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Brigade Combat Team Transforms
By U.S. Army Spc. Allison Churchill / 2nd Brigade Combat Team
Photo, caption below.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Gilbert Nail, Bradley commander and platoon sergeant with Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, scans the range for potential targets before conducting crew gunnery pre-qualification training that occured Oct. 27 at the Dalton Mountain Multi-use range. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rodney L. Foliente

FORT HOOD, Texas, Dec. 16, 2004 – Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division overcame what could be perceived as a daunting task of resetting and balancing several standing missions while transforming into a modular brigade unit of action.

While working toward the division's effective reorganization date, which is today, 2nd Brigade Combat Team soldiers remained deployable as the division-ready brigade, in addition to keeping a quick reaction force on call for homeland defense.

During this transition, the brigade also bid farewell to 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor and welcomed the arrival of a reconfigured 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry.

Now having reached the effective date, 2nd Brigade Combat Team will be able to deploy, if needed, as a unit of action. It is one of the Army's 43 self-sufficient brigades that will be developed overall during the modularity process.

The purpose of the units of action is to enhance unit cohesion and enable brigades to deploy quicker, said Capt. Irvin Oliver, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.There's been a fundamental change in fighting, said Maj. Scott Gerber, 4th Infantry Division. Instead of taking part in division or multi-corps sized battles, the Army is fighting smaller battles, and therefore sending smaller combat packages.

"It allows the brigade to be more independent, and it allows the brigade and the Army overall to spread more combat power," Oliver said.

As part of modularity, 2nd Brigade Combat Team now has organic assets normally found at the division level, such as public affairs, civil military operations and military intelligence, Oliver said. The brigade also gained new software, including the Army Battlefield Command System, the Maneuver Control System and the All Sources Analysis System.

"It only goes to help us," Oliver said.

Along with the move toward modularization, 2nd Brigade Combat Team assumed Division Ready Brigade responsibility in October and will remain on DRB status until next spring. During this time, the brigade can be called upon to support operations in Iraq or Korea, said Oliver.

Reorganization had a big impact on the brigade's Prepare to Deploy Order, he said, which could result in a possible mission to Korea while the brigade is still resetting equipment used in Iraq. Preparing for contingency missions, it took a lot of coordination with U.S.-based forces in South Korea to ensure the necessary equipment would be available if the brigade was called upon.

“It required additional planning,” Oliver said. “Units in the division and on post came up with a plan to where we'd have what we need.”

While the brigade gained new technology and capabilities, it lost 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor, which transferred to the new 4th Brigade Combat Team. However, 2nd Brigade Combat Team gained 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division's cavalry squadron.

Historically known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," the squadron will provide increased security and reconnaissance, Oliver said. "Instead of having just a troop, we'll have a whole squadron. That's the biggest advantage."

The new assignment has brought on a long adjustment period for the soldiers of 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, said Maj. John Basso, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry. "Our job is a bit different," he said.

Before the restructuring process, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, soldiers were equipped with OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and M1A2 Abrams tanks as the primary weapons platforms used to complete their missions of conducting reconnaissance, which provided the division "freedom to maneuver," Basso said.

1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, is now composed of mostly cavalry scouts. It has 23 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, is slated to have 30 Humvees and will work with 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation, for air reconnaissance support, he said.

The squadron began transforming in early summer. By fall, it had moved the OH-58Ds to other divisions with most of the helicopters going to Fort Bragg, N.C.; the M1A2s went back to the plant in Lima, Ohio and the armor crewmen were transferred to combined arms battalions within 4th Infantry Division.

"We've become a lighter, stealthier organization," Basso said.

Instead of being the "eyes and ears" of the division, the mission now is to work as scout teams for 2nd Brigade Combat Team, he said. The squadron will consist of six platoons, each with five Humvees and three Bradleys.

The unit started training on the Bradleys and with 1 st Battalion, 4th Aviation. After more internal reorganization, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, is slated to begin building unit cohesion by training on platoon lanes with other units in the brigade, Basso said.

Since its creation in 1917, 2nd Brigade Combat Team has fought and won battle streamers in World War I and the Vietnam War. With its new equipment and added security from 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, the brigade stands ready for its future missions.

Last Updated:
11/30/2005, Eastern Daylight Time
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