, the 626th FSB grew into a Logistics Task Force (LTF). With the 626th FSB as the foundation, the task force grew to over 500 personnel with the addition of elements from other Fort Campbell units including the 801st Main Support Battalion, 102nd Quartermaster Supply Company, the 613th Movement Control Team, 372nd Transportation Company, 95th Maintenance Detachment-Test, Measurement, Diagnostics and Evaluation (TMDE), and HHC/MMC DISCOM. Upon arrival in Afghanistan the LTF continued to grow with augmentation from other FORSCOM units, to include elements of the 259th Field Services Company and 248th Veterinary Detachment from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 49th Petroleum Group-240th Quartermaster (Fuel Laboratory) and the 54th Quartermaster (Mortuary Affairs) from Fort Lee, Virginia, the 24th Ordnance Company from Fort Stewart, Georgia, the 1980th Forward Surgical Team from Oakland, Califorinia, the 227th Preventative Medicine Detachment from Fort Lewis, Washington, and a Logistics Support Element from Army Materiel Command.

Deploying in November 2001 with 1-187th Infantry to Pakistan, the first element of the 626th FSB to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom was an 8 man maintenance support team (MST) from B Company. The Task Force Support Operations Officer (SPO), the Division Materiel Management Center Materiel Management Officer (DMMC MMO), and a Division Medical Operations Center (DMOC) logistics officer were the next to deploy with Task Force Rakkasan's Advance Party on Christmas Day 2001. The main body of the LTF deployed throughout the month of January 2002, closing on 2 February 2002. Deploying the LTF took 36 Air Force C5s and 48 C17s following both eastern and western routes that included stops in Spain, Germany, Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa and Diego Garcia.

The 626th LTF assumed support missions as a part of the relief-in-place of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as soon as the early echelons of the LTF hit the ground at Kandahar Airfield, quickly taking over the command, control and execution of the water production mission, Class I ration break point, and bulk fuel operations. Before the rest of the task force had closed or the relief-in-place completed, the 626th LTF had planned and launched its first tactical support mission. The support of US and Coalition Special Operations Task Forces, as well as TF Rakkasan elements for mission AQ049 in January 2002 was the first of several weeks of continuous missions supported by 626th LTF. Forming, then deploying a forward logistics element (FLE) to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bagram, 626th LTF established a fuel point capable of executing hot refuels for TF aircraft, and provided critical tactical resupply of food, water, ammunition, batteries, and barrier materials. These were all delivered on time, on target to a variety of small unit locations throughout the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, and throughout numerous combat missions.

The most notable of these missions was Operation Anaconda, throughout which a 23-person FLE successfully fueled, armed, maintained, supplied and medically treated TF Rakkasan soldiers from three simultaneous, but separate locations during the most intense combat operation since Vietnam. As if that was not enough, the LTF conducted a relief in place of the 3rd Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), assuming defensive operations at Kandahar Airfield and freeing the Infantry soldiers to join the fight in the Shah-I-Kot Mountains. Through it all, the LTF continued to push critically needed supplies from five separate locations spanning hundreds of miles, ensuring that TF Rakkasan was well equipped, well supplied and well cared for.

From start to finish, 626 LTF took on the ever-expanding support missions of Operation Enduring Freedom, supporting every base operation logistics requirement and tactical logistics mission with extraordinary success. With unprecedented drive and spirit, the soldiers of LTF 626 rose to every challenge, accomplished what others thought impossible, and now stand proud knowing that they played a vital role in the success of every TF Rakkasan and Coalition mission.

The 626th FSB was deployed with other elements of 3rd Brigade and the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and in 2004 returned with the rest of the 3rd Brigade and other elements of the 101st Airborne for the transformation of the entire Division to the US Army's new modular force structure. As a result the Division Support Command was stood down, as was the 626th FSB. 626th FSB was then reactivated as the 626th Brigade Support Battalion, assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. It was redeployed on another rotation to Operation Iraqi Freedom with other elements of the 101st Airborne Division in 2005, where it continued to serve through 2008.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:30:35 ZULU