News: Oldest Field Artillery Battalion Takes Charge at Camp Phoenix
Story by 2nd Lt. Jordan Breau
KABUL -- The 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment out of Brockton, Mass., was first founded in Salem, Mass., Dec. 13, 1636. Nicknamed "the South Regiment" is the oldest Field Artillery Regiment still active in the United States Army.
The South Regiment has fought in a total of 47 separate campaigns, ranging from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The legacy of the South Regiment spans over three hundred and seventy four years. The 1st Battalion, 1-101st field Artillery Regiment once again answers the call and takes its streamer laden colors into another theater, Operation Enduring Freedom, Kabul, Afghanistan.
Today was a historic event in that the two oldest Field Artillery Regiments met for the transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan. 1-101st Field Artillery Regiment commanded by Lt. Col. James M. Hally is replacing the second oldest (118th Field Artillery) out of Savannah, Ga., commanded by Lt. Col. Reginald G. Neal. The 1st battalion, 118th Field Artillery "Old Hickory" saw its beginning as a colonial militia, April 18, 1751.
Camp Phoenix is not the first time these units have met one another. It is quite the opposite, the history between these great regiments' spans over hundreds of years. They fought alongside another in the Revolutionary war. Years later they were war torn rivals as they conducted counter battery fires against each other in the Civil War, on the blood soaked grounds of Gettysburg, S.C., and Florida. In World War I and II the howitzers of the 1-101st and 118th became unified across the European battlefields.
These two old regiments meet once again in a new century and yet another operation. As the sun has now set on the 118th and their tenure in Afghanistan, the responsibility has now been passed to the 1-101st to continue to build the Afghan national army, the Afghan national security force and Afghanistan as a nation to become self sustaining.