97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne)
|97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne)|
Distinctive unit insignia
|Active||March 16, 2007 – Present|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Role||Supporting military commanders by working with civil authorities and civilian populations in the commander’s area of operations during peace and war|
|Part of||95th Civil Affairs Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Fort Bragg, North Carolina|
|Motto(s)||Freedom Though Effects|
|LTC Ryan M. Hanson|
The 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) is a civil affairs battalion of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It is a member of the only Active duty civil affairs brigade in the United States Department of Defense. The concept for a civil affairs brigade had been under consideration for years, but was finally approved as a result of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.
Tracing its lineage to a military government group that was active after World War II, the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade was not officially activated until 2006, and remained a provisional unit until 2007. Its creation was part of a US Army plan to increase civil affairs units, and special forces units overall. The brigade is a direct reporting command of the United States Army Special Operations Command, and as such, is airborne qualified. It commands four geographically aligned civil affairs battalions, with a fifth planned to be activated.
The battalion commands six subordinate companies all headquartered at Fort Bragg along with the battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company:
The 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) is the only active component, airborne Civil Affairs asset available to the United States Pacific Command. Its lineage and structure extend back to the formation of those small groups of uniquely trained and qualified individuals who comprised the Allied Military Government of the Occupied Territory, or AMGOTs.
Originally designated as the 97th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Military Government Group, the unit was activated on 25 August 1945 at the Presidio of Monterey, California to help capture Army Civil Affairs expertise gained during World War II. The unit served in various theaters until 25 January 1949, when, while located in Korea, it was inactivated. In November 1961, the unit was re-designated the 97th Civil Affairs Group and allocated to the Regular Army. The formal activation ceremony took place on Okinawa, on the 15 December 1961. The unit was stationed on Okinawa until it was inactivated in June 1969.
The personnel and equipment from the old civil affairs group were used to form the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion. On 16 September 1992, 97th Civil Affairs Group was re-designated as the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion. Through the demonstrated need for specially trained, culturally aware soldiers, the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion was placed in a Provisional status on 1 September 2006 as a part of the growth of Active Army Civil Affairs from 96th Civil Affairs Battalion to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade and four regionally-oriented battalions.
The 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) was activated on March 16, 2007. Called upon to support both conventional and special operations units, the battalion has a tradition of maintaining a high state of readiness and support to a wide range of contingencies. Today, the battalion's personnel serve in countries around the globe.
The 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) has been deployed worldwide in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines, Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as several countries in the PACOM AOR. The battalion has suffered casualties which were rehabilitated through the new Wounded Warrior program.
- "The Institute of Heraldry: 95th Civil Affairs Brigade Archived 2008-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. The Institute of Heraldry. Retrieved 21 August 2008.