479th Field Artillery Brigade History

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The 479th Field Artillery Brigade has a proud heritage that is traced back to the 656th Field Artillery Battalion. Constituted 11 March 1944 in the United States Army as the 656th Field Artillery Battalion and activated 20 April 1944 at Camp Rucker, Alabama, the unit was originally assigned to the IX Corps, but was reassigned on 25 September to the XXIII Corps, Second Army. Shortly thereafter, the unit received orders for overseas movement, arriving in France on 17 February 1945.

Attached to the 190th Field Artillery Group, V Corps Artillery, the battalion shelled enemy installations on the east bank of the Rhine River in support of the Remagen bridgehead, eventually crossing the Rhine and supporting the Allied press into the German heartland. The 656th Field Artillery Battalion is credited with participation in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns and later formed part of the occupation forces in Germany, having been reassigned to the Third Army.

Receiving orders for shipment home, the battalion arrived in New York on 29 November 1945 and was inactivated 1 December 1945 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. On 24 December 1946, the 656th Field Artillery Battalion was redesignated as the 479th Field Artillery Group and allotted to the Organized Reserves; it was later re-designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 479th Field Artillery Group, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and eventually designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 479th Field Artillery Brigade.

The brigade was inactivated 15 September 1996 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Withdrawn from the Army Reserve on 24 October 1997 and allotted to the Regular Army, the unit was activated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma as a Readiness Training Brigade within Fifth Army. Inactivated on 16 October 1999, the brigade was once again activated 1 December 2006 as Headquarters, 479th Field Artillery Brigade located at the Fires Center of Excellence, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and later moved to its present location at Fort Hood, Texas.

As an element of First Army and First Army Division West, the brigade provides training and mobilization support to United States Army Reserve and Army National Guard units preparing to deploy in support of the Global War on Terrorism as well as regional training support to nearly 300 Army Reserve Component units across an eight state area.



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