4-101 Aviation Regiment
“The Wings of the Eagle” proudly traces its history back to the Korean War. On 7 December 1950, the 4th Light Aviation Section was assigned to the eighth US Army Korea where it remained until deactivated on 5 November 1954.
The 4th Light Aviation Section was reactivated on 1 July 1956 as the 101st Aviation Company and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY. On 3 December 1962, the 101st Aviation Company was redesignated as the 101st Aviation Battalion.
Company A deployed to the Republic of Vietnam on April 11, 1965 and became the first element of the division to see combat since World War II. The remainder of the 101st Aviation Battalion deployed to Vietnam in December 1967 and served with distinction there until the 101st Airborne Division redeployed to Fort Campbell in February 1972. The 101st Aviation Battalion was redesignated 4th Battalion on 16 October 1987 with the activation of the 101st Aviation Regiment.
In 1990 and 1991 the Battalion served with distinction in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, completing over 3000 hours of accident free flying while conducting combat operations. The Battalion’s record of excellence includes planning, leading, and executing, at the time, the longest Air Assault in history to the Euphrates River in Iraq.
In light of the world changing events of 11 September, 2001, the Battalion was given two short-notice missions to deploy elements in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) deploying 29 aircraft and 6.5 aircrews to Khandahar, Afghanistan. These soldiers executed Aviation operations during Operation Anaconda while conquering the difficult environment of Afghanistan. The Battalion strategically deployed another 5 UH-60L helicopters and 6.5 aircrews to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan on 3 May 2002 until September 2002 in support Joint Task Force combat operations.
The Battalion reset for future combat operations in the CENTCOM AOR and in February 2003 4-101 AVN RGT became one of the first units of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to arrive in Kuwait for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). On 23 March, 2003, the 4th Battalion conducted not only the first Air Assault in support of OIF but also the longest in history of the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) moving C/3-187 IN deep into enemy territory to establish site security for FARP SHELL. On 6 May, 2003 the entire Battalion moved to Baghdad International Airport.
The high operations tempo of the Battalion did not diminish with the official closing of combat operations in May 2003. 4th Battalion flew over 10,000 hours in support of TF Rakkasan, 159th AVN BDE, and the 101st Airborne Division with daily flights ranging as far south as Camp Doha, Kuwait, and far north as the Turkish border, as far west as the Syrian border and as far east as the Iranian border with northern Iraq.
The Battalion redeployed and began the execution of the Army’s Transformation Campaign Plan for the 101st Airborne Division. The Battalion split from two 15 aircraft companies to three ten aircraft companies and divided the HHC into a HHC and FSC. In the winter of 2005, the Battalion gained an additional unit to its formation – the Pathfinder Co. These seven companies completed transformation and the final mission rehearsal exercise for their deployment to OIF 05-07 in October 2005.
4th Battalion’s latest mission in Iraq has been nothing less than spectacular. Over 27,000 hours flown on more than 2,600 General Support and Air Assault combat missions, more than 150,000 passengers and 559 tons of equipment transported, and more than 2.5 million gallons of JP8 fuel pumped, all in support of Multi- National Corps Iraq and Multi- National Forces Iraq. The most significant statistic being that it has all been accomplished without loss of life or equipment.
The Wings of the Eagle Battalion’s next Rendezvous with Destiny has yet to be determined but inevitably the battalion will continue its record of excellence as it writes its next page in history with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Presidential Unit Citation: 18-27 December 1944
Valorous Unit Award (W/1 OLC): 22-23 July 1970
Army Superior Unit Award: August 1983 to February 1984
SPC(P) Martinson, Derek A