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The Mission

The US Army Mission is to deploy, fight, and win USA’s wars by providing ready, prompt, and sustained land dominance by US Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the Joint Force. The mission is vital to the USA because US Army is a service capable of defeating enemy ground forces and indefinitely seizing and controlling the enemies land, resources, and population.

Key Historical Markers

On January 18, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed off on the new “light” division, which would be based at Fort Drum in Watertown, New York. The division would be the first army unit activated in the northeastern part of the U.S. since WWII. For troop morale and identity purposes, it was announced on February 13, 1985 that the new “light” division would now be called the 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry.

Operation Shield/Desert Storm

On August 2, 1990, Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, ordered his military to invade its neighboring country, Kuwait. Operation Desert Shield, designed to protect Saudi Arabia from an Iraqi invasion, was operational by August 9, 1990. With Saudi Arabia secured, the world turned its focus back to Kuwait, which was still occupied by Iraq’s military. On November 9, 1990, the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution to use military force to liberate Kuwait. As a result of that resolution, Operation Desert Storm, a U.S.-led military effort with support from 32 countries, was successful. Due to the mission tactics adopted under General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., only certain 10th Mountain Division LI military and support units were deployed rather than the entire division. A total of 1,200 10th Mountain Division LI soldiers were utilized in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Black Hawk Down

One of these militia leaders, Mohammad Farah Aidid, aspired to rule Somalia and incapacitating him and his militia became Operation Continue Hope’s main focus. On June 5, 1993, an attack on a Pakistani-led weapons search team, reinforced by a portion of the 10th Mountain Division LI’s A Company, I-22, resulted in 23 Pakistani soldiers losing their lives. Immediately rerouted from another mission, the rest of the 10th LI A Company, I-22, was brought in to diffuse the explosive situation. After this event, the QRF attacked Aidid’s strategic and weapon sites, began constant helicopter surveillance, destroyed Abdi House where Aidid’s lieutenants were meeting, and conducted several “snatch” missions to try and capture Aidid. After four U.S. Military Policemen were killed by an Aidid-layed mine on August 8, 1993, Task Force Ranger was deployed. As part of Task Force Ranger, the Army Rangers and Delta Force assumed the snatch missions that the 10th had been conducting. On October 3, 1993, Special Forces personnel found themselves surrounded by Aidid’s militia when two of their Blackhawk helicopters were downed while deep in Bakaara Market, an area controlled by Aidid. This incident would become known as Blackhawk Down. In response, the QRF was activated, which would include the 10th Mountain Division LI’s A and C Companies. The QRF was assigned the task of rescuing trapped Special Forces personnel and destroying the two downed helicopters. Initially repelled in its first attempt to fulfill its mission, a larger QRF force was rapidly assembled that used Pakistani tanks, Malaysian armored personnel carriers, and American Humvees that ultimately delivered rescue personnel to the crash site areas. Not facing resistance, C Company located one of the crashed helicopters and destroyed it after finding no U.S. personnel around. The 10th Mountain Division LI’s A Company, assigned to the other crash site, had to fight its way through numerous roadblocks, but by October 4, the company rescued Special Forces within the area, ensured the helicopter was destroyed, and transported everyone to a secured zone. Two 10th Mountain Division LI soldiers were killed and 29 other members of the QRF were wounded during the rescue mission. Following the Black Hawk Down incident, U.S. President, William Clinton, in his first year of office, authorized the withdrawal of all U.S. troops. By March 25, 1994, all 7,300 10th soldiers were back at Ft. Drum.

Afghanistan – Operation Enduring Freedom 2001-2004

Without several of its units, which were already embroiled in activities in Kosovo and other areas around the world, the 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry prepared for its next mission, called Operation Enduring Freedom, which was initiated in response to the Osama Bin-Laden/Taliban-plotted September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Immediately following the terrorist attacks, the 1st Battalion, 87th Regiment was sent to Karsi Khanabad (K2) Airfield, located in Uzbekistan, where 10th Mountain soldiers provided security for both the base and the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which was comprised of Special Forces already in Afghanistan. With the rapid collapse of Osama Bin-Laden’s Taliban, U.S. forces found themselves quickly overwhelmed with large numbers of prisoners who were housed at the Northern Alliance prison in Mazar-e-Sharif. On November 25, 2001, a riot broke out at the prison and C Company, I-87, acting as the QRF in this situation, became the first conventional forces to engage the Taliban in Afghanistan when quelling the riot. The 10th’s involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom would expand. On the day of the prison riot, Major General Franklin L. “Buster” Hagenbeck and the 2nd Brigade Headquarters, portions of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, and other various support units, deployed to Afghanistan. On December 12, 2001, Division Headquarters assumed command of the Combined Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) at K2. Upon arrival in Afghanistan, General Hagenbeck’s first responsibility was to locate a new facility to house the Taliban members already held captive at Mazar-e-Sharif prison. As Special Forces and Afghan militias continued to take back territory from the Taliban and al Qaeda, the remaining elements of the I-87 moved to Bagram Airbase, north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, to provide base security and a QRF for area Special Forces.

Afghanistan – Operation Anaconda – 2002

After locating a new prison facility for those held captive and Mazar-e-Sharif, Major General Hagenbeck would assume command of Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Mountain, which contained elements of 10th Mountain Division LI Headquarters. With CJTF’s command post located at the secured Bagram Airbase, CJTF Mountain would oversee the mission, Operation Anaconda, which was designed to out al-Qaeda and Taliban-fighters hiding in the Shahi-Kot Valley and Arma Mountains. It was thought that these enemy fighters were planning a spring offensive. The mission, the first in Afghanistan that would use U.S. conventional forces, called for an attack coming from the valley. To stop any enemy combatants from escaping into Pakistan, “blocking” positions would be established in the mountains prior to the attack. Despite a tight attack plan, the implementation didn’t go as planned. U.S. forces air dropped to set up the blocking positions were greeted with enemy heavy arms and mortar fire in addition to rocket-propelled grenades. The two sides exchanged fire for 18 hours until General Hackenbeck ordered the destruction of the nearby village where enemy fire was originating. For the next 15 days, various combat elements, including those from the 10th Mountain Division LI, finally defeated the enemy and the mission was completed on March 1, 2002.

POTUS & General Piatt 10th Mtn - the right leadership, resources, key focus, and sustained effort, the 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry (LI); will continue to be a force multiplier in a land war in China and/or Russia. END

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GMCStream is an American Internet media company based in Mountain View, California. The company is a social media news and information company with a directed focus on digital broadband media. GMCStream researches, analyzes, and highlights MILCOMM problems and solutions that may affect Global National Security. GMCStream was founded by Richard Kusiolek, an expert in Satellite Communications, cyber security, defense, and aerospace with private sector experience and expertise in international business development and strategy, particularly in China, Japan, and Eastern Europe. The company is growing organically into a specialized niche media and technology company providing streaming video coverage on a variety of topics including politics, space and missile systems, cyber-warfare, defense networks. STEM career webinars, and planet exploration.

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