215 SPT History

215th Support Battalion

“Blacksmiths”

The 215th Support Battalion was constituted in the Regular Army as the 215th Composite Service Battalion (Support) on 30 June 1971 and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. The battalion was formed from elements of what was then called the Division Trains, and from other specialty units, and was the first multifunctional logistics battalion in the 1st Cavalry Division and was authorized 69 officers, 16 warrant officers, and 644 enlisted Soldiers. The 215th CSB was comprised of the following units: Headquarters and Headquarters and Band Company, Headquarters and Maintenance Support Company, Administrative Company, Medical Company, Supply and Transportation Company, and Transportation Company (Aviation Maintenance and Supply). The battalion supported military operations in the Republic of Vietnam by providing combat service support for the 3rd Brigade (Separate), 1st Cavalry Division. Support included but was not limited to administrative services, supply distribution, and medical support.

The 215th CSB demonstrated new concepts, efficiency, and dedication in support of the brigade through the use of personnel contact teams, brigade aviation assets, and aerial delivery techniques. In addition to supporting the brigade, the medical company also participated in as significant civic action program involving support missions to the populace of Vietnam.

The 215th CSB was reduced to a color guard detachment and redeployed from Vietnam without equipment and was inactivated effective 30 June 1972 at Oakland Army Base, California.

On 16 December 1991, the 215th Composite Support Battalion was reactivated as the 215th Support Battalion (Forward) at Fort Hood, Texas. The mission of the 215th Forward Support Battalion was to provide logistical support to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team as part of the 1st Cavalry Division’s Support Command (DISCOM). To this end the 215th Forward Support Battalion was organized with three companies. The Headquarters and A Company consisted of all battalion-level command and staff personnel, all battalion food service personnel, and a support operations section. Additionally, it was the supply and service company in the Battalion and provided petroleum supply, ration support and general supply support to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. B Company was a maintenance company that conducted direct support repairs and services on equipment in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The company had the capability to repair tracked and wheeled equipment, engineer equipment, fire control equipment, and tank turrets. Additionally, the service and recovery section provided metal working support and vehicle recovery support. The company also maintained a repair parts warehouse. C Company was a medical company that had the mission of treating, holding and evacuating patients from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Between January and February 1992, the Battalion participated in the Army Field Tests of the single channel Ground-Airborne System (SINCGARS). During this test the “Blacksmiths” established a high standard of excellence, achieving a 98.9 percent diagnosis rate for the tested radios. In December 1992, the Battalion went to the National Training Center to support the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. The Blacksmith Troopers set records for spare parts supply accountability and helped the 3rd Brigade achieve the highest turn-in operational readiness rate experienced in over 100 National Training Center rotations.

Within 20 days of returning from the National Training Center, the Battalion deployed a Logistic Task Force to Kuwait in support of Task Force 3-41st Infantry during Exercise Intrinsic Action, where they provided the full spectrum of combat service support. In January 1993, the Battalion returned to Kuwait in support of Task Force 1-9th Cavalry during Exercise Iris Gold.

Throughout 1993, the 215th Forward Support Battalion participated in the Army’s field testing of the M1A2 tank, helping to prove the viability of new diagnostic test sets for the hull and turret electronic components, as well as proving the suitability for the overall maintainability of the tank. In July 1993 and in October 1944, the 215th Forward Support Battalion again deployed to the National Training Center, at Fort Irwin, California in support of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (not to be confused with the modular brigade combat team). In December 1995, upon returning from the National Training Center, the Battalion deployed logistic elements to Panama to provide the 8th Engineer Battalion with medical and maintenance support following the riots at the Cuban refugee camps.

By 2004 the 215th Forward Support Battalion had been reorganized to include five companies and a headquarters distribution company. The Battalion provided the “life blood” of the 3d Brigade Combat Team: food, fuel, maintenance, transportation, and repair parts. The Headquarters Distribution Company (HDC) consisted of all battalion-level command and staff personnel. The HDC provided food service to the three base companies (HDC, D, and E Companies), battalion communications support, and a support operations section. Additionally it was the supply and service company in the battalion, and provided petroleum supply, ration support, transportation, maintenance parts support, and general supply to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. A Company (Forward Support) was a multifunctional unit that provided transportation, field maintenance, and all classes of supply for the 1-9th Cavalry. It executed the Combat Service Support (CSS) plan in the maneuver area of Task Force 1-9th Cavalry. The B Company (Forward Support) was a multifunctional unit that provided transportation, field maintenance, and all classes of supply for the 2-7th Cavalry. It executed the CSS plan in the maneuver area of Task Force 2-7th Cavalry. C Company (Forward Support) was a multifunctional unit that provided transportation, field maintenance, and all classes of supply for the 3-8th Cavalry. It executed the CSS plan in the maneuver area of Task Force 3-8th Cavalry. D Company (Brigade Support) was a direct support maintenance company in support of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Its 1st and 2nd Base Platoons provided organizational and direct support maintenance support to the HDC, D, and E Companies of the 215th Forward Support Battalion; 3rd Brigade Reconnaissance Troop, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The D Company provided base shop support to 3rd Brigade Combat Team in the Armament shop, ground support equipment, and missile and ELM shops. The Base Support Company Engineer Support Platoon was a multifunctional unit that provided transportation, field maintenance, and all classes of supply for the 8th Engineer Battalion. E Company (Forward Medical Support), which C Company had been reflagged as during the reorganization, was a medical company that had the mission of treating, holding, and evacuating patients within the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. E Company was composed of organic medical platoons that provided triage, management of mass casualties, and advanced trauma management. Some other areas of care given were initial resuscitation and stabilization, and care for patients with combat and peacetime injuries. E Company could provide interventions for combat and operational stress disorders to include battle fatigue, and preparation of medical patients for further evacuations.

In March 2004 the Battalion deployed, conducted additional training in Kuwait, road marched to Iraq, and established operations in Baghdad. The Soldiers were challenged daily by the environment, weather, and security conditions. During the deployment the battalion provided all levels of support to the 3rd BCT and other units within their region while traversing roads and being attacked by Improvised Explosive Devices and ambushes. The battalion conducted convoys to Baghdad International Airport several times a week to pick up fuel in large quantities to provide fuel support to all the units within the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The convoys were ready for action with almost every vehicle having a crew-served weapon on it. They were supported by the 3rd Brigade’s Reconnaissance Troop, and normally had aviation assets watch over travel. Elsewhere, the staff continued to provide internal support to the Battalion thru the S1 and S4 shops. S2/3 planned missions to meet the requirements determined by the support operations section and also provided daily intelligence updates. S6 was kept busy with setting up communications, computers, internet access, satellite systems and other high tech military gadgets.

Following its return from Iraq and as part of the US Army’s transformation towards a modular force, the 215th Forward Support Battalion was inactivated on 15 July 2005, along with the 1st Cavalry Division Support Command (DISCOM). As part of the modular transformation assets previously held a division level, but habitually attached to brigades during operations were made organic to reorganized and redesignated brigade combat teams. The Battalion was reactivated later in 2005 as the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, the organic support battalion for the reorganized and redesignated 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Lineage and Honors of the 215th Support Battalion

Lineage of the 215th Support Battalion

 

Constituted 30 June 1971 in the Regular Army as the 215th Support Battalion, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and activated in Vietnam.
Inactivated 30 June 1972 at Oakland, California
Activated 16 December 1991 at Fort Hood, Texas
Relieved 16 October 2005 from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division and assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

Honors of the 215th Support Battalion

 Campaign Participation Credit

Vietnam
Counteroffensive, Phase VII
Consolidation I
Consolidation II
Cease-FireWar on Terrorism
Iraq:
Transition of Iraq
Iraqi Governance
National Resolution
Iraqi Surge
Iraqi Sovereignty(Additional campaigns to be determined)

Decorations

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1971
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2004-2005
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2006-2007
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2008-2009
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered IRAQ 2001
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1971-1972Company D additionally entitled to:
Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered DIYALA PROVINCE OCT 2006-OCT 2007Company E additionally entitled to:
Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered DIYALA PROVINCE DEC 2006-MAR 2007

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