3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (Wolf Pack)
In 1980, The Marine Corps identified a requirement for enhancing the mobility and firepower of the units tasked with rapid deployment responsibilities. A family of six Light Armored Vehicles was determined to be the means of meeting this requirement. On 27 September 1982, a production contract for the LAV-25 and a companion development contract for five other LAV configurations (Maintenance/Recovery, Logistics, Mortar, Anti-Tank, and Command and Control) were awarded the general Motors of Canada. The LAV family of vehicles are highly mobile, able to move on land and water, and therefore provided a fighting capability previously unrealized.
The Third Light Armored Vehicle Battalion originally began as Company A (REIN), 1st Light Armored Vehicle Battalion in May 1983, and began receiving LAV's in April 1984. Company A, 1st Light Armored Vehicle became Company A, 3d Light Armored Vehicle Battalion in late 1985. The 3d Light Armored Vehicle Battalion, 27th Marines, 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade was activated on 11 September 1986. Re-designated 1 October 1988 as the 3d Light Armored Infantry Battalion and re-located during February 1989 to Okinawa, Japan. The battalion returned to Twentynine Palms on 18 July 1991, as part of RCT-7.
Detachment Third Light Armored Infantry Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia on 16 August 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield, as part of the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Task Force Lima. Later, the battalion conducted screening and ambiguity operations as part of Task Force Shepherd, the forward unit of First Marine Division. On 25 January 1991, Company B saw combat in the first ground offensive action of the war by participating in an artillery raid with 5/11. On the night of 29 January 1991, during the battle of Umm Hjul, Company D was the primary unit to turn back a major Iraqi attack. Once the ground war commenced, Third Light Armored Infantry Battalion again found itself at the forefront of action. While assigned to the First Marine Division Command Post, on G+1 of the ground war, Company B decisively repelled an Iraqi counterattack on the Command Post. Additionally, Company D provided a mobile screen for Task Force Ripper, the leading unit for the Division. On the 3rd day of the ground offensive, Task Force Shepherd was the first coalition force to enter Kuwait City, capturing the Kuwait International Airport. In March 1991, Detachment Third Light Armored Infantry Battalion returned to 29 Palms, California.
While the rest of the battalion was deterring Iraqi aggression, Company A was assigned to MAGTF 4-90. Their mission was to conduct security patrols. When a large earthquake hit the Philippine Island, the Marines of Third Light Armored Infantry Battalion participated in relief efforts. In April of 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted and once again, Company A was called upon to provide security against looters and participated in the clean up efforts. Company A also participated in Cobra Gold in Thailand and Team Spirit in Korea. Company A returned to MCAGCC on 7 August 1991, completing an arduous 15-month deployment.
From December 1992 to April 1993, Third Light Armored Infantry Battalion deployed Company B and Company C along with the forward command group and forward logistics support for Operation Restore Hope in the country of Somalia. The mission consisted of the conduct of convoy escorts, delivering over 4,000 metric tons of grain to out lying areas. Additionally, during this relief operation, the battalion conducted over 400 day and night security patrols, conducted numerous combined patrols and security checkpoints with other United Nations units.
On 1 March 1994, Third Light Armored Infantry Battalion was re-designated to Third Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.
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