187th Rakkasans – part (3)

By the Persian Gulf War in 1990, the 101st Airborne, along with the Rakkasans of the 3rd Brigade had converted from airborne to air assault troops. During that 100 days of ground combat, the 1/187 Infantry conducted an air assault 155 miles behind enemy lines to Objective Weber capturing over 400 Iraqi soldiers on February 25, 1991. (48 years to the day after they were formed).  The operation into the Euphrates River valley cut off the retreating enemy out of Kuwait. The Rakkasans had advanced further than any other Allied unit, proven the viability of the air assault on the modern battlefield, and did so without a single soldier killed in action.

As part of the Global War on Terror (GWT), the Rakkasans deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in December 2001. As such, the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne became the first Army brigade to deploy in the ongoing war on terror. The Rakkasans fought against the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, which included Operation Anaconda in March 2002.

Rakkasans in the Gulf War

Seven months after their return from Afghanistan, the 3rd Brigade deployed to Kuwait for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF1). On March 20, 2003 the Rakkasans led the 101st Airborne Division into Iraq, establishing Forward Area Refueling Points (FARPs) to support deep attacks into Iraq. They seized the city of Hillah and participated in the liberation of Saddam Hussein International Airport before going on to occupy portions of Baghdad. The BDE then moved to western Ninewah province along the Syrian border for the remainder of the deployment, establishing fledgling governance and reconstruction projects for the betterment of the local population, while continuing operations against insurgents.

The 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division returned to Fort Campbell in early 2004 and was reorganized under Army Transformation as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT). The 3BCT then began a train up for returning to Iraq. They deployed in September 2005 for OIF rotation 05-07. During this year-long deployment the Rakkasans fought the growing Sunni insurgency in Salah Ad Din Province, which included Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit.

The Rakkasans deployed again to Iraq for OIF 07-09 as part of the Iraq Surge in September 2007. This rotation took the 3BCT to southwest and southern Baghdad between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This time the brigade was deployed for 15 months and conducted operations against both Sunni and Shia insurgents.

The Rakkasans returned home in November 2008. After their fourth refit and re-training period since 9/11, the 3d Brigade Combat Team deployed again in January 2010. This time they went to Afghanistan in support of OEF 10-11 as part of Regional Command-East near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The Rakkasans were home in early 2011, but redeployed to Afghanistan again in September 2012. They came home to Fort Campbell in May 2013 and are again preparing for their next deployment.

The banner under the distinctive unit insignia of the 187th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) bears the Latin words Ne Desit Virtus, meaning “Let Valor Not Fail.” The soldiers of the 187 Infantry from every era have certainly upheld their motto.

To be continued………

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

George C. Allen – Morgantown, WV; US Army, WWII, ETO, 7th Army

James Boak – Kosk-onong, MO; USMC, WWII

2020 POW/MIA poster unveiled

Glen E. Collins – Tucson, AZ; US Army, Korea, Pfc., Heavy Mortar Co/1/32/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Hugh Dischinger Sr. – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, fighter pilot

John E. Gillen – Champaign, IL; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc., Co D/1/6/2nd Marine Division, KIA (Tarawa)

Mejhor Morta – Pensacola, FL; US Army, Pvt., mechanic, 1/5/2/1st Cavalry Division

Regis Philbin – NYC, NY; US Navy, supply officer / TV personality

John Haig Robinson – TeAwamutu, NZ; RNZ Navy, WWII, HMNZS Achilles

Roy Shibata – Denver, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, / Civilian, US Army

Charles Wood – Redwood City, CA; US Army, WWII, SSgt., HQ Battery/899th Field Artillery Battalion / actor

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 27, 2020, in Current News, Post WWII, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 87 Comments.

  1. Your posts are concise and fascinating. 💫 Your photos are “WOW!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting to be brought into modern times, and suddenly begin recognizing names, as well as thinking, “Oh. I saw that on television.” War reporting has changed a good bit, even as the military has changed. Some of it’s been for the good; some is turning into sensationalism, and not always taking the welfare of our troops into consideration.

    In any event — this is fascinating, and I’m eager to read the next installment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great post, I was hoping Regis would rate a mention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As long as a person served their country – and I was very glad Regis had done just that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Regis was on one night on Letterman in the last couple of years. He told a story about his time in the Navy. Two tough Vets asked him what he wanted to do. He told them and they said go for it. He talked about the odds and they didn’t want to hear it. They told him if this is what you want to do you have to go for it and never give up. There is a lesson there that I took to heart. Not long after I started being able to freelance. Rest in place Regis.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. How wonderful! And their courageous service continues. Thank you, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can tell I’ve been away from blogs for a while, G. You are into modern times.:) –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Finally back . the war journal book is being made, so I had to take off pages

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is really interesting! Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Enjoy reading others comments on your posts gp, always something new or interesting to support or add to your posts, a veritable treasure trove of facts are shared, cheers mate.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is wonderful, GP! I love hearing of their courage and their dedication AND that they are still going strong. I love that you are honoring them by sharing their stories.
    I was reminded today, while listening to a radio show, that Regis Philbin served in the military.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is proving what I always knew. Your blog is not stuck after the Pacific War, and has so much more to tell us all! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How nice to see a group uphold their tradition and their valor. It must be a real honor to be part of this elite group.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. And their courageous deeds continue. . . Love the Cheap Thrills on military humor!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you for this, GP. It is very comforting to know this group exists.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Two celebs in the list. You don’t miss a thing, do you!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m waiting eagerly for Part 4. Thank you for the research, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Fascinating, GP. You know you are officially an Old Fart when the current wars are almost 20 years old and not the wars that you or your friends were part of. World War II (which was before my time) but still felt fresh when I was a child and Vietnam were the current wars, even Desert Storm feels like a life time ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. They certainly carry that motto with honor. They’re doing the founders of that unit proud.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. And so they continue the tradition

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Thank you for the information, GP! Is there such a great difference between airborne and air assault? Is the last more ground based? However this past things seems to be the greatest short time changes the US Army in their history ever had done. Right? Enjoy your week. Michael

    Liked by 3 people

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