4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment
4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment
The mission of the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor is to, on order, deploy by air, sea, and land to any contingency area, project a strong forward presence and conduct combat operations to defeat an armored heavy force in order to preserve regional stability.
The 64th Armor Regiment is descended from the 78th Tank Battalion, which was activated on 13 January 1941, and redesignated the 758th Tank Battalion (Light) on 8 May 1941. The 758th Tank Battalion served with the 92nd Infantry Division in World War II, and was inactivated 22 September 1945 at Viareggio, Italy.
The 758th was the first tank battalion in history to be organized with black soldiers. A 758th soldier designed the regimental crest, the rampant head of a black African elephant symbolizing the soldier's pride in their heritage and their unit's mission of mobile armored warfare.
In 1949, the 758th Tank Battalion was redesignated the 64th Heavy Tank Battalion and assigned to the 2nd Armored Division. In 1950, the 64th Tank Battalion was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, and deployed overseas for combat operations during the Korean War. The 64th Tank Battalion fought in the Battle of Kumsong Salient, and Company A was awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation for its bravery and heroism. In 1957, the 64th Tank Battalion was inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In 1963, the 64th Armor was activated as a parent regiment under the Combined Arms Regimental System. All 4 battalions of the 64th Armor were in Germany for over 20 years of distinguished service. In 1984, the 1st and the 4th Battalions, 64th Armor, redeployed from Germany to Fort Stewart, Georgia, while the 2nd and 3rd remained in Germany. The 1st Battalion was the 64th Regimental Headquarters and Fort Stewart was the home base.
For over 50 years, the 64th Armor Regiment served with distinction in World War II, Korea, Germany, and the United States. While assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, the 1st and 4th Battalions distinguished themselves in the defense of Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield, and in combat operations in Iraq during Desert Storm. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, 4-64th Armor was one of the first battalions deployed to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. The Battalion attacked 6 months later, spearheading the 24th Infantry Division's "Left Hook" into Iraq to destroy elements of the 26th Command Brigade and the Republican Guard Hammurabi Division as part of Operation Desert Storm. Their speed and forcefulness helped force an Iraqi retreat and surrender.
In 1998, 4-64 Armor returned to Kuwait for Operation Desert Fox, in order to defend against renewed Iraqi aggression on the border. As of mid-2001, Task Force 4-64th Armor continued to serve as the ground maneuver deterrence force.
The Tuskers took on a different role in 2000, when they deployed to Bosnia with the division. The Battalion provided security at Eagle Base Tuzla, playing a key role in ensuring the continued stability of Bosnia-Herzogovina.
After 11 September 2001, 4-64th Armor was hours away from deploying soldiers and tanks to support missions in Afghanistan. The Battalion's role in the War on Terrorism came in the next year, when the battalion deployed with 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division to Kuwait. After 5 months of preparation and training, tanks from Company B, 4-64th Armor were the first in the Division to cross the border into Iraq. For the next 3 weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Tuskers fought 750 km north through Iraq towards Baghdad. The Battalion single-handedly swept through and destroyed the Medina Division of the Iraqi Republican Guard south of Baghdad.
On 7 April 2003, 4-64th Armor fought up Highway 8 into Baghdad, and seized the Al Sijood Palace, Republican Palace, 14th July Bridge, and other high profile targets in the heart of Baghdad. This audacious assault into the city finally forced the regime's collapse. After 2 months in Baghdad, 4-64th Armor moved its operations to Habbaniya, Iraq, west of Baghdad between Fallujah and al Ramadi. Here, the Battalion successfully stabilized one of the most dangerous and unsettled regions of the country.
The 4th Battalion, 64th Armor, was reassigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in 2004, upon the creation of that new unit. Prior to that, the 4-64th Armor had been assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. This was a product of 3rd Infantry Division transforming to the new modular Brigade concept after its return from Iraq in late 2003.
The 4th Battalion, 64th Armor deployed with other elements of the new 4th Brigade Combat Team to Iraq in 2005 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The Battalion redeployed to Fort Stewart, Georgia in January 2006. In 2007 the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) was alerted for deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2007. The 4th Brigade, including the 4-64th Armor, continued to serve in that country into 2008.
■Fort Stewart, GA
Posted by Rodney Brewer
Nov 17 2010 01:43:59:000PM