1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery Regiment (United States)

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1st Battalion 161st Field Artillery Regiment
161FARegtCOA.jpg
161st Field Artillery Regiment coat of arms
Active 1921–present
Country United States
Branch Army National Guard
Type Field artillery
Role General support
Size Battalion
Nickname(s) Western Kansas Redlegs
Motto(s) Faire Sans Dire (To Do Without Saying)
Equipment 155 SP howitzer M109A6 "Paladin"
Decorations French Croix de Guerre
Commanders
Commander LTC Shawn Miller
Command Sergeant Major SGM Steven Sprawka
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 161 Field Artillery Distinctive Unit Insignia.jpg

The 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery Regiment is a Field Artillery battalion of the Kansas Army National Guard in Kansas. Like many National Guard field artillery battalions, it is the sole battalion in the regiment. The battalion is currently headquartered in Hutchinson, and consists of three firing batteries: Alpha (Dodge City), Bravo (Abilene), Charlie (Newton), and a Headquarters Battery (Hutchinson). The battalion has habitual relationships with the 1161st Forward Support Company (Hutchinson) and Battery E (Target Acquisition) 161st Field Artillery Regiment(Great Bend).

History[edit]

The 1-161 FA has its roots as the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the Kansas Volunteer Militia, which was organized from existing units in 1880. The regiment was mustered into federal service in June 1916 for duty guarding the Mexican Border against invasion. The regiment served for 5 months at Eagle Pass, Texas. In August 1917, the 2nd Infantry Regiment was drafted into federal service and in October of that same year, was consolidated with the 1st Infantry Regiment and re-designated the 137th Infantry, Kansas National Guard and assigned to the 35th Division. The regiment saw duty in France and participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. They were demobilized in May 1919, after 34 months of active duty service. In November 1921, the 2nd Infantry Regiment was re-designated as the 161st Field Artillery Regiment and assigned to the 35th Division. In December 1940 the regiment was inducted into federal service. In December 1941, the regiment, along with the rest of the 35th Division, was moved to California to defend against possible Japanese invasion. In February 1942, the regiment was divided into the 1st Battalion 161st Field Artillery and the 2nd Battalion 195th Field Artillery. The 35th Division began training in April 1943 at Fort Rucker, AL. The division arrived in England in May 1944, and returned to the United States in November 1945. From 1946 to 1998, the unit designation was changed nine times from regiment to battalion with various naming conventions.

In 2001, the battalion was mobilized for Operation Noble Eagle and provided force protection and gate security at McConnell AFB, Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley. Members of Bravo Battery, which was based out of Pratt, were deployed in 2005 to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. One Soldier lost his life while serving in Iraq.[1] The battery returned in July 2007. That same month, the rest of the battalion was notified that they would be deployed to Iraq. In October of that year Headquarters Battery, Alpha Battery, Charlie Battery and the 1161st FSC began pre-mobilization training and deployed in February 2008. Headquarters Battery was sent to Baghdad, while the remainder of the Battalion, with reinforcements from Battery E 161st Field Artillery, were sent to FOB Grizzly to provide force protection.[2] One soldier lost his life on that deployment as well[3] The battalion was again mobilized in February 2011 for deployment to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The battalion deployed with full strength, augmented with both Battery E, 1161st FSC, and the 35th Military Police Company.[4] They returned to the United States in February 2012.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kansas Army National Guardsman Dies In Iraq". 22 February 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Kansas Guardsmen Make History With pre-mobilization Training In Salina". 16 October 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Kansas Guardsman Killed In Iraq". 3 August 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Kansas National Guard Unit To Deploy to Horn of Africa". 24 February 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Kansas National Guard battalion being welcomed home from Horn of Africa Feb. 25 in Topeka". 24 February 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2015.