173rd Support Battalion (United States)

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173rd Brigade Support Battalion
173SupportBnCOA.jpg
173rd Brigade Support Battalion coat of arms
Active 1963-1972; 2005-2006; 17 September 2007 - present
Country United States United States of America
Branch United States Army
Type Support Battalion
Role Support
Size Battalion
Part of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
Garrison/HQ Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy
Motto(s) To Our Utmost
Colors Silver, Blue & Yellow
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation Streamer embroidered DAKTO, Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1965-1967, Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1969, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm embroidered VIETNAM 1965-1970, Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1969-1971
Commanders
Battalion Commander LTC Christopher W. Baker[1] - Biography
Command Sergeant Major CSM James A. LaFratta[1] - Biography
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia
173SupportBnDUI.jpg
Unit flash
US Army 173rd Bde Support BN Flash.png

The 173rd Brigade Support Battalion is a Combat Support Battalion of the United States Army based in Vicenza, Italy. It is a subordinate unit of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Organization[edit]

The 173rd Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne) serves to support the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne). The battalion currently consists of 475 soldiers in four companies. Four additional companies are detached in support of the Brigade's maneuver units.

Brigade Support Battalion[edit]

Forward Support Companies[edit]

History of the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne)[edit]

The 173rd Support Battalion was constituted on 26 March 1963 in the Regular Army and assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Officially activated on 25 June 1963 in Okinawa, the Support Battalion participated and logistically supported hundreds of Brigade operations in a dozen different countries in the Pacific. In May 1965, the Support Battalion was sent to Vietnam with the Brigade. For its time in Southeast Asia, the 173rd Support Battalion is recognized as having participated in 15 separate campaigns in Vietnam. The Battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, and a Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm streamer and a Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal. On 14 January 1972, the Support Battalion was relieved from assignment to the 173rd Airborne Brigade and subsequently deactivated.

In July 2004, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 51st Maintenance Battalion and 501st Forward Support Company & Headquarters, located in Mannheim Germany were reassigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade to begin the activation of the 173rd Support Battalion, achieved on 16 March 2005. Eight days later, the 173rd Support Battalion deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan to provide combat service support to Combined Task Force Bayonet. The Battalion redeployed on 24 February 2006 after spending eleven months supporting combat operations in southern Afghanistan.

As a part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s transformation, the 173rd Support Battalion transitioned into a Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) and moved to Bamberg, Germany on 16 September 2006 to begin training for their deployment to Afghanistan. On 17 May 2007, the newly transformed 173rd BSB (Airborne) deployed to Bagram and Jalalabad Airfields in northeastern Afghanistan. The Battalion redeployed on 4 August 2008 after spending 15 months supporting combat operations throughout Regional Command East in Afghanistan.

On 22 February 2009, the Battalion was notified of a change to their deployment from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation Enduring Freedom. In November 2009, the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd BSB were deployed to Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom X and The Global War on Terrorism. The unit performed its mission of manning, arming, fueling, fixing, moving and sustaining over 10,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilian contractors, and other government agencies throughout Logar and Wardak provinces of Regional Command-East (RC East), Afghanistan. The Battalion redeployed from combat operations in November 2010.

In July 2013, the 173rd BSB deployed for a fourth time since its 2005 reactivation. This time, BSB Paratroopers deployed from Bamberg, Germany as part of Task Force Repel, back to Afghanistan and Regional Command – East, as a subordinate element of Task Force Bayonet conducting Security Force Assistance and Training (SFAT) Operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XIII. The Battalion aligned a forward logistics element in Wardak Province, Afghanistan and the remainder of the battalion at Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province Afghanistan, where they executed the difficult task of reducing the footprint of the Brigade and retrograding critical military material while continuing to train their Afghan counterparts.

The Battalion redeployed from combat operations in March 2013 and immediately began preparations to relocate from Bamberg, Germany to Vicenza, Italy to the newly completed Caserma Del Din where the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd BSB continue the distinction of honored service dating back to Vietnam and proudly represent the Airborne fighting spirit wherever they serve.

  • Constituted 26 March 1963 in the Regular Army as the 173rd Support Battalion, and assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade
  • Activated 25 June 1963 on Okinawa
  • Relieved 14 January 1972 from assignment to the 173rd Airborne Brigade
  • Inactivated 21 October 1972 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
  • Activated 16 March 2005 in Vicenza, Italy
  • Deployed to Afghanistan From March 2005 to March 2006
  • On 17 September 2007 the unit was activated as a Brigade Support Battalion and relocated to Bamberg, Germany
  • Deployed to Afghanistan for a second time from May 2007 to August 2008
  • Deployed to Afghanistan for a third time from November 2009 to November 2010
  • Deployed to Afghanistan for a fourth time from July 2012 to March 2013
  • During July & August 2013, relocated from Bamberg, Germany to Vicenza, Italy

Honors[edit]

Unit decorations[edit]

Ribbon Award Year Notes
U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg Presidential Unit Citation (Army) 1967 for fighting in the Battle of Dak To
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 1965–67 for service in Vietnam
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 1969 for service in Vietnam
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) 2009-2010 for service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom[2]
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm.png Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm 1965–70 for service in Vietnam
Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation.png Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class 1969–71 for service in Vietnam

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Leaders". 173rd Airborne Brigade. US Army. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  2. ^ US Army Human Resources Command. Permanent Orders 336-03, 2 December 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2017.