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The 10th Mountain Division; Eindhoven, October 25 – 27, 2017

The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, part 1; Text and Photograph's by Alex van Noye

The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division and is located in Fort Drum in the American state of New York. Originally, the division was the only specialized unit for fighting in mountains under arctic conditions. To honor this tradition, the soldiers of the division wear the text "Mountain" on their shoulders.

Originally the unit was founded as the 10th Light Division (Alpine) in 1943. The division was soon renamed to the current 10th Mountain Division in 1944. The soldiers fought in the mountains in Italy during the Second World War and passed in Nauders in Austria the Resia pass, where it made contact with German troops which were driven to the south by the seventh US Army. The unit managed to maintain position until the Germans surrendered to the American troops. After the war, the division was deactivated. In 1948, the division was reactivated as the 10th Infantry Division. Eventually the division was disbanded again in 1958. In 1985 the division was re-activated under the traditional name 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). With this name, the division remained linked to the historical traditions of the period of the Second World War. Since the reactivation of the division, the entire division or elements of the division have been deployed many times abroad. The division participated in the Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and helped after a hurricane during the Hurricane Andrew in Homestead in Florida. The most famous mission which the division carried out was Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope in Somalia. The movie "Blackhawk Down" tells the scenario which took place during this deployment and eventually became a world-famous film. The mile which the troops had to move after the crash in extremely hostile territory is nowadays known as "the Mogadishu Mile". The division also participated in Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo.

Today the 10th Mountain Division consists of six large regiments and a command battalion. All these components have their specific tasks and together they form a small fully deployable army. The first three regiments are the infantry brigades. These brigades, are; the 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team "Warrior", the 2nd Infantry

Brigade Combat Team "Commandos" and the 86th Infantry (Mountain) Brigade Combat Team. The fourth regiment is an artillery brigade and coordinates and directs the artillery regiments which are under the command of the infantry brigades. This commanding unit is referred to as the 10th Mountain Division Artillery. The fifth regiment of this division is the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, also referred to as the 10th Aviation Regiment. The helicopters are stationed at Wheeler-Sack Army Air Field which is close to Fort Drum. The sixth regiment of the 10th Mountain Division is the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade. The 10th Combat Aviation Brigade (10th AVN) was established on August 21, 1965. The unit was after its founding frequently deployed during the Vietnam War. After a brief period of de-activation in the 1980s, the unit was re-activated as part of the 1st Armored Division in Germany. After one year, the unit was eventually moved to the 10th Mountain Division.

The first battalion which is part of the 10th Aviation Regiment is the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (1-10th AVN) "Tigersharks". This entire battalion consists of three companies which are all equipped with the Boeing AH-64D Apache. As the name of the battalion says, these helicopters are used in the reconnaissance role and the offensive role. The three companies which are assigned to this battalion, are; the Attack Reconnaissance Company Alpha (A/1-10th AVN) "Rogues/Death Stalkers", the Attack Reconnaissance Company Bravo (B/1-10th AVN) "Bandits/Killer Spades" and the Attack Reconnaissance Company Charlie (C/1-10th AVN) "Diamondbacks". The markings on the helicopters indicate from which company they are. The triangle on the Apache means "Alpha Company", the square means "Bravo Company" and the circle means that the helicopter is assigned to the "Charlie Company". The second battalion which is assigned to the 10th Aviation Regiment is the 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion (2-10th AVN) "Knighthawk". The second battalion flies the Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawk and is used for transporting ground troops. Like the first battalion, the second battalion is also composed of three companies. The second battalion is composed of the Assault Company Alpha (A/2-10th AVN) "Voodoo", the Assault Company Bravo (A/2-10th AVN) "Mountainhawks" and the Assault Company Charlie (C/2-10th AVN) "Warlords".

The 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion (3-10th AVN) "Phoenix" is the third battalion of the 10th Aviation Regiment and is a composite unit. This battalion is composed of three companies, but these all have their specific tasks. The first company is the Command Aviation Company Alpha (A/3-10th AVN) "Arch Angels" and flies with the UH-60A Blackhawk. This company is a command and connection unit for the entire regiment. The second company is the Heavy Helicopter Company Bravo (B/3-10th AVN) "Colossal" and is equipped with the CH-47F Chinook. This company has the heavy transport task with these helicopters. The third company of the battalion is the Air Ambulance Company Charlie (C/3-10th AVN) "Blue Max" and is equipped with the HH-60M Blackhawk. This company is responsible for the medical evacuation of wounded soldiers from the battlefield (MEDEVAC). The 6th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment (6-6th CAV) "Six Shooters" is part of the American cavalry. The 6-6th CAV is a regiment in itself and is active under the command of the 10th Aviation Regiment. The 6-6th CAV consists of three Troops which are all equipped with the OH-58D Kiowa. The Troops which are under the command of the 6-6th CAV, are; the Attack Reconnaissance Troop Alpha (A/6-6th CAV) "Assassins", the Attack Reconnaissance Troop Bravo (B/6-6th CAV) "Pale Riders" and the Attack Reconnaissance Troop Charlie (C/6-6th CAV) "Outcast Aeroscouts". The Kiowa is used in the light attack role and the reconnaissance role.

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