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Special Operations Spotlight

1st Ranger Battalion

Sgt. 1st Class James Lovett 1st Ranger Battalion receives medal

Recognizing the need for a highly trained and mobile reaction force, the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Creighton Abrams, in the fall of 1973, directed the activation of the first battalion-size Ranger qualified personnel. Headquarters, Forces Command, issued General Order 127, directing the activation of the 1st Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry, with an effective date of January 31, 1974.

Selection continued from March through June 1974, as personnel assembled at Ft. Benning, GA, where cadre training was conducted. On July 1, 1974, the battalion parachuted into Fort Stewart, GA, where the battalion was stationed until moving to Hunter Army Airfield, GA, in September 1978.

The modern Ranger battalions were first called upon in 1980, as elements of 1st Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry participated in the Iranian hostage rescue attempts. The groundwork for our Special Operations capability of today was laid during training and preparation for this operation.

Rangers and other Special Operations Forces from throughout the Department of Defense developed tactics, techniques, and equipment from scratch, as no doctrine existed anywhere in the world. The combat effectiveness of the battalion let to its deployment to the island of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to rescue United States citizens and restore democracy.

The change of the 75th Infantry to the 75th Ranger Regiment in March of 1986 caused the battalion to be redesignated the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. On December 20, 1989, the 1st Battalion was again committed to combat operations- Operation Just Cause. The 1st Battalions successful airfield seizure at Torrijos/Tocumen Airfield and its subsequent operations contributed significantly to the United States victory in Panama.

From February 12 to April 15 1991, element of Company B, and 1st platoon, company A 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm. They conducted raids and provided a quick reaction force in cooperation with allied forces. The performances of these Rangers significantly contributed to the overall success of the operation.

In December 2001, after the events of 9/11, elements of Headquarters Company and A Company deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In 2002, the entire Battalion returned to Afghanistan to support the continuing war on terrorism.

In 2003, 1st Battalion participated in combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion conducted missions across the entire country of Iraq. The Battalion distinguished itself during the successful rescue of a prisoner of war (POW), Private-First-Class Jessica Lynch.

At the end of 2003, the Battalion again deployed, this time sending elements to both Afghanistan and Iraq, which continued into 2004. Currently the 1st Ranger Battalion is still successfully destroying or capturing terrorist networks in both OIF and OEF.

Related Topics

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