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53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
53rd Infantry Brigade SSI.svg
Shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1968 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Army National Guard
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Albert H. Blanding
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia File:53inbdeDUI.gif

The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team is a modular infantry brigade of the Florida Army National Guard. The 53rd Infantry Brigade is the largest National Guard unit in the state of Florida. The brigade was one of fifteen enhanced readiness brigades, designed and trained to support active duty divisions. The brigade includes 32 units in Florida with 4,166 authorized personnel.

History[]

The 53rd Infantry Brigade was originally part of the 27th Infantry Division, from November 1917 to 1919.

When the 48th Armored Division was disbanded in 1968, its units in Florida became part of the 53rd Infantry Brigade (Separate). The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the non-color bearing units of the 53d Armored Brigade on 9 January 1967. It was redesignated for the 53d Infantry Brigade on 25 July 1968.

The brigade participated in hurricane relief operations in 1992 in response to Hurricane Andrew whereby the brigade was deployed for nearly two months to Miami.

The Florida Army National Guard 53rd Infantry Brigade was the first of 15 Army National Guard enhanced readiness brigades to rotate through the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, 10–26 June 1995. The U.S. Army has since done away with the program of directly augmenting active duty units with National Guard units. Participating in the training were 65 per cent of the Florida Army National Guard. A convoy of 1,000 vehicles traveled from Miami to Panama City, Florida to be loaded on barges and shipped to Fort Polk for the National Guard Brigade training. The brigade also has a training relationship with the 82nd Airborne Division.

Florida National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve officials joined U.S. Representative C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., 1 December 2001, in announcing plans for a new joint training center that will be the future home of more than 1,700 military reservists. The 216,424-square-foot (20,106.4 m2) facility to be built at Gateway Center in Pinellas Park will replace three existing outdated and overcrowded facilities including Tampa's Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, the JF Campbell National Guard Armory in Clearwater and the Lovejoy U.S. Army Reserve Center in Tampa. Construction of the new $53.5 million project began in 2002, and was expected to be completed by the spring of 2003.[dated info] The House Appropriations Committee originally allocated $45 million for the project. Rep. Young, the committee's chairman, was crucial in securing the funds for the facility's construction.[citation needed] The National Guard units expected to be located at the new training center include the 53rd Infantry Brigade (Sep) Headquarters, Headquarters and Headquarters Company – 53rd Infantry Brigade, the 253rd Military Intelligence Company, as well as Companies A and B of the 53rd Support Battalion.

Iraq 2002-03[]

The brigade's three infantry battalions were activated in late December 2002. They were sent to Fort Stewart, Georgia for training.

Following training at Fort Stewart, Georgia, the three infantry battalions (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions, 124th Infantry Regiment) deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Miami-based 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Hector Mirable, assumed a physical security mission on the Jordan-Iraq border. During their brief stay at the Jordanian Air Base, the unit conducted security operations, physical fitness training, and honed their combat skills.[1]

Afghanistan - 2005-06[]

In 2005, more than 2,400 soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Brigade deployed to Afghanistan as part of the international coalition’s Joint Task Force Phoenix, where they helped train the Afghan National Army.

During their deployment, the task force saw 11 Afghan kandaks (battalions) graduate from Kabul Military Training Center, adding more than 7,000 soldiers to the Afghan National Army.[2]

Iraq 2006[]

In June 2006, Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry deployed to Mosul, Iraq for a one-year tour conducting stability operations and combat patrols. The unit worked in conjunction with elements of the 25th Infantry Division, United States Special Forces, and Company H, 121st LRRS. John Wolven, creator of the popular, but fictitious, motocross legend and journalist Johnny O'Hannah,[3] served as a platoon leader during this deployment.[4]

Iraq 2010[]

In January 2010, the 53rd Infantry Brigade was activated for service in Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The brigade mobilized at Fort Hood, Texas and, beginning in late February, began deploying to Kuwait. Although originally scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan in 2009,[5] in 2008, the brigade learned that their mission had shifted from Infantry operations in Afghanistan to convoy security in Iraq.

The 53rd IBCT in formation just before deployment to Kuwait and Iraq.

The brigade's primary mission was to provide convoy security for logistical convoys moving in and out of Iraq. The 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry - the Hurricane Battalion - conducted medium and long haul missions from their base in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, while the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry - the Seminole Battalion - conducted short haul missions from their base in Camp Virginia, Kuwait. The 1st Squadron, 153rd Cavalry "Darkhorse" conducted security force missions in Northern Kuwait at Camps Buehring and Virginia as well as at Khabari Crossing in Kuwait. Bravo Troop, 1-153rd Cavalry was stationed at Camp As-Saliyah, Qatar.[6] The brigade headquarters element conducted administrative operations from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Order of battle[]

53rd Infantry Brigade SSI.svg 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team consists of the following elements:

  • 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion[7]
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Company A (Engineer)
Company B (Military Intelligence)
Company C (Signal Network Support)
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Company A
Company B
Company C
Weapons Company
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Company A
Company B
Company C
Weapons Company
Headquarters & Headquarters Troop
Troop A
Troop B
Troop C
Troop D
Headquarters & Headquarters Battery
Battery A
Battery B
  • 53rd Brigade Support Battalion
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Company A (Distribution)
Company B (Maintenance)
Company C (Medical)
Company D (Forward Support - Cavalry Squadron)
Company E (Forward Support - Infantry Battalion)
Company F (Forward Support - Infantry Battalion)
Company G (Forward Support - Field Artillery Battalion)

Commanders[]

External links[]

References[]

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