87th Army Reserve Support Command (East)
87th Division (Training Support)
The 87th Army Reserve Support Command directs and exercises authority over assigned United States Army Reserve units and Soldiers with respect to administration and support, including organization of forces, control of resources and equipment, personnel management, unit logistics, individual training, readiness, mobilization, demobilization, discipline, and other matters not included in the operational missions of Division East, First US Army.
The 87th Army Reserve Support Command (East) was first constituted on 5 August 1917 in the National Army as Headquarters, 87th Division and organized on 25 August 1917 at Camp Pike, Arkansas. The 87th Division served as part of the American Expeditionary Force in France during the Great War. The Division entered the combat zone late in the war and primarily conducted combat support missions including: construction projects; performing guard duty; military police operations; convoy escort; and many miscellaneous logistics and supply details. As the Division was moving to the front lines in November of 1918, the war ended and the Division returned home. The Division was demobilized on 14 February 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. For its service in the Great War, the unit was awarded a campaign streamer without inscription.
The unit was reconstituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters, 87th Division. It was organized on 23 September 1921 at New Orleans, Louisiana. The unit was redesignated on 13 February 1942 as Division Headquarters, 87th Division. The Division was ordered into active military service on 15 December 1942 and reorganized at Camp McCain, Mississippi. It was concurrently redesignated as Headquarters, 87th Infantry Division.
The first elements of the 87th Infantry Division departed the United States on 4 October 1944 and the final elements arrived in England on 13 November 1944. The Division then departed England for France on 24 November 1944. On 28 November 1944, the Division began its trek across France, through Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, ultimately linking up with Russian forces at the Czechoslovakian border on 21 May 1945.
The 87th Infantry Division distinguished itself as an outstanding unit, being assigned to General George S. Patton's famous Third Army, and served in campaigns in the Ardennes, the break-through of the Siegfried Line, the Kyll, the Moselle, Koblentz, the Rhine, Plauen, and the Mulde. The Division's most significant accomplishment after storming across the Siegfried Line was the capture of the strategic city of Koblentz. The "Golden Acorn Division" became known as the "Liberators of Koblentz." The Division was awarded streamers for participation in 3 campaigns during World War II: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. After the end of the Second World War, the Division was inactivated on 21 September 1945 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The unit was reactivated on 12 May 1947 at Birmingham, Alabama. An element of the Organized Reserves, the Division remained a part of this organization was it was redesignated on 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps, which was in turn redesignated on 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve. Following the Korean War, the Department of the Army conducted a post evaluation of reserve component unit training. This led to the conclusion that a new organization was needed with the exclusive mission of conducting training exercises for the Reserve Components. Thus, on 7 February 1957, the 87th Maneuver Area Command (MAC) came into existence. Though the 87th MAC wore the original "Golden Acorn" patch of the 87th Infantry Division, the unit had a separate lineage and honors. The 87th Infantry Division was formally inactivated on 15 February 1957 at Birmingham, Alabama.
The analysis of Army training following Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-1991 led to the conclusion that new methods and organizations were needed to improve the combat readiness of the Reserve Components. The new focus was on automated battle simulations for commanders and battle staffs, and on small unit collective training for squads, platoons and companies. The Maneuver Exercise Command concept was developed in 1990, which, in turn evolved into the Infantry Division (Exercise) concept in 1992. The 87th MAC was inactivated and in its place the 87th Division (Exercise) was activated on 1 October 1993 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 17 October 1999 as Headquarters, 87th Division (Training Support). With this reorganization came closer integration of Active Component and National Guard units and resources, and an increase in the importance of the 87th Division's training and support missions. While the 87th Division was still considered a Direct Reporting Command to the US Army Reserve Command (USARC), the Division's new parent unit became the First US Army, a continental US field army located in Georgia. Also, as a result of the reorganization, various separate training support brigades were reflagged as organic training support brigades of the 87th Division. The Division had subordinate units located in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.
The Division's 1st Brigade (BCST), also located in Birmingham, provided planning, execution, and evaluation for units participating in Combat Support Simulation Exercises and Brigade Battle Staff Training. The 87th Division's 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Brigades were newly integrated units combining Active Component forces from Army Readiness Groups and Regional Training Battalions, and the Division's former Field Exercise Brigades. The Brigades' primary mission remained to develop, coordinate and execute training and evaluation for Reserve Component and National Guard units, as well as to assist in unit mobilization when these units are called to active duty.
As a training support division, the 87th Division planned, conducted, and evaluated training exercises for Army Reserve and National Guard units. The primary mission requirements included LANES training for combat support and combat service support units and battle command staff training for unit staffs and command elements. The 87th Division also provided training and mobilization support to Reserve Component units upon their mobilization. The Division's training support brigades also served to support Military Assistance to Civilian Authorities missions in response to natural disasters or emergencies.
The 87th Division conducted Lane training for National Guard and US Army Reserve company-level units, and battle command staff training exercises for all Reserve Component civil affairs, combat support, and combat service support units at battalion- and brigade-level. Priority was given to Force Support Package units, enhanced Brigades, LAD < 30, Round Out Units, and then any other units throughout the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. In the event of a mobilization, the Division provided assistance to designated mobilization station commanders, by conducting post-mobilization training of units prior to their deployment to the theater of operations.
On 16 January 2006, First US Army's mission expanded to include the training, readiness oversight, and mobilization for all US Army Reserve and Army National Guard units within the continental United States and 2 US territories. First US Army assumed authority from Fifth US Army, which was transforming into US Army North (USARNORTH), assuming nationwide responsibility for homeland security. With its new role, First US Army developed 2 subordinate multi-component headquarters, one division to support the eastern United States and the other to support the western United States. Division East, First US Army Division East was activated on 7 March 2007, and was headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Division East replaced the functions previously performed by US Army Reserve divisions, like the 87th Division, in its area of responsibility. As a result, the 87th Division's brigades were subsequently inactivated and the 87th Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 87th Army Reserve Support Command.
The 87th Army Reserve Support Command assumed command and control of the newly formed Mobilization Support Group East and its 16 subordinate battalions effective 16 October 2008.
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