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1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry


Unit History

The 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment was first activated on 15 April 1941. On 8 May 1941 the 4th Armored Regiment was redesignated the 40th Armored Regiment and then inactivated on 1 January 1942. The 40th Armored Regiment was reactivated on 2 March 1942 at Camp Polk, Louisiana and assigned to the 7th Armored Division.

The regiment moved to Fort Benning on 20 September 1943, and was divided into two Tank Battalions, the 40th and the 709th Tank Battalions equipped with M4 medium and M5 light tanks.

The 40th Tank Battalion entered combat on August 15 1944 fighting across northern France into Belgium where it made a significant contribution to the defeat of German forces at St. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge. The 40th then drove into Germany linking up with the Russians on the Baltic coast. The 40th Tank Battalion received participation credit for four European campaigns from Northern France to Central Europe and was awarded the Belgian Fourragere.

The 709th Tank Battalion serving as a separate tank battalion entered combat in France on 11 July 1944. The battalion participated in five European campaigns from Normandy to Central Europe. The 709th was inactivated on 10 April 1946 at Camp Kilmer.

On 28 June 1948 the 40th was reactivated at Fort Ord, California as a heavy tank battalion and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. It was inactivated on 1 April 1957 at Fort Lewis, Washington. The 709th was reactivated as the 86th Tank Battalion on 30 July 1948 joining the 3rd Armored Division at Fort Knox. In 1953 it was redesignated as the 709th and then inactivated in Germany on 1 October 1957. On 15 October 1957 the 40th and 709th Tank Battalions were consolidated, reorganized and redesignated as the 40th Armor, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. On 16 December 1963 Alpha Company, 40th Armor equipped with the M41 light tank, served with the 171st Infantry Brigade at Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska from 16 December 1963 to 13 November 1972. Redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 40th Armor it served at Fort Polk from 5 January 1978 to 16 December 1987. From January 1996 to September 1997 it served as an experimental test battalion at Fort Hunter Leggett, California. In 2005 the 40th Armor was redesignated as the 40th Cavalry. The former Alpha Company, 40th Armor was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment (organic elements constituted). The 1st Squadron was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division and activated on 16 October 2005 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

In October of 2006 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) conducted its first deployment as part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 1-40 Cavalry Regiment conducted 14 months of counterinsurgency operation throughout Southern Baghdad including leading a decisive effort during the 2007 Iraqi Surge Campaign. For extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment was awarded the Valorous Unit Award. In December 2007 the unit redeployed back to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.

In February of 2009 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom conducting counterinsurgency operations across Paktya Province in partnership with Afghan Security Forces. In November 2009 the 1-40 Cavalry Squadron deployed to Western Khost partnering with 1st Brigade, 203rd Corps of the Afghan Army bringing increased stability to the Western districts and setting a path for a successful future. For exceptionally Meritorious Service, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. In February 2010 1-40 Cavalry Regiment redeployed back to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.

In December 2011 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) deployed back Paktya and Khost Provinces in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After a successful mission, partnering with the Afghan National Army, the Squadron increased stability in the region for a successful future. For exceptionally Meritorious Service, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. In October 2012 1-40th CAV redeployed back to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK.

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