18th Field Artillery Brigade

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18th Field Artillery Brigade
18thFABDENOTAB.png
Shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1943-1945, 1951-present
Country United States
Branch Army
Type Field artillery
Role Corps Force Fires HQs
Size Brigade
Part of XVIII Airborne Corps
Garrison/HQ Fort Bragg, NC
Nickname The Steel Brigade
Motto "Tough, Proud, Disciplined"
Equipment M142 HIMARS
Engagements

World War II Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Website http://www.bragg.army.mil/82nd/18Fires/Pages/default.aspx
Commanders
Current
commander
COL Stephen G. Smith
Command Sergeant Major CSM Carlos A. Mendez
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 18FiresBdeDUI.jpg
Beret flash 18 FA Bde flash.svg

The 18th Field Artillery Brigade is the XVIII Airborne Corps field artillery brigade, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Role and structure[edit]

18th Field Artillery Brigade plans, synchronizes and employs joint and combined fires in support of forced entry operations, designated division, or combined joint task force headquarters and, on order, integrates attached ground and air maneuver forces in order to conduct full spectrum operations.

Operational history[edit]

The 18th Field Artillery Brigade has served in multiple capacities over the past decade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as the primary 155mm howitzer and HIMARS identity in the war in Afghanistan. The brigade was the only airborne field artillery brigade in the United States Army with 1st Battalion (Airborne), 321st Field Artillery Regiment providing the majority of the support for the 18th Fires Brigade's airborne mission.

During the 1990s the Brigade had a single 155mm battery (Battery C, 5th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery) assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in support of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). This made for a healthy rivalry with the other elements of the Brigade that were assigned in support of the 82d Airborne Division. It allowed for the entire Brigade to train together at both Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg.

1st Battalion (Airborne), 321st Field Artillery Regiment maintained a full capacity to provide 155mm howitzer fires anywhere in the world within 18 hours in support of the 82d Airborne Division and while supporting other global responsibilities. The unit had the unique ability to employ 155mm howitzer platforms through a "Howitzer Heavy Drop Package" capability which essentially allowed for the weapon system to be dropped from an aircraft while its paratroopers would then place the weapon into action. 1st Battalion (Airborne), 321st Field Artillery Regiment served as the United States Army's primary 155mm howitzer response in the Global War on Terrorism. An inactivation ceremony was held for the unit at Fort Bragg on 14 March 2014.[1]

3d Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment maintains a limited airborne ability. During 2008 while serving as the General Support Artillery unit in Operation Enduring Freedom 8–9, 3d Section, Battery C, 3d Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment became the first United States Army unit to fire the GPS Guided XM982 Excalibur Munition in support of combat operations while serving in the volatile Kunar Province while supporting the 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment [2] of the 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

3d Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment (HIMARS) has served in the capacity to support various United States Army and other agencies with accurate and effective field artillery rocket fires.

As of August 2009, the 18th Fires Brigade now dons the "All American" patch of the 82d Airborne Division. The 18th Fires Brigade became a general support field artillery brigade in July 2008 and falls under control of the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[6]

Future[edit]

An article in the Fayetteville Observer dated March 23, 2014 covered the inactivation of the brigade's 1st Battalion (Airborne), 321st FA Regiment and noted the coming inactivation the 2d Battalion in the 4th BCT, 82d Airborne Division. The article added that the brigade's 3d Battalion "will undergo a different transformation as that unit shifts from howitzers to the HIMARS weapons system."[3]

Lineage & Honors[edit]

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 1 October 1943 in the Army of the United States as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, XVIII Corps Artillery
  • Activated 9 October 1943 at Camp Cooke, California
  • Inactivated 15 October 1945 at Camp Cooke, California
  • Redesignated 1 May 1951 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, and allotted to the Regular Army
  • Activated 21 May 1951 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • Reorganized and redesignated 16 September 1978 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 18th Field Artillery Brigade
  • Reorganized and redesignated 16 June 2007 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 18th Fires Brigade
  • Reorganized and redesignated 16 October 2014 as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 18th Field Artillery Brigade

Honors[edit]

Campaign participation credit[edit]

World War II[edit]
  • Rhineland
  • Ardennes-Alsace
  • Central Europe
Southwest Asia[edit]
  • Defense of Saudi Arabia
  • Liberation and Defense of Kuwait
War on Terrorism[edit]

Campaigns to be determined

Decorations[edit]

  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2005-2006


Lineage and honors information as of 21 May 2008 posted on the Center for Military History website, http://www.history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/lineages/branches/fa/0018firebrig.htm[7]

Heraldry[edit]

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia[edit]

18thFABDENOTAB.png

Description/Blazon[edit]

On a scarlet shield arched at top and bottom, 2 inches (5.08 cm) in width and 3 inches (7.62 cm) in height, a vertical yellow winged cannon, cascabel in base, all within a 1/8 inch (.32 cm) yellow border.

Symbolism[edit]

Scarlet and yellow are colors traditionally associated with Artillery units as well as the cannon barrel. The wings are indicative of the mobility, speed and devastating accuracy of the modern artillery.

Background[edit]

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the 18th Field Artillery Brigade on 29 May 1979. It was amended to include the airborne tab, add metric measurements and revise the description on 21 October 1992. It was again amended to change the color of the airborne tab on 5 February 2003. The insignia was redesignated for the 18th Fires Brigade and amended to delete the airborne tab on 22 March 2007. (TIOH Drawing Number A-1-639)

Distinctive Unit Insignia[edit]

18FiresBdeDUI.jpg

Description/Blazon[edit]

A gold color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall, consisting of a gold vertical cannon barrel with muzzle end up centered in front of a black fleur-de-lis, and issuant from either side of the barrel below the trunnion a scarlet wing upraised enclosing the sides of the fleur-de-lis; attached in base a gold scroll of three folds bearing in black letters the words "SWEAT SAVES BLOOD."

Symbolism[edit]

Scarlet and yellow are the colors associated with Artillery. The cannon barrel denotes the organization's basic mission, and the wings refer to the air deployment capability. The fleur-de-lis represents service in Europe during World War II.

Background[edit]

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 18th Field Artillery Brigade on 28 August 1979. It was redesignated for the 18th Fires Brigade with the description updated on 22 March 2007.

Combat Service Identification Badge[edit]

Description/Blazon[edit]

A gold color metal and enamel device 2 inches (5.08 cm) in height consisting of a design similar to the shoulder sleeve insignia.

Beret Flash[edit]

18 FA Bde flash.svg

Description/Blazon[edit]

On a scarlet shield-shaped embroidered item with a semi-circular base, 2 1/4 inches (5.72cm) in height by a 1 7/8 inch (4.76cm) in width overall and edged with a 1/8 inch (.32cm) scarlet border, a yellow lozenge throughout. The beret flash was approved 13 Mar 1994.

Background Trimming[edit]

18th FAB ABN BACKGROUND.png

Description/Blazon[edit]

On a scarlet oval-shaped embroidered item with a 1/8 inch (.32cm) scarlet border, 1 3/8 inches (3.49cm) in height and 2 1/4 inches (5.72cm) in width a yellow lozenge throughout. The background trimming was originally approved on 20 Nov 1951. It was amended to include the standard and metric measurements in the description on 20 Feb 1991.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]