2ND Brigade Combat team - 101st Airborne Division - TEDD Team - - Airborne
2ND Brigade Combat team - 101st Airborne Division - TEDD Team
The 2nd Brigade can trace its proud heritage to Headquarters, 159th Infantry Brigade, an element of the 80th Division in August 1917. During WWI, the unit distinguished itself with campaign participation credit in the Somme, Meuse-Argonne and Picardy Campaigns. The unit returned to the States in May 1919 and was inactivated at Camp Lee on June 26, 1919. The 502nd, or “five-oh-deuce”, was activated July 1, 1941, as a parachute infantry battalion. In August 1942 the 502nd joined the 101st Airborne Division and became the division’s first organic parachute infantry regiment. The brigade entered combat in WWII on June 6, 1944, by jumping into Normandy. In addition to the Normandy Campaign, the brigade participated in Operation Market-Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the defense of Bastogne. By May 1945 the 502nd had emerged as one of the most decorated units of WWII. Two Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were awarded the Medal of Honor, both were assigned to the 502nd. The 502nd was also awarded two Presidential Unit Citations and two Foreign Awards. The 502nd deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in December 1967 and participated in 12 major campaigns and was awarded two Presidential Unit Citation, four Valorous Unit Awards, and a Meritorious Unit Citation. The unit was awarded the Government of Vietnam’s highest national award for valor—the Cross of Gallantry with Palm—and the Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class. The brigade returned to Fort Campbell in April 1972. The “Strike” Brigade moved to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield in late summer 1990 to deter a possible Iraqi invasion. On Feb. 25, 1991, the “Strike” Brigade participated in the largest helicopter air assault in military history to establish FOB Cobra, Abu Ghraib Palace, Baghdad, Iraq. During Operation Desert Storm the 2nd Brigade and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) cut the enemy’s lines of communications, struck deep into the country, threatened a lethal strike against the capital and shut off any escape. The brigade redeployed to Fort Campbell in March 1991. In February 2003 the brigade deployed to the Middle East with the remainder of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as part of the division’s main effort, for what became Operation Iraqi Freedom. Strike Brigade returned a year later having led the division through the key battles of An Najaf, south Al Hillah, Karbala, southern Baghdad, Mahmoudiya and Mosul. It completed the two longest air assaults in division history. Once in Mosul, it was instrumental in forming the City Council by holding the first free elections in the country since the fall of the regime. Over the subsequent nine months, the brigade rebuilt the city’s hospitals, schools and water system. It built from scratch a regional police force that became the model for the rest of the country to follow. It created the conditions whereby former Iraqi military personnel got paid, and where the new Iraqi Dinar was introduced without incident. Above all, the brigade fostered a secure environment that allowed the citizens of Mosul to live in a free and safe city, which became a beacon of hope throughout Iraq. The “STRIKE” Brigade then re-deployed back to Fort Campbell and began transforming from an Infantry Brigade to a modular Brigade Combat Team introducing the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment; 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion; and the 526th Brigade Support Battalion to complement the 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed in September 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom once again, and was assigned an operational area south of Baghdad, in arguably the most difficult area of operations in Iraq, and supported the strategic goal of stabilizing Baghdad. This area, due to the intensity of the insurgency, was labeled as the “Triangle of Death.” The brigade rapidly initiated combat and counterinsurgency operations in this area to neutralize anti-Iraqi forces, develop Iraqi security forces capabilities, secure key terrain and improve government and economic development. In turn, the Strike Brigade established and fostered relationships with Iraqi Army leaders, local sheiks, mayors and city council members. The unit fought selflessly, disrupting enemy activities and denied terrorist safe-havens. The brigade returned to Fort Campbell in late September 2006. In October 2007, Strike Brigade deployed for its third time to Iraq. This time it was assigned to the “heart” of Iraq once again as part of Multi-National Division - Baghdad. The brigade combat team was the main effort for the division and rapidly partnered with Iraqi security and government officials to protect the population and disrupt enemy activity. The brigade left its mark in Iraq during OIF 07-09 by greatly reducing violence, denying Al-Qaida and special group criminals’ safe haven and improving the economy and essential services. The brigade completed its third deployment to Iraq and has returned to Fort Campbell to re-fit and prepare for its next “Rendezvous with Destiny.” On December 22, 2009, the “STRIKE” Brigade received orders to spearhead the new surge of forces into the southern region of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit prepared its Soldiers and Leaders for today‟s operations in the Kandahar Province. With complex training received at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Combined Arms Live Fire Exercises, and extensive Dari and Pashto language and culture training, the “STRIKE” Brigade entered Kandahar in May 2010 mission ready. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team worked shoulder to shoulder, “Shonna Ba Shonna”, with the forces of the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police and the Afghan Government to ensure the safety and protection of the people of Afghanistan from Taliban tyranny.