6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
"Heart of the Branch"
At a ceremony on 18 May 2012, the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade was inactivated and its personnel reflagged as the 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. The remaining battalions assigned to the Brigade remained assigned to the new unit. The reflagging came after it was discovered that a clerical error had been made in 1988, when the Center for Military History had authorized the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade to take the numeric designation of "6," but did not link its lineage or honors to any wartime units. As a result, no official colors had ever been designed for the brigade. It was unclear what colors the Brigade had been using, but it is possible that the colors of the 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment had been mistakenly provided.
In 1988, The School Brigade, Air Defense Artillery School was reflagged as the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. The redesignation from The School Brigade to the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade was approved by the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) through Permanent Orders No. 165-18, dated 25 August 1988.
The Brigade's original mission in 1988 was to serve as the host unit for all new US Army air defense weapons systems, plan and conduct unit activations, conduct collective training, and facilitate preparation for deploying air defense units. The Brigade also supervised and monitored Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) training, unit readiness, emergency deployment, readiness exercises and contingency plans of assigned and attached FORSCOM units. The unit's mission included providing administrative and logistical support for allied and friendly nation military students. At that time the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Battalions, 6th Air Defense Artillery, all TRADOC units, were assigned to the Brigade. On 26 September 1990, 1st Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery became the first new addition to the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade since its activation.
By 2000, the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade mission was to conduct air and missile defense training for the integrated battlefield and train and retain air defense soldiers and leaders, who espoused the 7 army values, to be technically and tactically capable members of combat teams. The Brigade would, on order, support testing of air defense weapons systems and support the mobilization and deployment of designated active and reserve units. The 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade was, at the time, the largest Air Defense Artillery brigade in Army. There were over 1000 Permanent party assigned with a student population which fluctuates between 900-1300 students.
The new millennium brought many changes to the structure of the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. In March 2001, the 1-6th Air Defense Artillery was inactivated and in June 2004, 4-6th Air Defense Artillery followed. The War on Terrorism forced even more changes within the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. The Air Defense Artillery leadership understood that it had to modify its training approach to meet the changing contemporary operating environment requirements. The Top Gun Course was designed by the Brigade leadership as a result of lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom. The course took a graduate-level look at existing Patriot Missile technology and attempted to reduce the risk of fratricide on the battlefield.
In June 2009, the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade relocated along with the rest of the Air Defense Artillery School from Fort Bliss, Texas to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. This move was a result of the BRAC 2005 recommendations. A transfer of authority ceremony held on 24 June 2009, reassigned the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade to its new home at Fort Sill and within the newly established Fires Center of Excellence.
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