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2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Branch Regular Army
Type Armored Brigade Combat Team
Garrison/HQ Fort Bliss
Engagements World War I
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division is an Armored Brigade Combat Team of the United States Army, stationed at Fort Bliss, TX. First organized in 1942, as Combat Command B, 1st Armored Division, the unit fought in North Africa and Italy in World War 2, in Operation Desert Storm and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The brigade has been stationed at Fort Hood, TX and in Germany.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

First organized as Combat Command B in April 1942, the 2nd Brigade soldiers and their tanks were spearheaded into the action of World War II where they deployed as an integral part of the North African Invasion. After shedding blood during the landing at Algeria and the desert reaches of Bizente, Tunisia, and Kasserine Pass, the rookie unit forged itself into the decisive force that defeated Rommel's Afrika Corps. Following victory, the unit pushed north into Italy and fought as part of the US Fifth Army's primary strike force. The battles were bitter, with the opposed beachheads at Anzio, an unrelenting stalemate at Monte Cassino, and the tenacious defense of the Gothic Line.

Cold War[edit | edit source]

After the war, the unit’s status changed several times over the course of the next 15 years. In 1962 it was re-designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division and activated at Fort Hood, Texas. When America found itself amongst a Cold War, the brigade deployed during the Cuban Missile Crisis where it participated in amphibious exercises in Georgia to display the US' commitment, capability, and resolve. The exercises lasted nearly six weeks. Shortly thereafter, tensions eased and the unit returned to Fort Hood. For the next couple of decades the unit remained a key deterrent against the Communist Bloc threat. It was during this era, on August 16, 1985, the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division became known as “The Iron Brigade” joining the legendary fighting spirit of certain Civil War units with the honor and service record of the distinguished 2nd Brigade.

Post-Cold War: Desert Storm and Peacekeeping[edit | edit source]

In more recent history, the 1991 conflict in the Persian Gulf arose and it was here during the blitz of Operation Desert Storm that the Iron Brigade faced the toughest of Iraqi forces. In 89 hours, 2nd Brigade’s soldiers defeated the Iraqis at Al Busayyah, Al Rumaylah Airfield, and Medina ridge. As hostility operations ceased, the unit was then called upon to provide humanitarian aid to the war torn region. From 1995 to the early 2000s, 2/1 conducted missions in the Balkan Peninsula. These missions in Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, and Kosovo provided security and stability to their respective regions. It was during these missions that the Iron Brigade conducted successful peace keeping operations spanning the Central Region within the Balkan Peninsula.

War on Terror[edit | edit source]

During the inaugural years of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 1st Armored Division and the 2d Brigade Combat Team saw combat during the ongoing insurgency. From 2005-2006, the brigade deployed to the streets of Ramadi and the Al Rashid district of Baghdad, where they were instrumental in driving Al-Qaeda and the various insurgent forces from the area. In April 2008, the BCT deployed to Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. HHC, 2 BCT conducted two reliefs in place assuming responsibility for the Mada’in Qada region. Its operational environment covered over 3700 square kilometers and a population of 1.2 million, an area that had previously been occupied by three full BCTs. Throughout the duration of the deployment, the Iron Brigade ensured all sustainment and operational support for over 4300 service members.

In 2010, the 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division was inactivated. This unit had previously been designated as the US Army's Evaluation Task Force. The Department of the Army redesignated the Army Capabilities Integration Center's Future Force Integration Directorate also known as AETF, to which 5th Brigade had been assigned, as the Brigade Modernization Command in February 2011. As part of this change, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division was assigned the AETF mission and assigned to BMC.[1]

Current Organization[edit | edit source]

2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division is currently organized as an Armored Brigade Combat Team, composed of the following units:

Lineage & honors[edit | edit source]

Lineage[1][edit | edit source]

  • Organized 1 January 1942 in the Regular Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Combat Command B, 1st Armored Division
  • Reorganized and redesignated 20 July 1944 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Command B, 1st Armored Division
  • Inactivated 9 April 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey
  • Activated 7 March 1951 at Fort Hood, Texas
  • Inactivated 23 December 1957 at Fort Polk, Louisiana
  • Redesignated 3 February 1962 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and activated at Fort Hood, Texas
  • Headquarters, 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division, reorganized and redesignated 16 September 2010 as Headquarters, 2d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (Headquarters Company, 2d Brigade, 1st Armored Division – hereafter separate lineage)

Campaign participation credit[edit | edit source]

  • World War II: Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead); Tunisia; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; North Apennines; Po Valley
  • Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait; Cease-Fire
  • War on Terrorism: Campaigns to be Determined

Decorations[edit | edit source]

  • Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered AL KUT AND AN NAJAF
  • Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered IRAQ 1991
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered SOUTHWEST ASIA 2005-2006
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2008-2009
  • Army Superior Unit Award, Streamer embroidered 1995-1996

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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