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History Of The 101st

The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), also known as “Screaming Eagles”, is a military unit that was activated last August 15, 1942. The unit was given birth by the General Order Number Five at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. This unit has proven and has shown what it takes to be a professional military. The characteristics of this unit were known in the whole world because of the consecutive victorious operation it had before, and until now. The first commander was Maj. Gen. William C. Lee. On the 19th day of the same year and month, Maj. Gen. Lee made a promise on his new recruits. Maj.

Gen. William C. Lee delivered an assurance that the unit always holds “Rendezvous with destiny”. Then, the unit has been an important history of America. The unit claims more popular to its name Screaming Eagles rather than the “The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)” The Screaming Eagles have always been victorious and was never been unsuccessful. The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), as a unit and a division get attached to what the commander (and the unit as a whole) has promised: and that is to be victorious always. Then the Division received awards during the World War II.

Four campaign streamers and two Presidential Unit Citations were given to the Division for the success in Vietnam. The Screaming Eagles’ operation was regarded brave and heroic because the unit gone ahead the way on D-Day in the night-drop before the scheduled invasion. During those times, the unit fought until the barricade was displaced. Prior to fighting and displacement of the barricade made by the unit, at Bastogne, Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe even answered “NUTS! ” And during those times were many battles between Vietnam. The unit was not frightened and even jumped deep in the line of the enemies.

And just to keep the peace, 248 died. They were also regarded as the Lightening of Desert Storm, because of their fought in the western states. They were the ones who knew to fight and set the peace in the war in Bosnia. Therefore, with those claims and praises, they were regarded as a real National Treasure of America. During 1948 and 1950, the unit offered and became a training camp at Camp Breckinridge, Ky. And then again in 1954 at Fort Jackson, S. C. Afterwards, sometime in March 1956, they were sent to Fort Campbell, Ky. There were less personnel and equipment included.

At Fort Campbell, Ky. , the unit was reorganized as a combat division. The first Brigade was deployed in Vietnam. Then, the rest of the division followed. During mid-1960’s in almost 7 years, and when most of the battle appeared in Vietnam, the unit participated in as many as 15 battles. With those participations in battles, made and gained more proud to the Screaming Eagles. One year forward after 1967, the unit acquired sophisticated structure and equipment on airmobile division. Today, the proud they have sounds very well. That is mainly because of their greatness in the past.

That is why they are called the ‘Army’s and world’s only air assault division with incomparable strategic and tactical mobility. ’ One more time, The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) delivered its “Rendezvous with Destiny” in Iraq sometime in January 1991. Unbelievably, no soldier of The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) was killed during the hottest 100-hour fight of the enemy on its own territory. That fight indeed marked in the history of the world. The unit even captured thousands of enemy prisoners of war. Humanitarian relief in Rwanda and Somalia were delivered by the Screaming Eagles.

Afterwards, the soldiers later supplied peacekeepers to Haiti and Bosnia. Tomorrow’s Division in Today’s Army is a division extended by 101st. It followed on the mission “Rendezvous with Destiny”. The lightning in the storm. Kuwait in August 2, 1990 was invaded Iraq. Because of that, the interest of the USA was threatened. But, not only that the USA wanted to protect the neighboring Saudi Arabia, but also, USA wanted to force Saddam Hussein to pull out his forces on Kuwait. Then the scenario resulted to massive military build-up. Came the 10th day of the same month and year, the unit was deployed.

Before the Screaming Eagles can reach the Middle East, they and their equipments have to pass to Jacksonville FL for shipment. On their way to Jacksonville FL, people lined and gave their support and gratitude as the ‘National Treasure’ would take another Rendezvous with Destiny. The unit used the same ship that carried the Screaming Eagles and their equipments during their war in Vietnam 20 years ago. The Eagle’s base camp in Saudi Arabia was called Camp Eagle II, as the division followed the tradition on Camp Eagle in Vietnam. October of the same year, the Screaming Eagles were ready for unforeseen events.

OPLAN 90-1 was to protect King Fahd International Airport; the Screaming Eagles took part on it. Then the second defensive plan, the OPLAN 90-2, was to assist friendly forces in Eastern Saudi Arabia. The tactic is to delay enemy forces. While OPLAN 90-3 was the Operation Desert Shield or the main defensive plan. The plan included the mission to defend the Ad Damman and Dhahran area and for 101st to remain prepared for offensive operations. November of the same year came and the unit began planning for their offensive operations. Their offensive actions consisted of couple of plans.

In OPLAN 90-4, the Eagles were redeployed to the west. That first step then later became part of Desert Storm. As a support in the deep strike of the enemy’s territory, the unit setup a logistical support site. Part of it would be managed by an air assault task force. That action was known as the Forward Operating Base (FOB) code named Viper. And if accomplished, then the Eagles would destroy or capture any retreating Iraqis from Kuwait City and surrounding areas. And the last part the offensive plan of the Eagles was called the “OPLAN 90-5”.

There, the next air assault task force, FOB Cobra, would take over. That was a bid attack on Euphrates River Valley which is deep inside Iraq. Iraqis did not comply on the deadline set by the UN to pull out of Kuwait. The deadline was set to be on the 15th of January of the next year. Because of the disobedience to the agreement set by the UN, the Operation Desert Shield turned into Operation Desert Storm. The changes on the name of the operation, put and triggered the Coalition Forces forcefully joined the eviction of the Iraqi forces from their occupation of Kuwait.

The first shot was initialized by the Eagles during the Operation Desert Storm on the 17th day of the same month and year. What happened there was when the eight Apache helicopters of the 1st Attack Aviation Battalion passed on the enemy’s radar stations. The 1st attack Aviation Battalion successfully disabled the radar stations of the enemies. That resulted to the coalition to fly their way to Baghdad without the enemy detecting them. Then after the couple of offensive actions of the Eagles, they prepare the OPLAN 90-5 right away.

From the defense positions of the Eagles, the Eagles returned to Tactical Assembly Area (TAA) named Campbell. From TAA Campbell, the Eagles prepared the ground offensive. This happened on the 18th day of the same month and year. And during this time when the redeployment to TAA Campbell was happening, the Eagles had their first contact with Iraq’s surface-to-surface. They used missiles, which are known as “SCUD’s”. The Eagles only had their complete redeployment to TAA Campbell on the 29th day of same month and year. The conditions at TAA Campbell were not easy during the month of February.

Sands and temperatures harshly bothered TAA Campbell. During the day, the temperature raises high sixties and at night it lowers to thirties. At TAA Campbell, the condition was very hash then. On the 17th day of February of same year, Apache helicopters caught 41 enemy soldiers. Among the Iraqi soldiers, there existed disloyalty. POWs were willing to give information to the coalition. This was due to lack of supply and irregular pay given to them. There were even instances like entire battalions surrendered to a single helicopter. This is true because, those enemy soldiers were frightened of their leader.

Also, those who surrendered received terrible treatments from Saddam Hussein. The coalition executed the start of the ground offensive on the 24th day of the same month and year. During the execution of OPLAN 90-5, the 1st Brigade air assaulted to FOB Cobra. They did it to secure the area. The unequaled tactical operation of the Eagles and other supporting Air Force aircraft, the commander of Iraqi battalion was captured. With him were the 300 more Iraqi Soldiers, who were convinced to surrender. This victory at FOB Cobra moved the 1st Brigade ahead northward.

The 2nd Brigade then take charged at FOB Cobra. Then after they positioned there, and prepared and waited for the order, next became the biggest air assault in a 24 hour period in history. The deployment of two brigades was made possible and effective because of the help of the seizing of FOB Cobra. The two brigades deeply penetrated on the territory of the enemy. Along with the penetration of the two brigades, the 3rd brigades was then preparing their air assault to the Euphrates River Valley, and made them the first U. S. troops to reach the Euphrates on the 25th day of the same month and year.

The air assault executed by the 3rd Brigade was the longest in history for they travelled 310 miles, where they took a round trip from TAA Campbell to AO (Area of Operations) Eagle. The 101st is part of the XVIII Airborne Corps, which was given additional support when the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and 5-8th Field Artillery get attached tot e division. The further operations executed on the 27th day of same month and year was cancelled because of the cease-fire situation called on that day. Soldiers of the Screaming Eagles were sent back at Fort Campbell between 3rd and 15th day of April of the same year.

Other remaining 101st soldiers went back to Fort Campbell from Saudi Arabia on the 1st day of May of the same year.

References:

History of the 101st Airborne Division: “Screaming Eagles”. http://www. lzsally. com/sally2/archives/history_of_the_101st_airborne_di. htm History of the 101st Airborne Division: Screaming Eagles. [Retrieved 2007] from http://screamingeagles__10. tripod. com/ 2007 Rendezvous with Destiny: A HISTORY OF THE 101st AIRBORNE DIVISION (AIR ASSAULT). [Retrieved August 14, 2006] from http://www. campbell. army. mil/dhistory. htm

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