82nd Field Artillery Regiment
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|82nd Field Artillery Regiment|
|Country||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Part of||1st Cavalry Division|
|Motto||"Can and Will"|
World War II
|Distinctive unit insignia|
|U.S. Field Artillery Regiments|
|81st Field Artillery||83rd Field Artillery|
Foundation and formation
The 82nd Field Artillery traces it earliest history to that of the "First Dragoons". This type of fighting force was skilled both as horse mounted and dismounted troops. Dragoon is derived from the French Army designation for the firearm (whose name means dragon) carried by French Dragoons. This type of short musket had a dragons head worked on the muzzle.
From the First Dragoons was formed the First Cavalry which in turn became the mother of the 24th Cavalry.
The 24th Cavalry was organized on 5 June 1917 representing approximately one third of the officers and enlisted men that had made up the First Cavalry. Then, on 1 November 1917, the 24th Cavalry would become the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment consisting of 62 officers, 1448 enlisted men, 1117 horses and 114 mules stationed at Fort D. A. Russell (Texas). The regiment would then be reassigned to Camp Logan and later assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas and assigned to the 15th Cavalry.
On 9 March 1916, the Mexican rebel General Francisco "Pancho" Villa ordered nearly 500 Mexican revolutionaries to make a cross-border attack into the United States at New Mexico. The raid was in response to Woodrow Wilson's recognition and support of the Carranza regime. Commander of the Army 8th Brigade, John J. Pershing led a failed Punitive Expedition to kill or capture Pancho Villa. However, Villa would not be caught and by 1919 had assembled a sizeable force and had initiated several battles against Mexican military troops in an attempt to rally the Mexican people against President Carranza. On the morning of 15 June 1919, Villa's forces attacked Mexican military troops at Fort Hidalgo.
At 0136 hours on 15 June 1919, the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment (minus Service Company) left Fort Bliss and headed toward El Paso to occupy pre-planned firing positions. From this action the unit derives its distinctive unit insignia depicting a black artillery shell and the wavy white background symbolizing the first shot across the Rio Grande by "A" Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. The motto "Can and Will" was also given to reflect their spirit steeped in traditions of men doing what needs to be done regardless of the obstacles to be overcome.
On 9 September 1921 the 82nd Field Artillery was composed of "A", "B" and "C" Batteries and was designated the 82nd Field Artillery (Horse) Battalion and was assigned to the newly activated 1st Cavalry Division. The battalion was the only horse artillery in the United States Army at the time and the designation meant that all unit members rode mounted horses instead of riding on gun carriages.
On 17 March 1930 the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment was reactivated and the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion (Horse) was reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, but lost its designation as (Horse). Parallel to this, the 84th Field Artillery was redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery and inactivated. Assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division was also delayed until 1 December 1934.
World War II
Following World War II, the battalion performed occupational duty in Japan and was one of the first units to arrive in Korea in 1950. The unit was credited with seven campaign streamers in the Korean War. On 15 October 1950, it was deactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
During the Vietnam War the 3rd Battalion arrived as part of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in 1966. While with the 196th LIB it participated in Operation Attleboro I and II, Operation Ceder Falls, Operation Gadsden, and Operation Junction City. Later elements of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment participated in Operation Clean House, Operation Pershing, Operation Sheridan Saber. Bravo Battery was the last artillery unit to leave Vietnam in 1972.
The 1st Bn, 82nd Artillery was reactivated on 10 January 1968 and arrived in Vietnam on 24 July 1968 with three 155mm towed howitzer batteries and one 8" self-propelled battery. The 1st Bn, 82nd Artillery was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) based in Chu Lai, Vietnam. Its assigned batteries were placed at various fire bases located in the Americal Division's area of operations below Da Nang in Southern I Corps. During its first full year in Vietnam the battalion's firebases were subject to frequent NVA attacks while supporting a number of operations within the Americal Division's area of operations (AO). A Battery participated in the July/August, 1970 defense of the Special Forces base at Kham Duc where they suffered several casualties. Fifteen unit members were awarded medals for valor in this action including three silver stars.
In the spring of 1971, 1st Bn, 82nd Artillery was deployed along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in support of Operation Lam Son 719, the ARVN invasion of Laos. The battalion made one of the longest nighttime road marches of the Vietnam War driving 192 miles in only 12 hours. 1st Bn, 82nd Artillery units manned several critical fire bases right on the border of North Vietnam to support Vietnamese and U.S. forces operating in these areas. At the height of this fighting in a 10-hour period, 1st Bn, 82nd Artillery guns fired between 7,000 to 9,000 rounds at an NVA Division that was trying to mount an attack against Fire Support Base Vandegrift the battalions headquarters. During the 69 days of Operation Lam Son 719 the 1st Bn, 82nd Artillery lost four men killed and twenty wounded with three more fatalities due to non-hostile causes. The battalion returned to the United States at the end of 1971 where it was soon deactivated.  
Persian Gulf War
In October 1990, the regiment deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield. Along with other elements of the 3rd Armored Division, the regiment helped to create the illusion that the main force of the coalition forces would enter Iraq by coming up the Wadi Al-Batin. This feint was part of General Norman Schwarzkopf's Hail Mary plan.
Elements of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment deployed to Iraq. To support the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division in the dangerous Al Thawra District of Baghdad, Charlie Battery began conducting dismounted foot patrols in an area the soldiers call "Squaretown." From Squaretown, insurgent forces have launched mortar attacks and the soldiers are concerned about weapons being transported through the area near the outskirts of Camp War Eagle.
Most of the soldiers of 2-82 Field Artillery are located on Camp Steel Dragon in the Green Zone. Many of the fire supporters are in different camps. The 2-82 Field Artillery fire supporters attached within the Grey Wolf Brigade Combat Team are serving at 3rd Brigade Headquarters, with Task Force 3-8 Cavalry, and with Task Force 1-9 Cavalry. Task Force 2-7 Cavalry and their fire supporters are serving with the 39th Brigade Combat Team at Camp Cooke in Taji. The soldiers of C Battery and the COLT Platoon are attached to Colonel Lanza's 5th BCT and are located on Camp Falcon on the south side of Baghdad. The rest of the 2-82 Field Artillery soldiers, along with nearly 100 soldiers of B Company, 1-160 Infantry, belong to Task Force Steel Dragon.
A typical day for 3-82 at Thunder involved anywhere from 1 to 2 daytime patrols and 1 to 2 nighttime patrols in its sector. These patrols can have any number of focuses from checking on projects in sector to searching for new ones to start or gathering intelligence. The main focus in the sector is helping to rebuild the neighborhood and helping the Iraqi Security Forces to take ownership in the areas. They have started two school projects that are approximately $100,000.00 a piece and several others in smaller amounts.
In October 2003, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery formed Fox Battery, a hybrid mechanized/motorized battery composed of 2nd Brigade (Black Jack) fire supporters. The first platoon consisted of six M7A2 Bradley Fire Support Vehicles taken from Task Force 1-5 Cavalry and Task Force 2-12 Cavalry. The second platoon's composition was six M707 Striker HMMWVs belonging to the COLT platoon of D/9 Cavalry. The battery's existence proved to be vital during the Mahdi Army's uprisings in April 2004 with the mechanized platoon filling the gaps in Black Jack's armor shortage. The second platoon ran counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and main supply route (MSR) security during this time. Fire supporters from F/3-82 Field Artillery were called upon in August 2004 to go with Task Force 1-5 Cavalry (Black Knights) to retake the southern city of Najaf, with the rest of the battery relieving Task Force 1-5 Cavalry in Area of Operations Black Knight. In November 2004, Fox Battery soldiers were sent with Task Force 1-5 Cavalry and Task Force 2-12 Cavalry to provide outer cordon for operations in Fallujah. The battery then accompanied 3-82 Field Artillery to Forward Operating Base Kalsu in December 2004 to run heavy counter-insurgency operations prior to the January 2005 elections. The COLT platoon is credited for smashing a massive insurgent operation to kill voters on Election Day, without firing a shot.Fox Battery was deactivated in May 2005, with the entire battery receiving the Combat Action Badge for their efforts.
The 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment are currently based out of Fort Hood, Texas, as part of the 1st Cavalry Division. The 5th Battalion is located at COB Ader, Iraq as part of the 4th Brigade (Long Knife). 3rd Battalion is currently at FOB Warrior and Alpha Battery of 3-82 is located at FOB Marez in Mosul, Iraq as part of 2nd Brigade (Black Jack). In the history of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, this is a continuation of a long association with the 1st Cavalry Division.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Blackjack, deployed again in support of Operation New Dawn, along with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery. After completing retrograde in Iraq, a contingent remained TACON'd to 1-8 CAV with a Strategic Reserve Mission in Kuwait. All Soldiers returned home through December 2011.
In July 2012, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment deployed forward to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and then to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
In October 2013, 5th Battalion 82nd Field Artillery Regiment was deactivated after a final tour in Afghanistan as part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team. Alpha Battery was reflagged as Charlie Battery 2nd Battalion 82nd Field Artillery and Bravo Battery was reflagged as Charlie Battery 1st Battalion 82nd Field Artillery.
- Dragoon. (2009, 13 May). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:56, 29 May 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dragoon&oldid=289647433
- Francisco "Pancho" Villa. (2009, 27 May). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:02, 29 May 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Francisco_%22Pancho%22_Villa&oldid=292690909
- James McCarten Veteran 1/82 Artillery Lam Son 719