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3-71 Unit History


 

The 71st Cavalry was originally constituted on 3 December 1941 in the Army of the United States as the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion.  It was activated on 15 December 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  The unit saw action throughout WWII and earned campaign participation in Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and the Po Valley. The 701st was inactivated on 29 October 1945 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  The unit was converted and redesignated on 27 August 1947 as the 327th Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, and allotted to the Organized Reserves.   It was again converted and redesignated on 22 March 1949 as the 327th Heavy Tank Battalion.  On 17 November 1950, it was inactivated at Ottumwa, Iowa only to be converted and redesignated on 27 February 1951 as the 701st Armored Infantry Battalion; concurrently, withdrawn from the Organized Reserve Corps, allotted to the Regular Army, and assigned to the 1st Armored Division.  On 7 March 1951, the 701st AIB moved to Fort Hood, Texas for a period of six years until it was inactivated on 15 February 1957 at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Armored Division.  On 17 March 2004, the 71st Cavalry Regiment was formed out of this illustrious line of succession. Thereby, a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System.

3-71 Cavalry can trace its lineage directly back to Combat Recon Company “Charlie” of the, 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. The Squadron takes great pride in the fact that the original tank destroyer concept called for great mobility (TDs were lightly armored for greater speed) and its personnel had "an aggressive, elite spirit."  TD units had a large reconnaissance capability built into their structure, with some self-propelled battalions having an organic reconnaissance company as one of its four line companies. All these abilities contributed to their TD motto "Seek, Strike, Destroy." During WWII, the tank destroyer battalions served in multi-functional roles and earned a proud combat record.  Although some are surprised that a tank destroyer unit could end up as cavalry, it isn't unusual for armor and cavalry units to convert from one to another. The 71st Cavalry, as you can tell from the lineage, was converted several times and served as a tank destroyer battalion, a mechanized cavalry reconnaissance squadron, a heavy tank battalion, and an armored infantry battalion. Elements of other cavalry regiments also served as tank battalions during World War II.  By tradition, cavalry is the only branch that can also be organized as infantry, armor, or aviation, in addition to its traditional reconnaissance mission.  

In February 2006, 3-71 CAV deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VII.  The Titan Squadron became the most widely traveled Squadron/Battalion sized element throughout RC East.  Elements of the Titan Squadron travelled throughout the country and fought Taliban forces in Kandahar, making the longest tactical movement in OEF history.   In March, 3-71 CAV founded FOB Naray, and later pushed forces into the most austere northeastern reaches of Afghanistan, literally at the tip of the spear in the war on terror.  Altogether, the Titan Squadron spent 16 arduous months in combat in some of the most remote areas of Afghanistan from 12 February, 2006 to 4 June, 2007. 

After their redeployment in June of 2007, 3-71 CAV went through a reset period where they had over 80% turnover throughout the Squadron.  They rebuilt their forces and conducted off post training in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania in February, and JRTC in May of 2008. 

On 5 January 2009, 3-71 CAV became designated as TF Titan and deployed again to Logar Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom IX.  B Company, 1-32 was attached to the unit, while B Troop, 3-71 was detached to operate in Goshta Province with 1-32 IN.  While working in Logar Province, TF Titan established three combat outposts, to include a COP in the remote Kherwar district, in which previously no coalition forces had been present.  During this deployment, TF Titan conducted over 3000 patrols, 26 air assault missions, over 50 combined missions with Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA).  These patrols and missions resulted in over 200 insurgents captured and 175 insurgents killed during the 12 month deployment.  TF Titan also fully implemented the COIN strategy by providing over 24 million dollars to local projects and aid in support of the Afghan people.  Such projects bolstered the economy leading to the creation of over 6400 temporary and permanent jobs, initiation of over 204 Commander’s Emergency Relief Program (CERP) projects, and the distribution of 54 tons of humanitarian assistance and 22.4 tons of food distribution.  TF Titan redeployed from Afghanistan to Fort Drum on 26 December 2009.