63rd Regional Readiness Command
63rd Regional Support Command
The 63D RRC's main mission will continue to be that of providing combat support and combat service support to units during deployments; to support troop projection by filling in for deploying active troops; providing port, rail and other transportation support; and act as the training base during full mobilization. The 63D has command and control of approximately 14,000 soldiers serving in approximately 140 units in the states of California, Arizona and Nevada, with obligation to control budgets, manage supplies and provide personnel support and planning.
In addition, the 63D RRC has the increased responsibility to support the major reserve commands located within its boundaries, including the 91st Division (Exercise), 104th Division (Institutional Training), and the 311th Support Command (Corps). Support includes resource and logistic management, personnel functions, real property management, and regional planning related to military support of civilian authorities.
The 63D's illustrious history can be traced to a secret conference that took place in Casablanca, North Africa, in January 1943, attended by both President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill. The Axis powers had reached their high water mark and a plan was sought "to make the enemy bleed and burn in expiation of his crimes."
Activation ceremonies for the 63D Infantry Division were conducted on 15 June 1943, at Camp Blanding, Florida. World War I veteran Brigadier General Louis E. Hibbs was named commander. A few months later, the unit moved to Camp Van Horn, Mississippi, where it would train 17 months for its' pre-ordained mission. It was General Hibbs who conceived the "Blood and Fire" slogan and the "Flaming Blade" insignia, a bloodied sword up thrust against a crimson flame, in keeping with the Casablanca pronouncement.
The 63D ID waged many memorable campaigns during World War II. The division's 254th Infantry Regiment captured Hill 216, eliminating it as an enemy defensive position. Division soldiers also invaded the "Colmar Pocket" stronghold in the Volgues mountains, crushing the resistance after eight days of fighting. The 63D ID's biggest challenge was penetrating the dreaded Siegfried line, girded with twin lethal belts of bunkers, mine fields and tank traps. The 63D broke through after seven days of bloody fighting in March 1945.
Three regiments of the 63d Infantry Division arrived in Marseille, France, 8 December 1944, trained at Haguenau and, under the designation Task Force Harris, protected the east flank of the Seventh Army along the Rhine River. The Task Force fought defensively from 22 to 31 December 1944. The rest of the Division arrived at Marseilles, 14 January, 1945, and moved to Willerwald, 2 February, where it was joined by the advance elements on 6 February. On the 7th, the 63d conducted local raids and patrols, then pushed forward, crossing the Saar River, 17 February, and mopping up the enemy in Muhlen Woods. After bitter fighting at Gudingen early in March, the Division smashed at the Siegfried Line, 15 March, taking Ormesheim and finally breaching the line at St. Ingbert and Hassel, 20 March. Before resting on the 23d, the 63d took Spiesen, Neunkirchen and Erbach. On 28 March, the Division crossed the Rhine at Neuschloss, moved to Viernheim and captured Heidelberg on the 30th. Continuing the advance, the 63d crossed the Neckar River near Mosbach and the Jagst River. Heavy resistance slowed the attack on Adelsheim, Mockmuhl, and Bad Wimpfen. The Division switched to the southeast, capturing Lampoldshausen and clearing the Hardthauser Woods, 7 April. A bridgehead was secured over the Kocher River near Weissbach, 8 April, and Schwabisch Hall fell, 17 April. Advance elements crossed the Rems River and rused to the Danube. That river was crossed on the 25th and Leipheim fell before the Division was withdrawn from the line, 28 April, and assigned security duty from the Rhine to Darmstadt and Wursburg on a line to Stuttgart and Speyer. The 63d began leaving for home 21 August.
Germany surrendered in May 1945. The 63D ID remained for several months for postwar occupation and was then sent home and deactivated on September 27, 1945.
The 63D ID's proud heritage continued in February of 1952 as the unit was reactivated and assigned to the Army Reserve. On January 1, 1968, the division was redesignated as the 63D U.S. Army Reserve Command, encompassing Southern California and the states of Arizona and Nevada. During Operation Desert Shield/Storm, more than 2500 officers and soldiers responded to the presidential call-up of reservists. Twenty-two units were called to active duty. with fourteen of them deployed to the Persian Gulf.
In April 1995, the United States Army Reserve Command, in response to a downsized force and redefined mission, announced its largest realignment in decades. As a result, the 63D was once again redesignated, this time as the U.S. Army 63D Regional Support Command (RSC). It's geographic boundaries were realigned to conform with the standard federal district, observed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other government agencies. This new realignment will help the 63D support natural disasters, and other regional crises, much more quickly.
In late 2003 all Regional Support Commands were re-designated to Regional Readiness Commands.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendatinos, DoD recommended to disestablish the 63rd Regional Readiness Command (RRC) Headquarters, Robinson Hall, USARC and activate a Southwest Regional Readiness Command headquarters at Moffett Field, CA in a new AFRC. This recommendation would support the Army Reserve's Command and Control restructuring initiative to reduce Regional Readiness Commands from ten to four. Both the 63d Regional Readiness Command and the 90th Regional Readiness Command in Little Rock, AR would be disestablished and replaced by creating a new consolidated headquarters at Moffett Field, CA.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|