If you do NOT see the Table of Contents frame to the left of this page, then
Click here to open 'USArmyGermany' frameset

2nd Armored Division (Forward)
USAREUR

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.


Brigade 75 (1975-1978)

2nd AD (Fwd)
(1978-1992)

Subordinate Units

Det 3, 4th ASOG

Newspaper articles

Related Links




 
Brigade 75

Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, Garlstedt, 1978
1975
(Source: MANEUVER AND FIREPOWER, The Evolution of Division and Separate Brigase, by John B. Wilson, CMH, Washington, 1998)
In 1974 congressional dissatisfaction led Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia to sponsor an amendment requiring the Army to reduce the number of support forces in Europe by 18,000 officers and enlisted personnel but permitting those spaces to be used to organize combat units there. The new units could include battalions or smaller units of infantry, armor, field and air defense artillery, cavalry, engineers, special forces, and aviation, which were to improve the visibility of the nation's combat power in Europe.

To execute the Nunn amendment US. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army, Europe, and Seventh Army agreed to a plan for organizing a mechanized infantry brigade and an armored brigade for Europe, which were known as Brigade-75 and Brigade-76. Under the plan the headquarters and a support battalion for each brigade were to be stationed in Germany while the infantry, armor, and field artillery battalions, engineer companies, and cavalry troops from the United States were to rotate every six months. No provisions were made for dependents to accompany the soldiers since they were to be away from home on temporary duty for only 179 days. The short duration of the assignment was to be a cost-saving measure, which indirectly also attacked the balance of payment problem between the United States and its allies, and a morale booster.

To support the rotation of Brigade-75, the first unit in the program, the Army selected the 2d Armored Division, at Fort Hood, Texas. Between March and June 1975 the 3d Brigade, 2d Armored Division, deployed to Germany, with its headquarters at Grafenwoehr and its elements scattered at various training areas. A few weeks before each unit departed Fort Hood, Forces Command activated a similar unit, including Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 2d Armored Division, to maintain the three-brigade structure of the division in the continental United States. During the deployment the Army Staff approved a request from Forces Command to use a battalion from the 1st Cavalry Division, rather than have all elements from the 2d Armored Division, in order to reduce personnel turbulence in the 2d. Because of the shortage of tank crews, the Army changed Brigade-75 from an armored to a mechanized infantry unit. Another factor in the decision to deploy a mechanized brigade was the shortage of tanks resulting from U.S. replacement of tanks the Israelis had lost in their 1973 war against the Arabs. In September 1975 the first rotation of brigade elements between Germany and Fort Hood began.

Forces Command selected the 4th Infantry Division to support Brigade-76 and in December 1975 activated the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Carson, Colorado. The following year the brigade moved to Germany. To lighten the burden of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, a mechanized infantry battalion from the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley was included in the rotation scheme. Following the procedure used to send Brigade-75 to Europe, new organizations were activated in the 1st and 4th Infantry Divisions to maintain their divisional integrity.

As elements of the 3d Brigade, 2d Armored Division, and the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, rotated, the Army monitored the effect on the budget, readiness, and morale. Evidence soon suggested that the rotation of the brigades improved neither cost effectiveness nor readiness. Therefore, the Army decided that the brigades would be assigned permanently to US. Army, Europe, and Seventh Army. The reassignment of the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, took place in the fall of 1976. At that time the 3d Battalion, 28th Infantry, the element of the 1st Infantry Division supporting the brigade, was reassigned to the 4th Infantry Division.

To improve the alignment of Allied forces in Europe, Army leaders decided to station Brigade-75 (the 3d Brigade, 2d Armored Division) in northern Germany, where no American combat unit had served since the end of World War II. Such problems as the lack of housing, particularly for dependents, and opposition from German nationals over the impact of the troops on the environment, caused the elements of the brigade to continue to rotate until the questions could be resolved. Two years later, after building a new military complex at Garlstedt, the 3d Brigade, 2d Armored Division, became a permanent part of the European forces. At Fort Hood the 4th Brigade, 2d Armored Division, and the battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division that supported the brigade were inactivated. A new battalion was assigned to the 2d Armored Division from its traditional regiments to replace the 1st Cavalry Division unit inactivated in Germany. The net result of the Nunn amendment on divisional forces was two more brigades forward deployed in Germany but a reduction of one brigade in the 2d Armored Division in the United States.

(Source: Various issues of STARS & STRIPES, 1975-1978)
3rd Brigade, 2nd Armd Div, Fort Hood, Tex. - also known as Brigade 75 - was deployed to Germany early in 1975 as part of an effort to improve NATO's forward defense posture. (During the period that BDE 75 was stationed in the Grafenwoehr-Hohenfels-Wildflecken areas, it was assigned to CENTAG and attached to the 1st Armd Div.)

Plans originally called for the 2nd Armd Div to send a brigade headquarters and headquarters company as well as a support battalion on a permanent change of station (PCS) basis. Maneuver and some of the support units making up the mechanized infantry brigade would be deployed on a temporary basis and were scheduled to rotate with like units from the US every 179 days.

Brigade 75 was to consist of two mechanized infantry battalions, one tank battalion, one field artillery battalion, an armored cavalry troop, and an engineer company in addition to the brigade headquarters and additional support units.

Advance parties began arriving in early March 1975. They drew equipment (485 wheeled, 411 tracked and 7 special vehicles) from pre-positioned sites operated by the 5th (Pirmasens), 6th (Miesau), 7th (Idar Oberstein) and 8th (Kaiserslautern) Combat Equipment Companies.

BDE 75 ORGANIZATION (mid-1975):

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
Hq/Hq Co, 3rd Bde Grafenwoehr  
498th Spt Bn Grafenwoehr
1st Bn, 41st Inf (Mech) Hohenfels  
2nd Bn, 41st Inf (Mech) Wildflecken arr beginning June '75
2nd Bn, 66th Arm .. ..
1st Bn, 14th FA .. ..
C Trp, 2nd Sq, 1st Cav .. arr Mar 15 '75; replaced by A Trp in Sept
C Co, 17th Engr Bn .. ..
In 1976, the decision was made to station Brigade 75 in northern Germany in an effort to bolster NATO units in the NORTHAG region and to provide vital protection for the Army's major Bremerhaven port area. The Federal Republic of Germany constructed a new kaserne for the brigade at a German training area (Garlstedt) near Osterholz-Scharmbeck, 21 miles south of Bremerhaven.
With the new kaserne at Garlstedt completed, advance elements of 3rd Brigade (now designated 2nd Armd Div (Fwd)) began the move to their new home the end of September 1978. With the relocation to the NORTHAG area, the rotation of combat units between Germnany and Fort Hood would be discontinued and the brigade would switch to a permanent change of station status. The change would mean that the brigade's soldiers could now be accompanied by dependents.

Also, the brigade would serve as a reserve force under Allied Forces Central Europe.
2nd ARMD DIV (FWD) ORGANIZATION (mid-1978):

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
Hq/Hq Co, 2nd Armd Div (Fwd) Garlstedt moved to Garlstedt end of Sept 1978
498th Spt Bn Garlstedt ..
3rd Bn, 41st Inf (Mech) Garlstedt arr Wildflecken Sept 1978; replaced 1st Bn, 12th Cav
2nd Bn, 50th Inf (Mech) Garlstedt at Hohenfels; moved to Garlstedt Oct or later
2nd Bn, 66th Arm Garlstedt arr Garlstedt Jan 28 1979; replaced 3-67th Arm (Graf) (1)
1st Bn, 14th FA Garlstedt arr Garlstedt Feb 10 1979; replaced 1-16th FA (Graf)
C Trp, 2nd Sq, 1st Cav Garlstedt arr Garlstedt Jan 11 1979; replaced F Trp (Graf)
D Co, 17th Engr Bn Garlstedt arr Garlstedt Jan 11 1979
(1) Webmaster note: according to an article in the Jan 5, 1979 issue of S&S, the 3-67th moved to Garlstedt the week of Jan 8, spent about three weeks there before being replaced by the 2-66th arriving from Fort Hood, TX.

(Source: Email from Frederick H. Borg)
Incredible what you'll do when you can't sleep.  I noodled around on the computer looking for information on Grafenwohr, Germany, or my old unit, the 2nd Armor Division (Fwd).  I found your site and since you asked for anyone with information to write, decided I would.
 
I was in the 2AD at Fort Hood, Texas in 1974.  It was my first assignment right out of training.  Company D, 48th Medical Battalion was my unit and I worked as a Behavioral Science Specialist (MOS 91G) at Fort Hood in the installation Mental Health Clinic.  In March 1975, "Brigade 75" went over to Grafenwohr, Germany.  If I recall, there were about 2000 of us 2AD troops over there.  The Headquarters Company and the 498th Support Battalion went over permanently, while the combat troops rotated over for six months at a time.
 
Graf wasn't such a bad place to be "permanent party", as we called it in those days.  The 498th Support Battalion consisted of a Headquarters Company with personnel, finance, military police, and logistic missions, a Maintenance Company (by far the largest company) and our little Medical Company.  I was a Spec-five by then and ran a one-man mental health clinic on the second floor of the 547th General Dispensary there on main post, then went to work at Army Community Service.  Our barracks were in a quadrangle area just behind the old "50 Staters Club".  Funny, but the sign on that club was so old you could still read through the faded paint where it used to say "48 Staters Club".  I had a part-time job cooking pizza in that club.
 
The original brigade commander was a man named Colonel Coad, the 498th Support Battalion was commanded by LTC Boone, the Maintenence Company commander was a Captain Boatwright, and the CO of the Medical Company was 1LT Armstrong.  Lieutenant Armstrong and I crossed paths several times during our careers and when I last saw him in Korea in 1991 he was a LTC and I was a MSG.
 
The brigade participated in REFORGER 75 and REFORGER 76 while I was there, but I was transferred back stateside after only about 22 months.  I was no longer with the unit when they made the move to Garlstedt, and never did another overseas tour in Germany.  Two in Korea and one in Alaska, however.  I retired at 20 years as a First Sergeant out of the 1st Cavalry Division back at Fort Hood.  Retired ten years ago last week, in fact.
 
There were some good times and some bad times in Brigade 75.  We lived in dismal barracks with no central heat.  Each room had a cylindrical space heater that burned fuel oil that had to be carried into the building in buckets every day.  At least twice a month the heater would malfunction and belch greasy black soot all over the room.  The impact of field artillery rounds in the nearby training areas was a constant booming, and made the needle skip on phonograph records while sand (for some reason) fell out of the ceiling all over everything.  The American Forces Network TV had one channel and only broadcast in black and white. The Germans hated us. The 7th ATC permanent party troops already in Graf hated us for seriously crowding their tiny installation (when we arrived it more than doubled the number of troops stationed there, so I guess we can't blame them too much).
 
But hey!  I was living in Bavaria!  I had a sports car with enough horsepower to go up a cliff.  There were volksmarches, beerfests, oompah bands, the Alps were only a half day away, Mickey's and the Cafe Metropole were right downtown, and the food at the Cafe Brunner was the best in Germany.  There was a cooking school in Friedenfels, and nearby was Pottenstein, as pretty a German village as ever graced a tourist poster.  We had good people in our Medical Company and 1LT Armstrong was the best company commander and one of the finest officers I ever knew. He took good care of us. Hell, I think he was only 25 years old.
 
I have relatives in Austria that keep asking me to come visit.  When I do, I'll slide over into Germany and revisit some of my old haunts from almost 30 years ago.  That young Spec-Five is now a middle aged man working at a university, so I don't think I'll run from Main Post out to Camp Aachen and back like we used to!
 
Thanks for putting up that web site.

 
2nd Armd Div (Fwd)
 
1978
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, July 26, 1978)
On July 25 1978, Brigade 75 was officially redesignated as 2nd Armored Division (Forward) at Grafemwoehr.

The 3,800-man brigade is commanded by Brig Gen James E. Armstrong. The Brigade is scheduled to move to its new home at Garlstedt near Bremerhaven beginning in October.

 
Early 1980s
(Source: 2nd Armd Div (Fwd) Welcome Pamphlet, early 1980s.)
 
2ND ARMORED DIVISION (FORWARD) HISTORY

The 2nd Armored Division (Forward), formerly the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, is derived from the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, which was constituted on 15 May 1917, and organized on 20 June 1917, at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. The 41st Infantry was inactivated on 22 September 1921, at Camp Meade, Maryland. Twenty years later the 41st Infantry Regiment (Armored) was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division. Subsequent redesignations were:
Headquarters, Reserve Command, in 1946;
Headquarters Company, Combat Command C in 1949; and
Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade in 1963.

In 1942, the first combat credited to the Regiment was for elements that participated in the North Africa invasion. The Regiment then assaulted the beach of Gela, Sicily on 10 July 1943. Normandy was the next scene of action for the fighting 41st in June, 1944. Following this action, the 41st participated in such battles as Caretain, Saint Lo, Aachen Siegfried Line, Ardennes, Houffalize, Roer Valley, and Magdeburg.
In all, the 41st Infantry earned six campaign streamers with an arrowhead for the Sicily Streamer.

For a short period after the war, the 41st remained in Europe. By March 1946, the Division was settled at Fort Hood, Texas. In May 1951, the 2nd Armored Division was again sent to Europe with the then Combat Command stationed at Baumholder, Germany. In January 1958, the unit was returned to Fort Hood, Texas. In October and November 1963, the 3rd Brigade earned high praise during the NATO exercise "Big Lift." In 1964, the Brigade maneuvered in the large scale U.S. exercise "Desert Strike" and in 1965, participated in the Joint Task Farce exercise "Silverhand."

During the years of the Vietnam War, the Brigade acted as a training base for replacements. In 1972, the Brigade participated in the Joint Task Force exercise "Gallant Hand 72."

In January and February 1973, the Brigade was airlifted to Germany to participate in exercise "REFORGER IV." In April 1973, the Brigade participated in exercise "Gallant Hand 73."

Beginning in March 1975, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, was stationed at Grafenwoehr-FRG, and rotated 29 battalions, 19 separate companies, a total of over 21,000 soldiers, to FRG, as part of "Brigade 75." In July 1978 in ceremonies conducted in Grafenwoehr the 3rd Brigade was redesignated as the 2nd Armored Division (Forward). During Autumn Forge '78 the Division Forward participated in exercise "Saxon Drive" in northern Germany.

On October 1978, in ceremonies conducted at newly named and constructed Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, Minister of Defense of FRG, Dr. Hans Apel turned over the Kaserne to U.S. Secretary of Defense, Dr. Harold Brown. In a phased deployment, members of the 2nd Armored Division (Forward) moved to the Kaserne from October 1978 to 14 March 1979.

In September 1979 the Division (Forward) participated in the 1st German Corps FTX "Harte Faust." During REFORGER 80 the 2nd Armored Division (Forward) briefly reverted to its prior designation of the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Armored Division.

A I British Corps FTX saw the 2nd Armored Division from Fort Hood, Texas join it's forward deployed unit which made the "Hell on Wheels" division complete for the first time since 1975.
 
ORGANIZATION (1980):

UNIT DESIGNATION

LOCATION COMMENTS
Hqs Co, 2nd AD (F) Clay Ksn, Garlstedt  
498th Spt Bn Clay Ksn, Garlstedt
2nd Bn, 50th Inf (Mech) Clay Ksn, Garlstedt redes. as 4th Bn, 41st Inf (Mech) in 1983
3rd Bn, 41st Inf (Mech) Clay Ksn, Garlstedt  
2nd Bn, 66th Arm Clay Ksn, Garlstedt
1st Bn, 14th FA Clay Ksn, Garlstedt redes. as 4th Bn, 3rd FA in 1983
C Trp, 2nd Sq, 1st Cav Clay Ksn, Garlstedt replaced by D Trp, 2-1st Cav (Air) in 1984
D Co, 17th Engr Bn Clay Ksn, Garlstedt

 
(Source: FORWARD EDGE insert, Port Reporter, Sept 30, 1983)
Two Clay Kaserne units adopt to the Army's new regimental system:

The colors of 1st Bn, 14th Field Arty and 2nd Bn, 50th Inf will be formally retired during ceremonies on Sept. 30 and Oct 6. As part of the Regimental Manning System these units will become 4th Bn, 3rd Field Arty and 4th Bn, 41st Inf.

When 2-50th becomes 4-41st, it will become a sister unit to Garlstedt's 3-41st, and both units will be based in Fort Hood, Texas. The home base regiment for 4-3rd (formerly 1-14th) will also be in Fort Hood.

 
(Source: Email from Christopher Hall)
I was looking over your website on USAREUR, in particular the section on 2AD(FWD) in Garlstedt. Good job, by the way, it looks like an awful lot of work. I was assigned to 2AD (FWD) in the period 1987 through 1989.

One omission I've noted in the organization: there was also the 588 Military Intelligence Detachment, which was later re-designated the 588th MI Company. (There is a mention of the 588th in the article you've cited from the "2AD Dispatch").

The company comprised approximately 120 soldiers, divided into:
Electronic Warfare Platoon
Ground Surveillance Radar Platoon
Maintenance Platoon
Counter-Intelligence Section
Headquarters/Service Platoon

I was the Platoon Sergeant of the EW platoon for most of the period I was in Garlstedt. The company was housed at Clay Kaserne in barracks shared with D Co, 17th Engineer Bn, and we shared a motor pool with 2/66 Armor.

I was re-assigned to the Intelligence School at Ft. Devens, MA in May, 1989 and don't really know what became of the unit, I presume it was de-activated with the rest of 2AD(FWD).

Hope this helps complete the picture.

 
(Source: FORWARD EDGE, May 12, 1989)
'Bear hunters' never sleep

by Capt. Keith F. Jordan

Who says bears always hibernate in cold weather?

People who hunt bears will tell you different. Bears are active all year; so are the "Bear Hunters." It doesn't matter how cold it gets.

When the "Bear Hunters" of the 588th MI Co. conducted "live environment" training recently, they were stalking the real world Soviet bear near the Inter-German border.

Sgt. Jon M. Farrand, voice signal interceptor (98G), is team chief of the Voice Collection Team. His site is the side of a mountain, where the wind is howling and the rain is falling.

From here the team operates the TRQ-32, more affectionately called the Turkey-32. The "Turkey" is a system that picks up radio transmissions from the Bear's den across the Inter-German Border.

"The 'Turkey' intercepts voice communication for deciphering," said Farrand.

"It operates in the HF (high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) ranges.

"I have six people in my team here. We do passive and active intelligence gathering. Passive is when we intercept transmissions and gather intelligence with a clear focus on the self-defense of our forces. Last year during FREE LION we had an enemy artillery unit up against us. They had targeted an element of 1-41 Infantry. Before they could fire, we relayed the information. The infantry relocated and buttoned up, saving a lot of our soldiers. That's what we're here for.

"In the active mode, we use direction finding (DF) to fix enemy locations and plan strikes against the bad guys," added Farrand. DF enables 588th MI to determine the direction of the emitter of a radio signal.

Radio intercepts aren't the only duties of the soldiers while on the site.

"We normally pull radio watch and perimeter guard," said Spec. Jack C. Johnson, also a 98G, "and operate the TRQ-32, for periods of three hours each. After that, we continue to improve our position."

Johnson says he's learned a few things on this exercise. "I've learned how to maintain the Turkey-32, how to determine problems and fix them," he said. "I've learned how to make conditions in the field more livable, how to keep the mud and rain out.

"Sometimes we wargame, think about hypothetical situations, like what if the bear ever came across the border? We get with the other teams and discuss our analyses and solutions," Johnson went on.

Other team members had similar thoughts on how they spend their time.

"We learn how to overcome and deal with problems associated with the 'Turkey,'" said Spec. Edward A. Smith. "If we can do some of those things for ourselves, it saves time. We don't have to rely on the technicians as much," he said.
"We couldn't do it without our NCOs and 'techs' (technicians)," Smith said. "Those guys make it possible to do the job."

Those "techs" are Tactical Intercept Systems Repairmen and they fix the "Turkeys." They learn how at a 50-week school at Fort Devens, Mass. They also repair the Pirahna and MLQ-34 jammers.

"If I'm called to a site, I'm the first one to determine where the problem is," said Spec. William J. Willoughby. "I'm the first-line troubleshooter.

"In garrison, I maintain and keep the systems up," he continued. "I'm also trained in how to operate the systems, so I can tell if the operator is utilizing the system correctly.

"I've learned a lot of field expedient repairs in the field. It's here that the systems are placed under greater stress," Willoughby said. So what is done with all the information that is collected?

It's passed to the "nerve center" of the Collection and Jamming platoons. What leaves here is the information that the company commander and commander of the Division (Forward) must have to accomplish their mission.

"I advise the 98Gs on the field sites what to collect and what they should be looking for," said Sgt. Wesley A. Kuemmel, also a 98G. "This place is a lot like a TOC (Tactical Operations Center). We task teams and receive reports from our sites.

"Ninety percent of the unit communication comes here," he added. Another part of the TCAE is the SCIF
(Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility).

"We follow every movement of the enemy on maps, 24 hours a day," said Sgt. John H. Geskey. Security is tight. Access to the SCIF is severely limited.

"If you don't have a top secret (background investigation) clearance and aren't on the access roster, you don't get in," Geskey stated.

What makes the 588th MI able to track the bear is teamwork, excellent equipment, and officers and NCOs dedicated to their mission.

So, take heart, the good guys are out there, hunting that bear with that red star on his hat. They know that the bear never sleeps. Neither do the Bear Hunters.

 
(Source: 2AD DISPATCH, Final Issue, June 12, 1992)

2AD ends 52 year history at LDCK

By Staff Sgt. John Brooks
Assistant Editor

The history of 2nd Armored Division (Forward) is rather short when compared to some unit histories, but is a significant part of the larger legacy of 2AD, the longest continuously active armored division in the U.S. Army.

In 1975, in a move to strengthen the NATO alliance, soldiers from the 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, Texas, were organized into a rotational brigade, known as Brigade '75. With the exception of the headquarters company and support battalion, each unit was to serve in Germany for six months, after which they would rotate back to Ft. Hood and be replaced with fresh 2AD troops. The new brigade was stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany, through 1976 when it was stationed in Osterholz county and designated as 2AD (FWD), a new member of the Northern Army Group.

The kaserne 2AD (FWD) called home, Lucius D. Clay Kaserne in Garlstedt, was constructed from 1977 to 1979 as a joint effort of the German and U.S. governments. When completed, rotation of the units from Ft. Hood stopped and 2AD (FWD) moved to its permanent home. Stationing of 2AD (FWD) at the new kaserne was completed in 1979.

In 1983, 2AD (FWD) joined in the conversion to Division '86 and the regimental system. The 2nd Battalion, 50th Infantry and 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery were redesignated as 4th Battalion, 41st Infantry and 4th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, respectively, joining 2nd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment and 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry in their regimental affiliation to 2AD at Ft. Hood, Texas.

The command gained air power when its ground cavalry troop was replaced by Delta Troop, 2-1 Cavalry (Air), in 1984.

COHORT rotations began
Another first for 2AD (FWD) was the battalion rotation in June, 1986. The division was the first European unit to participate in battalion COHORT rotations when 3-41 INF departed for Ft. Hood and 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment joined 2AD (FWD). The division's second and final battalion level COHORT brought 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment to LDCK and sent 4-41 to Ft. Hood. The 588th Military Intelligence Company was another recent addition to 2AD (FWD) in 1987.

When Delta Troop, 2-1 CAV was inactivated in October, 1990, 2AD (FWD) was equipped with a new set of eyes and ears: the brigade scout platoon. The brigade scout platoon is a light-fighting unit made mobile through the use of ballistic-armed HMMWVs, the only mobile scout platoon in the U.S. Army.

On November 8th, 1990, 2AD (FWD) was identified as one of the units from Europe that would comprise VII Corps and move to Saudi Arabia to take part in the liberation of Kuwait. Between the latter part of November, 1990, and early January, 1991, the unit deployed to Southwest Asia; its equipment transported mainly by ship, and the majority of its soldiers by air.

In late January, 1997, 2AD (FWD) became the 3rd brigade of the 1st Infantry Division and moved across Saudi Arabia and attacked through Iraq and into Kuwait where the 100-hour war ended. HHC 2AD (FWD) Military Policemen were the first U.S. MP unit to cross into Iraq, entering enemy territory during the Battle of Norfolk, and the last to leave after the 100 hours of the war. Lacking sufficient support of any kind, the 22 MPs processed and held over 600 prisoners during their first 24 hours in Iraq.

Assisted in Provide Comfort
Between the cease-fire and the official end of the war in April, 2AD (FWD) took part in security operations to ensure peace in Kuwait.

The Division then redeployed to Saudi Arabia where some of its soldiers established and ran three refugee camps near Raffia, Saudi Arabia. 2AD (FWD) relief workers processed over 22,000 Iraqi refugees between April 15 and May 10. After turning the camps over to the Saudi Arabian government, 2AD (FWD) continued redeployment to Germany. Completing the mission, 2AD (FWD) soldiers returned to Garlstedt to stand ready as part of the United States Army, Europe.

On September 1, 1991, 2AD (FWD) officially became 2nd Armored Division (-) after 2AD at Ft. Hood was inactivated. Currently, 2AD(-) is in the process of fulfilling its final mission; drawdown. Due to the restructuring of the U.S. Army, both here and at Ft. Hood, 2AD has been ordered off the active duty roles, ending more than 50 years of continuous active service.

Hell on Wheels!
Soldiers in 2nd Armored Division often ask where the nickname "Hell on Wheels" originated.

The 2AD nickname came from Haynes W. Dugan, a 2AD public affairs officer at Fort Benning, Ga., who used "Hell on Wheels" in a story about 2AD's participation in a parade in 1941. Patton then selected it for wearing under the division patch.

After several years of wearing it, Army officials decided in 1954 that "Hell on Wheels" on the uniform was not in good taste. The division commander at that time argued that "hell is not in itself necessarily a profane word, nor is its use in poor taste, except with improper connotations, neither of which, it is believed, are applicable in the case of the motto `Hell on Wheels'."

The nickname battle continued until April 1963, when Department of the Army finally gave approval for soldiers to wear the "Hell on Wheels" patch on their uniforms.


 
Det 3, 4th Air Support Operations Group
 
1989
(Source: FORWARD EDGE, March 17, 1989)
 
 

 
Newspaper articles
 
(Source: 2AD DISPATCH, Final Issue, June 12, 1992)
Dispatch becomes history as unit draws down

By Jeanie Kitchens
2AD Dispatch Editor

As Staff Sgt. John Brooks and I put together the final issue of the 2AD Dispatch, many thoughts and ideas were discussed. We wanted to make this last paper something that people would want to keep as a memento of their assignment with 2nd Armored Division (Forward) and (Minus), and the time they spent here. We thought some old photographs and historical stuff would be good to tell the story of the U.S. brigade in Garlstedt, and we also wanted to include a little background on the unit newspaper.
 
That's when we ran into a wall. We didn't know when the first newspaper was put out. But thanks to Master Sgt. Carol Sobel, Public Affairs Office NCOIC, who had been digging around wall lockers and cabinets looking for items that needed to be boxed up for storage, we now have that first issue.

The very first issue of the 2AD (FWD) newspaper, published Feb. 1, 1979, was called The Newspaper. A contest was conducted to name the paper, and Spec. Paul G. Samson, assigned to the 159th Medical Detachment (Air Ambulance), came up with the winning name, The Forward Edge.

Progressive changes
Back in those days, when Brig. Gen. James E. Armstrong was the commander, the paper was printed on letter-size paper by the 2AD (FWD) reproduction folks, published twice a month, and edited by Capt. Dan C. Riney and a staff of three. It contained newsy articles about things soldiers needed to know and the ever-present training stories. "Saturday Night Fever" was the movie showing then, "Applekorn" the pony, had just been made 2AD (FWD) mascot, and the dollar was worth about DM 1.68.
By 1984, under editor Spec. Vince Crawley (who presently works for Stars and Stripes), the Forward Edge had a complete new look. The word "The" had been dropped from the Forward Edge nameplate and the paper was being printed commercially in the current tabloid size. In 1985, the Forward Edge won its first award as best Army authorized newspaper in USAREUR and went on to place third in the Department of the Army Keith L. Ware competition.

Celebrity visits
On Aug. 16, 1985, Brig. Gen. William Streeter Jr. took command of 2AD (FWD), and Debbie Boone performed that night at the Patton Combined Club, singing "You Light Up My Life." In September of that year, Applekorn appeared in his first rodeo and the dollar had climbed to well over DM 3.

In March, 1986, the newspaper format changed again, adding regular columns which included the Edge of Excellence column for awards and promotions. Also in March, 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment turned in their M-113s for M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. In April 1986, the Dallas Cowboys' Cheerleaders put on a show at the gym and Spec. David Anderson, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, was the first customer to bite into a burger at Clay Kaserne's new Burger King.

During March of 1987, over 3,000 2AD (FWD) soldiers battled Grafenwoehr's most frigid winter weather in history to participate in Iron Forge '87. In July, 2AD (FWD) lost their mascot when Applekorn died and in November 1987, soldiers of 2-66 Armor switched over to the new M1A1 tanks.

January 1988 found the Forward Edge wearing yet another new nameplate and having News Briefs as a standard page one column. In the March 25 issue, a photo of David Hartman, formerly of "Good Morning America," was featured on the front page along with a story about his visit during Iron Forge '88.

In June 1988, 4th Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment returned to Fort Hood, Texas and 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment took their place in Garlstedt. Lucius D. Clay Kaserne celebrated its 10th anniversary in October 1988, and the Forward Edge put out a special anniversary issue.

The Forward Edge became a hit in April 1989, with their "Letters from home" and "Postcards from Graf' sections during Iron Forge '89. In June, Co. C, 3-66 Armor won the Canadian Army Trophy for the Northern Army Group team and in July, Brig. Gen. Jerry R. Rutherford came on board as new commander.

The year 1990 brought a more modern design to the Forward Edge and the April 20 debut of the Mad Bomber. In October, the Forward Edge was named the best Army authorized newspaper in USAREUR for the second time and by the end of November, the newspaper was publishing information to help the soldiers prepare for deployment to Saudia Arabia.

In 1991, during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the Forward Edge became a weekly newspaper, printing news and stories transmitted electronically from the desert. By the end of May, 2AD (FWD) soldiers had returned from the war and the Forward Edge returned to biweekly publication.

Deactivation and drawdown
With the deactivation of 2AD at Fort Hood, 2AD (FWD) was redesignated 2AD (-) in September 1990, which resulted in a contest to rename the paper. Maj. Norman Balliet, HHC, 2AD (-), submitted the winning entry renaming the paper the 2AD Dispatch.

Rumors that 2AD (-) would draw down were confirmed in February 1992 when the official announcement was made. At that time, the 2AD Dispatch returned to a weekly publication schedule to help inform soldiers and their families on how to prepare for their big move.

So, folks, this little newspaper has been around for a while and it's with mixed feelings I complete this final issue. While a part of me is whooping with delight over no more newspaper hassles and deadlines, another part of me is feeling kind of lost. I've been a part of this paper for almost four years and it has become a part of me. But, in the words of an old television commercial, "Parts is parts," and it's time these parts moved on.

 

Related Links: