V Corps Artillery
On 24 May 2007, V Corps Artillery was inactivated during a ceremony at Tompkins Barracks as part of the restructuring of US forces in Europe.
The mission of V Corps Artillery had been to resource, coordinate, and synchronize the Corps fire support assets throughout the depth of the Corps battle space. V Corps Artillery resourced fires for the close fight; planned, coordinated, synchronized and executed fires for the deep fight; and planned and coordinated rear fire support. The V Corps Artillery also provided trained and ready forces in support of Commanding General, V Corps/US Army Europe (USAREUR) to operate in support of Corps, Army Forces, Joint Force Land Component Commander (JFLCC), or Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTF HQ).
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade on 14 March 1941. It was redesignated for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, V Corps Artillery on 28 Jan 1952. It consisted of a gold shell a pine tree of 13 branches proper, all within an oval red band bearing the motto "Steadfast and Strong" and in the base a 5 pointed star in gold. The shell signified the organization was an Artillery unit. The 13 branch pine tree alludes to the number of the parent organization, 13th Field Artillery Brigade, while the star referred to the Brigade itself. Red and gold were the colors usually associated with Artillery.
The history of the artillery with V Corps can be traced prior to V Corps Artillery's official activation in 1921. Artillery was present with V Corps in 34 major battles of the Civil War, including Malvern Hill, Gettysburg, Chancellors Ville, Cold Harbor, and Antietam. With the coming of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the artillery went ashore with V Corps to Cuba and Puerto Rico to participate in the campaigns of Las Guasimas, El Caney, and San Juan. During World War I, V Corps and the artillery were again together while the battles of Lorraine, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne raged.
V Corps Artillery traces its lineage and honors to 13 May 1921 when Headquarters Battery, 13th Field Artillery Brigade, at Camp Bragg, North Carolina, became the artillery headquarters for V Corps.
On 2 March 1944, the 76th Field Artillery Brigade, California National Guard, which hard arrived in England in 1943, was reflagged as the V Corps Artillery in preparation for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy invasion. On 7 June 1944, the first V Corps Artillery elements were ashore on Omaha Beach and V Corps Artillery was in action the following day, firing in support of V Corps units. Thereafter, the Corps Artillery moved with V Corps through France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia.
After the breakout from the Normandy hedgerows during Operation Cobra, V Corps Artillery sped across France with V Corps' armored formations. During the autumn of 1944, V Corps Artillery participated in the battle through the Huertgen Forest. During the winter of 1944-1945, V Corps Artillery fought with distinction in the Battle of the Bulge, holding the North Shoulder in the Ardennes to defeat Hitler's last major counteroffensive of the war. During the desperate fighting in the Ardennes, V Corps Artillery fired thousands of rounds with the VT proximity fuse for the first time in the history of warfare, with devastating effect on German infantry and artillery. By the spring of 1945, V Corps Artillery significantly contributed to the conquest of the Third Reich.
V Corps Artillery, consisting of 10 field artillery battalions split between 2 field artillery brigades, returned to Germany in 1951, where it trained to defend the Fulda Gap, contributing to the deterrence of Soviet aggression during the Cold War. V Corps Artillery remained forward deployed throughout the Cold War, and continued to be headquartered out of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Bloc.
V Corps Artillery units did not enter combat again until the first Gulf War, putting steel on target during Operation Desert Storm to destroy Iraqi Army and Republican Guard units. The Iraqi Army was defeated and Kuwait liberated within 100 hours upon the execution of ground combat operations, marking the swiftest military victory in US history.
V Corps Artillery entered combat again in the Second Gulf War during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), firing the initial artillery barrages of the war on 20 March 2003. V Corps Artillery units fired 414 missiles, 857 rockets, and over 18,500 cannon projectiles during major combat operations. For the first time in US military history, V Corp Artillery units fired the Army Tactical Missile System Block 1A and Unitary missiles with devastating effect on elite Iraqi formations, completing the liberation of Iraq within 21 days. V Corps Artillery directed the firing of the Sense and Destroy Armored munitions (SADARM) for the first time in combat during OIF. During the subsequent occupation and civil/military administration of Iraq, V Corps Artillery soldiers served with honor while running Combined Joint Task Force 7's (CJTF-7) Joint Visitors Bureau and disposing of over 16,000 tons of enemy munitions as Task Force Bullet in support of counterinsurgency operations in the most ambitious US led nation building scheme in world history.
On 1 July 2005, at a ceremony at Babenhausen Kaserne, Germany, the 41st Field Artillery Brigade, the last of V Corps Artillery's subordinate formations was inactivated. It was subsequently reactivated as the 41st Fires Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas as part of III Corps, aligned with the 1st Cavalry Division. This inactivation was both part of the restructuring of US forces in Europe and the transformation of the US Army to the modular force structure. On 24 May 2007, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, V Corps Artillery was inactivated during a ceremony at Tompkins Barracks.
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