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3D Military Intelligence Battalion

The battalion and its subordinate companies have participated in a total of 31 military campaigns, covering both the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War.

The 3d Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) is composed of three unit historical lineages: the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance), the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment, and the 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward).

The OV-1 Mohawk deployed to Korea during November 1964 and was assigned as the 2nd Aerial Surveillance and Target Acquisition Platoon in support of the 2nd Infantry Division, operating from Yoido, Seoul. In May 1970 the unit was redesignated as the 6th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group. In April 1971, the platoon moved to Seoul Air Base and assumed responsibility for providing aerial surveillance information to theater and national level consumers.

The present day OV-1 aircraft arrived in Korea during July 1977 with the 6th Aviation Platoon (Aerial Surveillance) moving to Camp Humphreys. Concurrent with the move, the unit was redesignated the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance) and attached to the US Army Field Station Korea, 501st Military Intelligence Group.

On 7 April 1965 at Fort Meade, Maryland, the 542d Military Intelligence Detachment was activated as the 542nd Intelligence Corps Detachment. It was redesignated as the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment on 29 December 1969 and participated in several operations in Vietnam until deactivated on 19 November 1973 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

The 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward) was first activated at Long Than, Vietnam, 1 June 1966, and flew the RU-6 and RU-8 Special Electronic Mission Aircraft in support of US Forces in Vietnam. When deactivated in Vietnam on 17 February 1973, the 146th had been awarded three US Meritorious Unit Citations and two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry with palm for service through fifteen campaigns.

The 146th was reactivated at Taegu Air Base, Korea on 1 July 1974 and was again tasked with a special electronic mission. The unit received the RU-21H aircraft with the GUARDRAIL IV configuration in January 1975. The system was upgraded to the present day GUARDRAIL V configuration in November 1978, moved from Taegu to Camp Humphreys, and was attached to the US Army Field Station, Korea, 501st Military Intelligence Group.

On 15 December 1979, the 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward), the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance), and the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment were consolidated as one unit and redesignated the 146th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (Provisional). A Company of the battalion continued to carry the lineage of the 704th Military Intelligence Detachment (Aerial Surveillance), and B Company adopted the lineage of the 542nd Military Intelligence Detachment. Headquarters and Service Company, after transferring the aviation assets to B Company, continued the lineage of the 146th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) (Forward).

On 16 June 1983, the 146th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) (Provisional) was redesignated the 3d Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation). It continues to provide intelligence collection in support of collection requirements on a daily basis. The 3d Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) fulfills its motto "WINGED VIGILANCE".

The battalion and its subordinate companies have participated in a total of 31 military campaigns, covering both the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War. Battalion decorations include three Meritorious Unit Commendations, Vietnam; one Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palms; and the Army Superior Unit Award embroidered Korea 1985-1986. Additionally, A Company is entitled to one Meritorious Unit Commendation, Korea, and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.


Submitted By:
SGT Nesbitt

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