7th Infantry Regiment (United States) - History - Modern Era

Modern Era

Presently the regiment consists of mechanized infantry units equipped with the M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and a Light Infantry Battalion.

1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment,

2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry, Fort Stewart, Georgia, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry, Fort Stewart, Georgia, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.(Light Infantry Battalion)

The battalions were assigned to the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia on December 16, 1987. Elements of all three battalions of the 7th Infantry Regiment saw action in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo and more recently Operation Iraqi Freedom. On February 16, 1996, the battalions were assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.

1990-1991 Gulf War

The 1st Battalion 7th Infantry Regiment and the 4th Battalion 7th Infantry Regiment (from Aschaffenburg, Germany) patrolled the Czechoslovakia border with Germany for years in preparation for war with The Soviet Union (USSR). They served during Operation(s) Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and both battalions of the regiment were to serve in the theater of operations. The battalions belonged to 3rd (Phantom) Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. The brigade itself was a round-out brigade for the 1st Armored Division and served as "Old Ironsides" lead element 1st brigade. The 4th battalion consisted of 4 companies of the new M2-A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, of which three companies had some augmented mix of M1 Abrams tanks attached from the brigade's 4/66 armor battalion. Only Bravo company 4/7 "Blackhawks" remained wholly infantry. It was the mission of Bravo Company to conduct urban and trench warfare for the battalion. Several regiment personnel received Silver and Bronze Stars with "V" devices for their actions during the ground war phase. Both 1/7 and 4/7 participated in the largest tank battle in US history during Desert Storm: The Battle of Medina Ridge.

The Battle of Medina Ridge was a decisive tank battle fought during the Gulf War on February 27, 1991, between the U.S. 1st Armored Division and the entrenched 2nd Brigade of the Iraqi Republican Guard Medina Luminous Division outside Basra. It is estimated more than 5,000 vehicles (A mix of tanks, armored fighting vehicles, armored transports, heavy & light trucks-shared by both sides) clashed during this particular engagement this day. The 1st Armored Division, commanded by Major General Ron Griffith, consisted of some 3,000 vehicles including 348 M1A1 Abrams tanks. The brunt of the fighting at Medina Ridge was conducted by the 3rd (Phantom) Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division which was the only brigade from the 3rd Infantry Division in the war. The Brigade replaced 1st Armored Division's 1st Brigade and was commanded by Colonel James Riley. Medina Ridge was one of the few battles during Desert Storm in which American forces encountered significant Iraqi resistance and found it extremely difficult to advance. During the battle, American forces suffered one fatality (An M3 Bradley Scout driver - SPC Cash-from 4/66 armor) due to friendly fire, while destroying 186 Iraqi tanks (mostly T-72Ms, Asad Babils, and Type 69s), and 127 armored vehicles. Only four Abrams tanks were hit by direct fire and disabled; none were destroyed. Upon returning from Iraq in May 1991, both battalions of the 7th Infantry Regiment and the rest of Phantom Brigade received orders to deactivate and draw down from Aschaffenburg, Germany as part of the new armed forces reduction strategy at the end of the Cold War. During the summer of 1992, 4/7 Infantry regiment closed its doors at Fiori Kaserne for the last time, and ultimately retired to US military history.

Gulf War

During the Gulf War, 2 units of the 7th Regiment fell in the ranks of VII Corps. Corps normally command three divisions at full strength (other units such as artillery, corps-level engineers, and support units are attached as well). However, VII Corps had far more firepower under its command. 2/7 and 3/7 served with the 24th Infantry Division during the first gulf war, deploying from Fort Stewart Georgia, as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

VII Corps' principal combat strength consisted of the following units: U.S. 1st & 3rd Armored Divisions, and U.S. 1st Infantry Division. In addition: The U.S. 2nd Cavalry Regiment(scout force), US 1st Cavalry Division, and British 1st Armored Division, as well as the U.S. 11th Aviation Group were attached for the operation.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Both the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 7th Infantry Regiment assigned to 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Regiment's most notable achievements included seizing crossing sites over the Euphrates River and seizing the Iraqi regime's most prized possessions, Baghdad International Airport. They returned to Fort Stewart in September 2003. SFC Paul Ray Smith was the first Soldier awarded the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror for his actions in Iraq.

The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry, was reassigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in 2004, upon the creation of that new unit. Prior to that, the 3-7th Infantry had been assigned to the 1st 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. 2-7th Infantry remained with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, while 3-7th Infantry joined the new 4th Brigade Combat Team. Delta Companies were also established in both 2nd and 3rd Battalions, designated as armor units and its infantry C Companies reorganized under 3-69 AR and 4-64 AR respectively while their C Companies moved under the infantry battalions to form Combat Arms Battalions (CAB). Under transformation, E Companies were added from the 11th Engineer Battalion and Forward Support Companies were added to support the CAB.

After a tough train-up period during 2004, the reorganized 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 7th Infantry Regiment deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom III with their respective Brigade Combat Teams (1st and 4th Brigade Combat Teams). 2-7 Infantry deployed to Iraq for a second tour in December 2005 until January 2006, to Saddam Hussien's hometown of Tikrit. The 3rd Battalion assumed responsibility of Western Rashid in Baghdad, an area encompassing more than 800,000 Iraqis. The 7th Infantry Regiment's most notable achievement was ensuring the security of over 100 polling sites during two Iraqi national elections.

In January 2007, 2-7 Infantry deployed to Iraq for a third, 15-month tour. The unit served in Anbar Province, the largest province in Iraq, under the command and control of Multi-National Forces West. TF 2-7 deployed to Hīt, with Company C, 2-7 IN attached to TF 3/69 AR (Speed and Power) in south-central Ar Ramadi. Cold Steel was instrumental, with its Iraqi Army and Police partners in bringing peace and stability to Ramadi during the Anbar Awakening. The 2nd Battalion redeployed in April 2008. In 2007 the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division was alerted for deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2007. The 4th Brigade, including the 3-7th Infantry, continued to serve in that country into 2008.

In December 2009, 2-7 Infantry deployed to Iraq for a fourth time as an advise and assist battalion.

Read more about this topic:  7th Infantry Regiment (United States), History

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